How to Manage Smarthphone Thumb

Several months back, I started to have pain at the base of my right thumb when I texted or typed on my smartphone.

I had tenderness along the joint line where my thumb meets my wrist.  The problem continued to get worse…if I typed or texted on my phone for more the a few minutes, my thumb and joint would burn. I had just started using a tablet computer for my documentation, so was using my thumbs a lot more than I was used to type and text.

What was going on?

Smartphone thumb.

According to a Mayo Clinic Study, smartphone thumb is caused by the repetitive abnormal motion required to text and type on a mobile device.  The researchers have not come to a final conclusion, as studies are ongoing, but smartphone thumb could contribute to premature osteoarthritis in the carpometacarpal joint of the thumb.

What can you do about smartphone thumb?

Here is a video I’ve put together with a few tips.

Chris Schoolfield, PT, DPT, GCS
HouseCalls Physiotherapy
Jonesboro, Arkansas