I was doing some research online this morning, regarding over-use injuries. Firstly, Rita, in your case the over-use injuries almost always says words like “discomfort” but rarely can I find words like “acute” or “excruciating” which makes me wonder about your situation and diagnosis. Please let me know how you are feeling and what you think about this. I was also researching this topic for a great friend and client or has been suffering in her thumb and non-chalantly said “maybe it’s from the kindle.” I found the following article and thought, with SO many of us using hand held devices, this was worth posting.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Overuse of the thumb to operate a mobile device may lead to Blackberry thumb
Blackberry thumb is a neologism that posits a form of repetitive strain injury caused by the frequent use of the thumb(s) to press buttons on PDAs, smart phones, or other mobile devices. The name of the condition comes from the BlackBerry, a popular brand of smartphones that debuted in 1999. Part of the rationale is that the thumb does not have the dexterity that the other four fingers have, and that it is especially common in those who use these devices for such activities at high speeds comparable to that of touch typing.
Blackberry thumb is a syndrome. In other words, it is a collection of symptoms and signs and not currently a discrete, testable pathophysiological process or disease. Until better science is available, it is best considered a social construction.
Symptoms of Blackberry thumb include aching and throbbing pain in the thumb or sometimes other fingers and in the wrist. Part of the syndrome of Blackberry thumb is disability of the hands.
Given the way mobile devices are constructed, particularly their small size, most users find it easiest and most tempting to use their thumbs to press the keys.
Experts recommend that Blackberry thumb can be prevented by use of other fingers to press buttons on handheld devices, and to vary which fingers are being used. They also encourage owners of these devices not to use them for lengthy typing tasks, such as “writing books.“
It is also important to consider that in the absence of better evidence, such speculative preventative measures risk stigmatizing hand use, which can increase illness behavior as seen in the Australian epidemic of repetitive strain injury.
The recovery process from Blackberry thumb can be lengthy, and may involve curtailing or altogether eliminating such use of a mobile device. In some extreme cases, surgery may be necessary. Current surgical alternatives include a tendon transfer whereby one of the bones at the base of the thumb is removed and a coiled tendon is put in its place as a cushion. For more advanced cases of arthritis, the basal thumb joint can be replaced. However, recovery can be lengthy and outcomes optimal only in patients who have low activity demands on the thumb joint.
One alternative medicine treatment is prolotherapy. Reeves has published a small randomized clinical trial showing some efficacy.Since surgery on small hand joints with severe arthritis can be traumatic with protracted recovery, newer treatments are being developed. Mesenchymal stem cell transplants offer one possible solution for cartilage replacement in damaged joints. Some spas offer massages as a method of cure.
The primary issue seems to be a misinterpretation or an overinterpretation of the nociception (pain related nerve signal) that can accompany arm use. Nociception can stimulate our built in “pain alarm,” alerting us to real or potential tissue damage; however, we learn to interpret and reassign these signals because most pains are false alarms. For instance, in many contexts activity related pain is seen as healthy: think yoga or other athletic/exercise endeavors.
Common features of activity-related pains that have not gotten the attention they deserve include stress, job burnout or dissatisfaction, and secondary gain (where a person benefits either directly or indirectly from being ill).
The above article represents still another reason we should try to use our electronic devices less and our whole bodies more.
As an FYI, the garage sale was a blast! We got rid of tons of stuff and made over 100 bucks towards the renovation of Kyle’s room, into a guest room. (Carole, I am sort of keeping you in mind as the guest that will hopefully spend some time in that room over the years to come). Since I HATE the thought of throwing things out (they DO end up in a garbage dump!!!) a garage sale is not just a win for the sellers and the buyers, but also a gift to the Earth.
I am going to sign-off now and protect all of my fingers and my wrists, too! I would hate to get “bloggers over-use injuries.” Though there hasn’t been such a thing reported yet…my guess is there will be!
Much love and peace on this Sunday.
Thanks for the words of encouragement. It was necessary for my dr. to double my anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxer meds yesterday. I was on ice, also all day. Hopefully, today will be a better day. This has been a tough road…..but I need to be positive and let the meds assist me. When I feel better, I will definitely go to an ortho to get a more thorough evaluation and diagnosis. I know that I continued to work out, even through my “discomfort,” but that all ceased when the level of pain turned to “excruciating.” I will keep you updated.
Enjoy your Sunday. I am glad that your garage sale was a success. That is always a “win-win” situation.
YOU have GREAT attitude! One that inspires me from across the country!
I’m sorry about your discomfort.
Take care and heal fast and well!!
Thank you, Carole. You made me smile. I have now switched to using a moist heating pad and this treatment seems to be working much better than the ice. My only problem is that keeping me “down” is a feat in itself!! My new road sign is “Proceed slowly with caution.”
Tomorrow will be a better day!