Seeing youngsters eventful with smart phones and tablets for hours at a stretch is now a frequent spectacle in India. Little do they know that the addiction can cause repetitive strain injury to hand joints?”It can cause injury to the tendons and muscles supporting the thumb and the fingers as well as the wrist. In the long run, it can affect the flexibility of the thumb and the fingers,” explains Dr Rajeev K Sharma, senior consultant (orthopaedic and joint replacement) at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.
According to Dr Pradeep Moonot, orthopedic (foot and ankle) from Breach Candy Hospital Trust in Mumbai, excessive smartphone use can lead to injuries that cause strain and stress from repetitive motion.
“This can also lead to tendinitis of finger and wrist and arthritis of the thumb joints,” Dr Moonot said.
The thumb has to move in an uncomfortable mode on the smartphone. “This can lead to soreness in the thumb called ‘Blackberry thumb’. Tip of the finger soreness is also an issue. Inappropriate placement of the hand and shoulder can also cause pain in the shoulder and neck,” he warns.
Dr Ramneek Mahajan, director (orthopedics and joint replacement) at Saket City Hospital in the Capital, blames wrong hand postures.Dr Moonot is seeing more young people with such complaints. “As soon as the time spent on the phone or gaming is reduced, the symptoms do get relieved. The assessment of work and home-related psychological stress is also important to see if these are contributing factors as well,” he emphasizes.
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Ishwar Bohra from BLK Super Speciality Hospital has also seen a spurt in youngsters coming to him with hand and wrist pain.”I frequently treat youngsters in their twenties suffering from de Quervain syndrome, tennis elbow and cervical spondylosis owing to the excessive use of mobile phones,” he said.The best way is to smack an equilibrium connecting unwarranted use of technology and a healthy life.