Texting Thumb and How to Fix It

  • bcabral 

So you’ve you been stuck at home for months nope, working from home and doom scrolling in your spare time and you notice that you’re thumb hurts like hell.

Or maybe you’ve been noticing some numbness or tingling just north of your thumb joint.

Well congratulations you just may have “Texting Thumb”.

What is Texting Thumb?

Texting thumb is an overuse or repetitive use1 type of injury not unlike carpal tunnel syndrome that affects the thumb joint in particular.

Mainly you may experience texting thumb from texting, typing our gaming more than our poo little thumbs can handle; though it possible to experience this syndrome from other activities as well.

Overuse injuries can be particularly nasty as we are not often able to stop the activity that creates them in the first place. 

So yeah, that’s lame.

How to Fix Texting Thumb 

So, I always recommend a three pronged approach to alienating and improving the symptoms of texting thumb.

1. Stretch the forearms & wrists.

2. Massage the affected tissue. 

3. Strengthen the forearms (particularly the extensors).

Let’s take a look at each if the actions one by one.

Stretching the Forearms & Wrists. 

These stretches are pretty simple and straightforward, and most importantly, they are quick to do. 

You can even use them at your work station throughout the day to ease staring on your wrists, hands, and fingers while banging away on that keyboard. 

 

1. Prayer Palm Stretch.

1. Begin by pressing your balms together in a “prayer palm” position, with your fingers pointing up.

2. Your hands should be close to your body with your elbows out to your side at about 90°. 

3. From this staring position, push the bottoms of your palms down towards the floor, keeping your fingers upright, and your elbows int he same position.

4. Hold for a few moments.

5. Keeping your hands pressed together, turn your hands over so that your fingers are pointing down towards the floor and the bottoms of your palms are facing upwards.

6. From this position pull your palms up towards your head. Be sure to keep you elbows in the same spot and be sure not to shrug up in your shoulders as you perform this part of this stretch.

7. Hold the stretch for a few moments.

8. Repeat about 10 times (or more if you like).

2. Finger Extension & Shake.

1. Move your hands out in front of your body, so that your arms are relatively straight and your wrists are bent at about 90°. 

2. Keeping your arms out in front of you, open your hands and stretch your fingers out, spreading them out as wide as you can.

3. Hold this outstretched position for a few moments.

4. Relax your hands and arms and shake them to relieve any tension. 

5. Repeat about 10 times.

3. Wrist Press Stretch. 

1. Bring one of your hands up in front of your body, so that your hand is close to your torso, and your elbow is slightly above 90° to the side of your body.

2. Allow the wrist to be relaxed so that your hand hangs down to the flow slightly. 

3. Place the palm of your other hand on top of the back of the hand on the raised arm. Your may grasp the hand a little if you like.

4. Apply pressure to the bent wrist so that it your fingers are mostly pointing down towards the floor.

5. If this is enough stretch for your wrist, stop at the point and use this part of the stretch by applying and relaxing pressure to the bent wrist.

6. If you would like more stretch in this position, apply more stretch to the bent wrist by pulling your outstretched elbow, down towards the floor, pausing for a few moments, and bringing it back up above the stretched wrist.

7. Repeat about 10 times, and then switch arms.

2. Self Massage for your Forearms.  

Now, that we’ve relieved some of that built up tension, lets have you massage the muscles and soft tissues of the forearms with a rubber ball. 

Now, you don’t need a rubber ball, but i do highly recommend picking one up because the tend to grab the skin and muscle a bit as you apply pressure, and this helps to apply the stretch, and make it more effective. 

So, self massage is pretty straightforward, but we’ll take a look at two different always to apply the massage.

 

1. Manual Massage 

With this type of massage you are going to hold the ball in your free hand as you massage your other forearm.

Simply, hold the ball up against your forearm, apply as much pressure as you like (more isn’t always better), and twist the ball about a 1/4 turn. 

Apply over a large area of the arm. If you have a lot of body hair on your forearms this may be very uncomfortable with a rubber ball, so opt for the second type of massage here. 

 

2. Passive Massage (kind of).

With this version of self massage your are going to use a wall, or floor, or something, instead of your other hand. 

Simply place the ball between your forearm and the wall (or whatever surface you’re using), and m,I’ve the arm around so that balls rolls over the tensed up muscles. 

You may also move your arm so that ball applies a twist, as in the first example. 

 

3. Strengthen your Forearms.

For this next bit you will need a rubber band. It doesn’t have to be a very special rubber band, although they do exist. 

 

Hers my very incomplete list of rubber bands that I recommend:

1. Iron mine.com “Expand your hands Bands”

These are the only scalable set of rubber bands that I know of and have used. I think they’re just great.

2. Produce bands or or thick & wide rubber bands from an office supply store. 

These will do just fine, not as awesome at all compared the the iron mind bands, but a rubber band is a rubber band. 

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