According to a study from Pew Internet & American Life Project, 46% of Americans own and use a smartphone, and that number is growing fast.  In less than a year, smartphone users increased by 11 percent, according to the Pew study. *

Users say they use the devices for texting and email capabilities more so than the telephone feature.  While the number of users climb, so do the complaints of arm and neck pain.  The unnatural repetitive motion of moving your thumbs while looking down strains your neck and hands.  What was jokingly referred to as “Blackberry Thumb” several years ago has become a phenomenon among many users of all types of smartphones.  Your overall posture will also suffer the more frequently you use your smartphone.
To prevent pain from spreading and possibly affecting your nerves, we recommend the following:

  • Avoid slouching when using your smart phone, keep your back loose and hold your head up.
  • Don’t text one handed.  Using both thumbs reduces the strain on your predominant hand.
  • Move around and change positions periodically.
  • Put the phone down.  Take a break and stretch from time to time.  Better yet, go for a quick walk and give your hands a rest.

We hope these tips will help reduce smartphone discomfort. But if you continue to have pain please feel free to contact our office for an appointment with our spine and/or hand specialist.

* Pew's latest findings were based on phone interviews with 2,253 adults between January 20 and February 19, 2012.