Smartphone Hand-related Issues

Smartphone Hand-related Issues

Posted on 09/15/2017

Thumb Pain

A few years ago, the term ‘Blackberry thumb’ was coined in response to pain that was felt in the thumb as a result of users scrolling through their Blackberry’s several or more times each day. Although Blackberry’s are now less popular, and modern smartphones have touch screen which reduces pressure on the digits, the thumb is still heavily relied on for scrolling and texting. Pain in the thumb is often characterized as a repetitive strain injury or RSI.

You can help to relieve and prevent thumb aches by mixing it up and using other fingers to scroll and text. If you are still experiencing pain, you may be advised to use a thumb splint which will give the digit additional support.

Wrist Pain

Many smartphone users also rely on a dominant hand for operating their device, and if they spend a great deal of time replying to texts or emails, they may find that they are putting undue strain on their wrist. This is because the wrist bends into a slightly unnatural position for prolonged periods, which can cause strains of the joints and tendons that run between your wrist and elbow.

The wrist is a delicate joint and it is important to protect it from injury, as pain or swelling can compromise a patient’s ability to use their wrist, hand and even lower arm. A brace can be worn to support the joint and experts recommend trying to do the majority of typing on a laptop or computer instead of as the wrists assume a more natural position.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Numbness, tingling, and aches in the fingers, palms, and wrist are common complaints of smartphone users and are all symptoms of a well-known condition – carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused when the median nerve that serves the hand is pinched, blocking the flow of signals through the nerve.

The best way to minimize the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome is to take regular rest breaks from using your smartphone, performing stretches and exercise to keep the muscles and tendons supple and keep your hands warm.


Smartphones may have improved the way that we do things, but regular technology breaks are vital to keeping our hands and wrists healthy and pain-free. If you have been suffering from discomfort in your fingers, hands, wrists or even elbows, your smartphone could be the cause. Our professional and knowledgeable team would be happy to help you get to the source of your discomfort and work with you to find a treatment that suits your needs. Contact them for a consultation today.


Please contact us today to schedule an appointment or get more information about our hand and upper extremity surgical services.