If you experiencing discomfort in your neck, shoulders and thumbs hunching over while you're sending a WhatsApp message, calling a friend, surfing the internet mor just jamming your favorite game, spending long periods of time on your mobile devices can lead to repetitive stress injuries..
So what can you do to prevent this? Well if you do any of the following exercises it can help to reduce the chances of strain in your hands and neck.
- Sit up and look straight ahead.
- Pick up your phone/tabled or open your browser on desktop and visit this link to download our app, once installed put your phone down and proceed with the next step.
- Turn your head to the left and look over your left shoulder; hold this position for about 5 seconds, then release and do the same on the right side.
- Raise your shoulders up to your ears; hold for 5 seconds, then release.
- Next, circle your shoulders: Roll your shoulders towards the chest a total of 5 times; now, roll shoulders towards the back.
Do "Smartphone Stretches"
Taking breaks from constant phone use is important. Whilst you're taking these breaks, be sure to flex your wrist, hand tendons and muscles – forward then backward to keep them flexible.
Give your thumbs a rest
Your thumb is probably the most used appendage, which can eventually lead to thumb arthritis, tendinitis and contractures. To prevent "texting thumb", you should alternate using your other fingers for typing on the screen. A stylus pen can also help keep your wrist straight.
1. Palm Exercise
Alternate tapping the palm of your hand and the back of your hand against your thigh as quickly as you can. Repeat 20 times.
2. Finger Exercise
Tap each finger with the thumb of the same hand. Start with the thumb and index finger, progress to the pinky, then reverse direction. Repeat 20 times.
3. Hand Exercise
Open your hands and spread fingers as far apart as possible. Hold for 10 seconds; relax. Repeat 8 times.
4. Arm Exercise
Fold your hands together; turn your palms away from your body as you extend your arms forward. Hold for 10 seconds; release. Variation: Extend your arms overhead. Repeat 8 times.
And lastly, make use hands-free features on your phone
If you are experiencing hand pain but absolutely have to send a couple more text messages, switch on your phone to voice-to-text mode so you can give your strained fingers, hands and wrists some rest.
If you do these exercises regularly it will help relieve the tension and soreness. If you continue to experience symptoms, go check out your physical therapist for a evaluation.