Autocorrect has been the primary perpetrator for many awkward and get-me-outta-here text convos. But this time, autocorrect isn’t the one to blame. Believe it or not, TEXTING is the culprit. Shocking, I know. How could something we all love and can’t live without be guilty of anything?
Annie Levitz was a normal sixteen-year-old girl from Chicago. Like many other teenagers, she enjoyed texting her friends. She texted SO MUCH that she was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome (abcnews). Annie had sent about 100 texts per day, which is about average for American teenagers (Nielsen study).
According to Dr. Aksentijevich, “Carpal tunnel syndrome results when the median nerve, which extends from the forearm to the hand, becomes compressed at the wrist. When you text, type or make other repetitive motions, irritated tendons or other swelling can squeeze the nerves inside the narrow ‘carpal tunnel.'” (abcnews). “The median nerve provides feeling and movement to the “thumb side” of the hand (the palm, thumb, index finger, middle finger, and thumb side of the ring finger)” (NIH).
Symptoms include (NIH) :
- Numbness or tingling in the thumb and next two or three fingers of one or both hands
- Numbness or tingling of the palm of the hand
- Pain extending to the elbow
- Pain in wrist or hand in one or both hands
- Problems with fine finger movements (coordination) in one or both hands
- Wasting away of the muscle under the thumb (in advanced or long-term cases)
- Weak grip or difficulty carrying bags (a common complaint)
- Weakness in one or both hands
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to get it checked out by your doctor asap before surgery is your only option. Less extreme options include wearing a splint or taking medication.
This is the smartphone generation. wrud. We’re texting, facebooking, tweeting, tumbling, instagram-ing, yelping, foursquare-ing, and path-ing (the newest social network sensation) from our phones. This means that we’re increasing our chances for CTS. smh. So it might be a good idea to cut back. Take a break from the social network spiderweb and meet up with your friends at a coffee shop and just hang. Ross, Rachel, Joey, Monica, Chandler, and Phoebe practically did it everyday. They stayed best friends and they didn’t even have smartphones!
It’s kind of hard to believe that something as painless as texting can become a detriment to our health. If you’re not convinced that texting can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, then check out MTV’s True Life Special: I’m a Textaholic
By ALYSSA LLAMAS