Just what it sounds like—text thumb (also known as De Quervain syndrome) is when you experience discomfort in the wrist and/or thumb, caused by the repetitive movements when typing on small, handheld devices.
- Take frequent breaks; don’t type for more than three minutes at a time.
- Keep your messages short and simple; use the auto-complete or word prediction features.
- Save non-urgent emails for your computer keyboard.
- Pay attention to pain; purchase wrist or thumb support to help stabilize the area affected.
- Keep your wrists straight and your grip neutral when texting.
- Use alternating fingers—not just your thumbs.
Not long after text thumb became a buzz word, text neck appeared on the scene. Chiropractors and medical doctors warn that hunching over your phone can lead to a forward head position, neck strain, headaches and pain.
- To avoid hunching, retrain yourself to hold your arms out and look straight ahead.
- If you must look down, gently tuck your chin in, don’t jut it forward.
- Help counter the effects of text neck with regular chiropractic adjustments.
- Rest your forearms on a pillow when texting to help minimize tension.
- Sit up straight, your shoulder blades back and down, and keep your head back; your ears should align with your shoulders.
- Use a hands-free device when talking on the phone; avoid holding the phone between your ear and shoulder.
Bonus Tips! Desktop & Laptop
Aside from all the texting, you likely spend some time at a desktop computer or a laptop which can also lead to strain and repetitive use injury, like carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Center your monitor directly in front of you and raise it to just above eye level.
- Keep your elbows, hips and knees at 90-degree angles, and your feet parallel to the ground. Use a footstool if necessary.
- Again, sit up straight with your shoulders and head back, aligning your ears with your shoulders.
- Remove watches or bracelets that interfere with typing or using the mouse.
- Get up and move around for short breaks each hour; walk away from the computer.
- Take micro-breaks often, at least every 20 minutes. Shake out your arms, stretch your wrists and focus your eyes on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to help you refresh.
- Receive regular chiropractic adjustments; ask your chiropractor to demonstrate some helpful stretches.