Giving a Thumbs Up?

Text Thumb- A modern day problem on the rise.


Repetitive strain injury of the thumb better known as ‘text thumb’ is on the rise. As we spend more time on our mobiles phones and other tablet devices, we increase the likelihood of injury to our thumbs, by repetitively using them to type and scroll.


A repetitive strain injury is a result of inflammation and even damage of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and/or nerves of the part of the body that is repeatedly used. With text thumb, the fine repetitive movements cause tiny tears in the muscles and tendons.  As a result the muscles contract and this decreases the range of motion. Furthermore the tendons run out of lubrication, as there is insufficient time to rest and recover. The inflammation of the muscles and tendons can also press on the surrounding nerves due to the swelling. Collectively a person experiences pain, stiffness and sometimes twitching, numbness and hypersensitivity to touch.




The damage in text thumb is usually not permanent. With time inflammation will usually subside, symptoms like pain resolve and eventually normal flexibility will return. Physical therapy such as chiropractic can help to restore range of motion and function of the thumb.


Here at Harding Chiropractic we can help to speed up the recovery of the injury and give advice on rehabilitation exercises to strengthen and condition the thumb. Icing the thumb can also be helpful, as well as reducing the amount you use the thumb to text. Changing your texting fingers and giving the injured thumb a chance to rest are other ways to help reduce the strain. Text thumb is something we see often, so don’t hesitate to come for treatment if you suffer with it.


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