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Old 04-23-2005, 07:17 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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"BlackBerry thumb" syndrome affecting mobile users

The BlackBerry thumb is what orthopedists refer to the increasing amount of carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis caused by the overuse of mobile devices (especially those with tiny keyboards). First the area between your thumb and wrist begin to throb, and in more severe cases you are forced by chronic pain to put your device down.

The Washington Post writes:

Workplace injuries in white-collar jobs have grown with the widespread use of mobile communications technology. It used to be that worker's compensation was reserved mostly for blue-collar workers who smashed fingers in heavy machinery or fell off ladders. Factory workers complained for years of what were then mysterious ailments -- carpal tunnel, tendinitis and "trigger finger." Today, those injuries have spread across cubicle-land.

To avoid from this kind of injury, you should try to hold your device properly (keep your wrists in a more upright position), take more breaks, and write fewer and shorter notes and messages.
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Old 04-23-2005, 11:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander
To avoid from this kind of injury, you should try to hold your device properly (keep your wrists in a more upright position), take more breaks, and write fewer and shorter notes and messages.
One way to relieve the first symptoms is to use a wrist split while sleeping. I've tried it and it works.
Quote:
How is CTS treated?
Splinting the wrist in a straight position is the most important non surgical treatment. When the wrist is straight the size of the carpal tunnel is maximal. If the wrist is bent in either direction the tunnel becomes smaller and may initiate symptoms.

* Myth--The splint doesn't need to worn at night.
* Truth-- At night is the most important time to wear the splint.
http://www.clevelandclinic.org/healt...asp?index=7081

Google can help you to find some exercise suggestions. Key words: rsi, carpal tunnel, exercises, etc.

Also, there are lots of programs for your computer to help you avoid this condition. The one I use is WorkPace (www.workpace.com). I've tried also rsiguard (rsiguard.com). Both are superb.

Last edited by Francesco; 04-23-2005 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 04-24-2005, 03:04 PM   #3
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Thanks Francesco for the link. I think I am suffering from this type of injury. Sometimes, in the evening, my hand hurts, especially in the area around thumb and index finger. Never had this problem before!!
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Old 04-25-2005, 08:07 AM   #4
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I have it too sometimes when I am reading e-books on my PDA. When my index finger (from holding the stylus) is starting to hurt I know it it time to put the e-book to the side.
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Old 04-25-2005, 08:56 AM   #5
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Francesco - The splint tip about sleeping with it is so true. My doctor gave me one when I was having trouble from desktop PC usage. It makes a big difference if you just wear it while you sleep. I do that every once in a while when I start to feel discomfort and it fixes me right up. I also try to type with less "pounding" as that seems to help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorow
I have it too sometimes when I am reading e-books on my PDA. When my index finger (from holding the stylus) is starting to hurt I know it it time to put the e-book to the side.
I get pain in the heel of my hand by the wrist. For me it's usually from playing solitaire too long! (BTW, I use Solitaire City and it's great. Very addictive and I like it more and more the longer I have it. Available for Palm and PPC. Highly recommended!)

But for e-books I always use my thumb and the d-pad. Very comfortable for me.
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