It’s never too late!
Living in a digital world means one thing: whether typing, texting, or swiping, our hands are always busy. And so it comes as no surprise that hand injuries and chronic pain have become all too common; I happen to struggle with tendon issues in my dominant hand. But there are a few preventative measures you can take if you don't want to end up like me (fun fact: typing this was not fun).
Give yourself two breaks per hour.
Frequent typing and texting can overwork or strain the muscles and tendons in your hands. Remember to take short breaks at least twice per hour to relax your muscles and joints. You can take this time to reflect upon your life choices and also stretch your hands and fingers.
Change your hardware.
My pain comes from hovering stiffly over and using my middle and index fingers on my trackpad. I’ve since switched to using a mouse, which has helped quite a lot. Using an external keyboard can also create more comfort when typing.
Proper posture when typing means that your wrists are straight and your arms are moving as you type; your elbows should be at 90 degrees or straighter. Basically, your arms should be doing most of the work.
When using your smartphone, switch the phone to your non-dominant hand every now and then or as often as you can remember. You can still use your dominant hand to touch the keys.
Get your exercise.
At home, or with the help of the physiotherapist, you can flex and stretch your fingers and wrists. An easy way to stretch your hand is to make a gentle fist for about 30 seconds and then release it, flexing all your fingers out wide.
You can also use a stress ball (or latex glove filled with flour) to exercise your hands.
Remember that, while I do know everything, I am not a health care professional. If you have a lot of pain, swelling, bruising, bones sticking out of your skin, etc., you should probably see a doctor.
- Are you feeling the pain of using your smartphone or spending too much time on your computer?
- How much time do you think you spend on your phone? You can find out by downloading this app.
- Are you ambidextrous?