Hand Stretches to Avoid Pain from Texting
These days, everyone is constantly texting. And while texting is a great way to communicate, it may be doing more harm than good. This is especially true when it comes to the joints and tendons in your hands.
The more you text, the more likely you are to experience pain in these areas. But what can you do to alleviate this pain or prevent it from happening in the first place?
Hand exercises are a great place to start.
What does texting do to your hands?
Texting causes hand pain as the repetitive hand motions required to send a text can cause repetitive stress injuries that inflame and irritate the hand muscles and tendons. It can also affect flexibility in your fingers and range of motion in your wrist. While this is what happens, generally speaking, texting can contribute to some specific issues, including:
Texting thumb: Causes pain, inflammation, stiffness, and swelling of the thumb tendons. It may also cause popping or catching of the thumb with movement.
Trigger thumb: Pain is localized to the side of the thumb where it meets the hand.
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis: Pain is localized to the side of the wrist but still occurs with thumb movement.
Tendonitis: Inflammation of a hand or wrist tendon that occurs from overuse or injury
Arthritis: Inflammation, swelling, and tenderness of one or more joints in the hand. Texting can exacerbate the symptoms of arthritis.
Carpal tunnel syndrome: Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the hand caused by a pinched nerve or strain in the wrist.
Hand stretches to avoid pain from texting
Prayer wrist stretch: Bring your palms together in the prayer position. Spread your elbows apart and lower your hands down towards your waist until you feel your wrist tendons stretch. Hold this position for a few seconds. Repeat a few times for the best results.
Palm-to-floor wrist stretch: Put your left arm out in front of you with your palm facing the floor. Next, bend your wrist so that your fingertips are pointing down. Take your right hand and pull your fingertips towards your body until you feel your wrist stretch. After holding for a few seconds, repeat this exercise on your other hand. Try a few repetitions of this exercise for the best results.
Palm-to-ceiling wrist stretch: Put your right arm out in front of you with your palm facing the ceiling. Next, bend your wrist so that your fingertips are pointing down. Take your right hand and pull your fingertips towards your body until you feel your wrist tendons stretch. After holding for a few seconds, repeat this exercise on your left hand. Try a few different repetitions of this exercise for the best results.
Wrist circles: Extend your forearms in front of your body with your palms facing the floor. Begin moving your wrists up and down to loosen them up. Begin to rotate your wrists in circles slowly. Rotate towards the outside of your body then the inside of your body. Repeat this exercise a few times for the best results.
Hand open-and-close: Extend your forearms in front of your body and squeeze your hands into fists. Next, open your hands and spread your fingers as wide as possible to stretch out the area. Repeat this exercise a few times for the best results.
Thumb stretch: Take your left hand with your thumb pointing towards your body. Bring one hand close to your body and use the index finger on your opposite hand to stretch the thumb back towards the top of the arm. Then, stretch it back the other way towards the underside of the arm. Hold this stretch for about five seconds and repeat for a total of 20 repetitions each day.
Elastic band stretch: Take an elastic band and place it around your fingers and thumb. Gently move your thumb against the band to stretch it out. Repeat this stretch 10 times for each hand.
Table stretch: Place your hand palm-down on top of a table. While keeping your hand still, move your thumb out to the side as far as you can so you feel it stretch. Move your thumb back to your fingers and repeat five to 10 times on each hand.
Other tips to avoid pain from texting
Tip 1: Hold your phone properly
You can help avoid pain from texting by holding your phone properly while using it. Many people put a lot of stress on their thumbs, from holding their phones to text. They hold their phone in one hand and use that same thumb to type out text messages. Others use both thumbs to text.
The best pain relief for hand pain is not to use your thumbs at all. Instead, try handing your phone in one hand and using the index finger on your other hand to type out your messages. If possible, try setting your phone down on a hard surface like a table and use your index fingers to type and scroll on the device.
Tip 2: Choose the right device
It seems like phones are getting bigger and bigger these days. For example, the new Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch display. At the same time, the average size of a female hand is only slightly larger at 6.8 inches. As a result, a phone this large might not be ideal for those with smaller hands as it would easily stretch out the fingers — contributing to pain.
The good news is that there are smaller devices out there to choose from. If you don’t want the huge iPhone 13 Pro Max, you could use the iPhone 13 Mini. It has a 5.4-inch display. There are also medium-sized options to choose from in the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 with 6.1-inch displays.
Tip 3: Get creative
Even if you can’t eliminate texting, there are creative ways to text to avoid pain. For instance, you can text using abbreviations to shorten your messages and the use of your thumb. You can also use “voice to text” functions to avoid using your thumbs at all!
You can send actual voice messages on some devices instead of typing everything out either by using your own thumbs or by using artificial intelligence that tends to mess up.
Wrap up on pain from texting
When you follow these stretches and tips, you can comfortably text all you want! If you’re looking for an easy way to cut down on your texting while still communicating with the people in your life, you need to check out TextSanity.