Text claw might not be an official medical diagnosis, but many tech-savvy individuals have definitely felt the pangs of texting, typing, or web browsing. It’s the pain you get throughout your wrist and hands after constant use. Sometimes this can lead to tendonitis, which causes wrist pain, aching, numbness, and the loss of strength. It can actually make you very miserable, and small tasks may seem hard to complete. However, this should not be confused with carpal tunnel syndrome, although swelling from tendonitis can actually cause carpal tunnel.
“There's no specific diagnosis that arises from people using technology devices," said Dr. Aaron Daluiski, chief of the Hand and Upper Extremity Service at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, to The Huffington Post. However, doing any sort of small motor activity-like texting or typing can lead to pain in the tendons and muscles.
According to the American College of Rheumatology, tendonitis (stemming from text claw) is the breakdown of soft tissue surrounding the muscle and bones, and it is often very tender to touch. When you are excessively using your iPad, iPhone, or other hand-held device it’s important to rule out carpal tunnel syndrome by seeing your primary care physician or rheumatologist. If you start feeling a pain in your wrists from texting too much, there are a few things you can do to help alleviate that pain.
1. Rest: Taking a few moments during an extended period of time to rest is necessary in order to help alleviate the pain. And by taking breaks, you’re reducing the chances of the pain developing into a serious problem.
2. Ice: Place ice on the area twice a day for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Relief: By taking either aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen you’ll reduce the inflammation. But be sure that this pain is not some sort of infection as an antibiotic might be needed.
4. Wrist Brace: Sometimes the support of a brace or other device can help to alleviate the pain without taking any medicines. They’re usually decently affordable, or custom ones can be made if your case is much more severe.
5. Wrist Stretches: Stretching your wrist using a few simple exercises daily can alleviate some of the pain and keep your wrists and hand in working motion. Take a look at a few of the exercises here: wrist exercise.