How many text messages have you sent this month? It’s easy to lose count, but the number is probably higher than you realize. According to research gathered by Business Insider Intelligence in 2013, teenagers in the US send over 2,000 text messages every month. That averages out to 67 texts per day! Older Americans send far fewer texts than their teenage counterparts, but texting can be harmful to your health no matter your age. Here’s what you need to know.
Texting Can Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Because carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is caused by repetitive finger and wrist movements, it should come as no surprise that texting – as well as typing on a keyboard and playing video games for long hours – can cause this painful condition.
What are the causes and symptoms of CTS?
CTS develops when the tendons and ligaments in your wrist become swollen. Because the carpal tunnel through which these tendons and ligaments run is so narrow, inflammation here entraps the median nerve and causes CTS symptoms.
You know you have carpal tunnel syndrome if:
- Your thumb and first three fingers experience full or partial numbness.
- Pain shoots down your forearm and into your wrist and hand.
- Your grip strength has greatly diminished.
Treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome
If texting on your cell phone or typing on a computer keyboard is causing your CTS symptoms, the best course of action is to cut back on these activities. Other at-home treatments include wearing a brace or splint and taking anti-inflammatory medicine.
When you come to Spine Correction Center for carpal tunnel syndrome treatment, we address the entrapped median nerve at the source to reduce your symptoms. Our goal is to help you heal with non-invasive therapies.
Still, it’s important to be aware that surgery is sometimes required to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. However, if you recognize the symptoms and cut back on activities that cause your pain, you can avoid this drastic measure.
Texting Can Cause Neck and Shoulder Pain
It’s well known that sitting at a desk and typing for eight hours a day can cause shoulder and neck pain. That’s why many workplaces have incorporated tactics to improve ergonomics, including more comfortable chairs, ideal computer screen heights, and even in-office stretching and exercise programs.
However, the concept of texting is relatively new, so research is limited. Still, according to Spine-health.com, college students who text regularly report higher rates of neck and shoulder problems than their peers who text less frequently. This isn’t surprising since poor posture in any context – from working at a computer to driving to sleeping – can lead to discomfort.
If you enjoy texting on a daily basis, follow these tips to help keep neck and shoulder pain at bay:
- Keep your wrists straight and hold your hands slightly higher than your wrists while texting.
- Relax your shoulders and keep your elbows tucked into your sides.
- Hold the phone up to your face rather than slouching over to look at the screen.
Consider Your Social Health
Texting doesn’t just impact your physical health – it also plays a huge role in your social life and communication skills. There’s no doubt that texting is useful, and it’s a great option for keeping in touch when the alternative is not to communicate at all. But when texting replaces phone calls and face-to-face conversations, social skills may suffer.
Relationships can even take a hit because miscommunication is so much more likely with text messaging than vocal conversations. If carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, and shoulder pain aren’t enough to curb your texting habits, then choose to set the phone down for your social health!
Schedule a Free Consultation at Spine Correction Center
If you have symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, or your neck and shoulders constantly bother you, count on Spine Correction Center in Fort Collins for help. Call us now at (970) 658-5115 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.