I have a desk job, a blog, and I text a lot. It shouldn’t have come as any surprise to me the first time that my thumbs locked up and I had to take a hiatus from all three. I remember thinking it was pretty funny the first time it happened and joking that evolution should give us an extra set of thumbs just for our devices.
My friend DK told me about the “texting thumb” phenomenon and when I looked it up, I realized that it is a real thing. When it happened again, I still didn’t make any changes and told myself that it would pass in a few days like last time (which it did).
However, I’m currently experiencing the third flare-up and dealing with pain that now radiates up my arm. This time, I am taking it seriously.
Have you ever experienced texting thumbs?
Take a break from your devices. Some time off texting is essential to give your thumbs time to heal before the pain spreads.
Get a talk to text app. Taking a break from texting is a lot easier if you can still stay in contact with your family and friends without making your condition worse. I use my talk to text app everywhere and I don’t care how ridiculous I look. I’m done with texting because something so silly is not going to impact my health in any way!
Use ice. I applied an ice pack as often as possible to help take away the stiffness and pain.
Apply Tiger Balm before bed. One of the best products for pain that I have ever use in my life is Tiger Balm. Keep in mind that I’ve had an intensive spinal surgery and have tried everything possible to ease the chronic pain that I feel every day of my life (other than medication, which I don’t take). Tiger Balm heats up the affected area(s) and provides relief (bonus if you also put a heating pad where you feel the pain).
Acupuncture. I am a firm believer in Chinese medicine. My acupuncturist told me that he sees a lot of cases of “texting thumbs” and that people my age and younger have similar thumb joints to those he used to see exclusively in his elderly patients (scary!). When he put the needles in my thumb the first time, I had an incredible burning pain, which he assured me was the energy redirecting and flowing through my sore joints.
The next day, I felt so much better (still in pain, but not nearly as bad). I go back to him regularly to treat my thumbs as well as my back and neck. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to give acupuncture a try. You never know what will help and it’s certainly a better alternative than being dependent on medication or surgery to ease your pain.
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