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Tendonitis due to excessive cell phone use

29 August 2018

Tendons are cord-like structures located where a muscle tightens to connect to a bone. The tendon is more fibrous and denser than the fleshy and elastic muscle. A tendon transmits force from muscle to bone to generate movement. Generally, tendonitis is very tender to the touch.

What is tendonitis?

It is the inflammation or degeneration of the soft tissues around the muscles and bones. Immediate treatment consists of rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Danger signs include rapidly worsening pain, redness, swelling, or a sudden inability to move a joint.

The pain it causes can be quite intense and often comes on suddenly. As with arthritis, the pain worsens with movement. Unlike arthritis, the pain usually occurs in parts of the body far from a joint. Although the problem may be recurrent or chronic in some people, it is more often short-term, especially if treated early.

What are the causes?

Tendonitis can occur due to a sudden severe injury. However, more often it is the result of tendon overuse.

To determine the cause of these problems, it is important to see your doctor, who will perform a careful physical examination. Tenderness along the tendon or at a specific point suggests tendonitis. The pain occurs when the muscle to which the tendon is attached works against resistance as part of the examination.

Why does cell phone use cause tendonitis?

Cell phones came to offer infinite possibilities to make people’s lives easier, from fulfilling the original purpose of making communication and daily tasks – work or otherwise- increasingly easier, to providing different options for leisure time, but excessive use of smartphones also has its complications: it can trigger a pathology, such as tendonitis.

They can also cause pain in the back, neck, and muscle stiffness as a result of poor body mobility or maintaining inadequate posture for an extended period. The most common problems are tendonitis in the hand and even in the wrist and, above all, the thumb, since it is the most active during the use of cell phones

Can it be avoided?

There are ways to prevent these problems from occurring, such as:

  • Learn and maintain proper posture and body mechanics.
  • Use the index finger from time to time.
  • Send voice notes, instead of just text.
  • Avoid staying in the same position for too long. Take breaks or change positions every 20 to 40 minutes.
  • Perform stretching exercises for the hands’ joints and fingers.
  • Stop doing any activity that causes pain.

At ABC Medical Center’s Orthopedics and Traumatology Center, we can provide you with specialized care. Contact us!

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