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Why Does My Wrist Hurt? Relieving Wrist Pain From Smartphone Use

Why Does My Wrist Hurt? Relieving Wrist Pain From Smartphone Use

Why does my wrist hurt? Pain in the wrists is more common than ever partially due to the prevalence of computer-focused work and handheld devices. Find out a common reason why you might be experiencing wrist pain and how to find relief.

Common Causes of Wrist Pain

Wrist pain may be caused by repetitive motions, carpal tunnel syndrome, injuries such as a wrist sprain or scaphoid fracture or other disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis ganglion cysts, osteoarthritis, tendinitis and more.

Certain things can put you at higher risk of having a wrist pain, such as participating in sports. For example, during a soccer game or a gymnastics pass, an athlete may fall badly on their outstretched hand. Certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis can also put an individual at a higher risk for wrist pain.

Repetitive wrist motions, such as frequently using a smartphone or typing on a keyboard, can also cause discomfort, inflammation and pain.

At Twin Boro, we treat a wide range of hand and wrist pain. One common complaint we hear from patients is about numbness or pain in the hand, especially the pinky and ring fingers. Sometimes referred to as “text claw,” (a popularized, non-medical term), cubital tunnel syndrome describes the cramping and aching muscles of all the fingers that can arise from constant scrolling, texting and gaming.

So, “why does my wrist hurt?” Your smartphone may be to blame.

Give the Smartphone a Break

Using a smartphone has become a normal way of life for most Americans, from young children to senior citizens. And, if you’re like the majority, your phone is in your hands from the moment you wake up until you go to bed, with little down time in between. In fact, according to EMarketer Inc., the average U.S. adult spends about three hours and 43 minutes on mobile devices, which is longer than time spent in front of the TV. The frequent use of smartphones can lead to painful wrists, fingers and hands for those who clutch their phone for several hours at a time.

Whether using these devices for work, learning, playing games, watching videos or scrolling through social media, an increasing number of people are experiencing wrist pain directly related to the use of computers or smartphones.

5 Ways to Help Relieve Wrist Pain

If your symptoms are minor, these tips may help alleviate some of your wrist pain.

  1. Do “Smart” Stretches
    Take a break from constant phone use. While you’re taking these breaks, do a few stretches such as the wrist circles and the “Prayer” stretch (place palms together in front of your face in a prayer position. Gently separate your elbows and lower hands toward your stomach until you feel a stretch in your wrists.)
    2. Massage
    Massaging your hand and forearms can help break up tense muscles and even help to calm muscle spasms.
    3. Apply Hot/Cold Compress
    Hot compress can help to relax the muscles and tendons to allow for better movement. Cold compress can help to reduce pain and swelling.
    4. Give it a Rest
    Consider using voice-to-text mode or a stylus pen to give your strained fingers and wrists a break and change up the repetitive movement pattern. Lifestyle changes such as lessening the time you spend on handheld devices can help to alleviate constant pain.
    5. Seek Professional Help
    If you continue having wrist pain after an extended period of time, even when you are not using your phone, it’s time to see a professional. The hand therapists at Twin Boro will do a thorough evaluation to understand why your wrist hurts. Physical therapy treatments for wrist pain will depend on the kind of injury but may include manual therapeutic technique, splitting, therapeutic exercises, etc.

Read More: Therapy for Hand Pain or Surgery >>

Experiencing Wrist Pain?

A Twin Boro Physical Therapist will assess your wrist condition and provide a combination of manual therapy and exercises for your hand to improve your recovery so that you can get back to enjoying a higher quality of life. Schedule your in-person or Telehealth appointment by calling 877-304-3000.

Schedule an

After submitting the form, a Twin Boro specialist will contact you within 24-48 hours to discuss your symptoms and schedule your evaluation appointment.

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