We are able to wield many gadgets today due to our dexterous thumbs. This is one trait that separates us from other apes. This unique trait also leaves us vulnerable to thumb joint pain in our fingers as they are prone to a myriad of injuries. These can come from normal activities such as typing, text messaging, playing video games or arthritis.
Arthritis has always been a source of hand pain. Females and the elderly tend to be more likely victims. Genetics plays a role as well, which affect joint ligament laxity, and malformed joints. Arthritis can be hastened by placing more pressure on our thumbs. The activities which place such stress will be discussed in detail.
Even though communication has made great strides over the years, it has taken a heavy toll on our finger tips. Our dependency on personal gadgets such as smart phones, organizers, and music players leaves us susceptible to sore digits. Constant use of such items results in what many refer to as blackberry thumb. It is mostly seen in young people who are tech savvy. Text messaging and easier access to the internet has made it more of a problem. The symptoms can be felt at the base of the thumb and also near the index finger, which can last even when the hands are at rest.
We are all aware of carpal tunnel syndrome. It has been around since people were using type writers. Today, many designs have been made to keyboards to make them more ergonomic, but carpal tunnel syndrome is still common. Unlike injuries seen with portable devices of today, carpal tunnel syndrome affects the rest of the hand also. Some of its symptoms include pain in the carpals with numbing at the thumb, which can also spread to the other fingers.
Video games have always been viewed as a safe activity for kids. However, video games can actually hurt children who are too small to wield game controllers are physically designed for the hands of adults. Children lack the hand size and skin toughness to handle a game controller for too long. The fingers stretch to reach buttons, which can cause soreness. Soft skin can lead to blisters from heavy friction and also blisters
Frequent golfers have found discomfort at the wrist. This has been referred to as DeQuervains tendinitis. It is caused by inflammation of the tendons.
It is important to be mindful of the risks we place on our hands. We can protect our selves with some awareness. Be sure you find time to rest your wrists and fingers. It is important to give your muscles and tendons a break every so often. While doing this, try stretching your fingers, to loosen up. Having a constant grip on things is enough to strain your hands. Change the way you hold certain objects to relieve your hands. If possible switch to the other hand. Using splints will protect the medial nerve from the activities we mentioned.
Normal tasks can put a heavy strain on our digits. The activities we mentioned are practiced by most of us. We should be aware of the stress we place on our hands, and take precaution. By being mindful we not only save ourselves from aches and pain but can also reduce the risk of arthritis down the road. The next time you feel like having a back and forth conversation with a friend, try calling instead of text messaging.