Ergonomics News

Rx for Blackberry thumb

Dr. Orly Avitzur, a board certified neurologist, comments on the emergence of repetitive strain injuries occurring from over usage of hand held communication devices.  These injuries range from BlackBerry thumb and iPod finger to Wiinjuries and Nintendinitis, and are more formally called Carpal tunnel syndrome, DeQuarvain’s tenosynovitis, and “trigger thumb”.  Symptoms range from pain and weakness to disability, with the effects being greater in older users who may be more susceptible to inflammation and pain. The full impact of the misuse of these devices is not yet realized and is likely to be studied more closely in the near future.

Dr. Avitzur recommends the following to reduce the risk of developing gadget-related injuries:

  • Take technology holidays
  • Use the AutoText feature if possible to write shorter and fewer messages
  • Avoid excessive use if you have pre-existing joint problems
  • Take rest breaks when you notice strain or pain
  • If you develop swelling or if your symptoms don’t resolve, see your health care provider

‘Text neck’ is becoming an ‘epidemic’ and could wreck your spine


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