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How overuse of smartphones can create problems for your hand

Regular smartphone users are more prone to a condition known commonly as an overly enlarged median nerve and suffer from decreased hand function and pinch strength, as per a new global study.

However, as per the study published on Muscle & Nerve website, this condition cannot be connected with the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, as reported by several medical websites.

As per Esra Erkol Inal, lead author from the Turkish Suleyman Demirel University, the clinical relevance of this study cannot be exactly known. Further studies will surely shed light on the clinical relevance of the concept that deals with the condition of enlargement of median nerves that is suffered by heavy smartphone users. She also stated that all youngsters should be aware of the risks associated with the use of these devices.

A smartphone forces the user to let the wrist go through constant extension or flexion and constantly keep their thumb moving to send text messages. All these movements are involved with the etio pathophysiology of carpal tunnel syndrome, as per expert medical researchers.

Courtesy -mobilefomo.com
Courtesy – mobilefomo.com

As per in depth research, students spend more than three hours every day for emailing, texting, browsing the World Wide Web and scheduling on their smartphones and tablets.

The study was conducted with 102 students from several universities, out of which, 66 students used handheld devices like smartphones, and 36 did not use smartphones. The participants were divided by the researchers into three separate groups based on the level at which they use their smartphones: the three groups were nonusers, low and high users.

The researchers came up with a Smartphone Addiction Scale or SAS to rate the level of smartphone usage. There is no official plan or strategy for using this scale to measure the level of addiction among smartphone users, but based on the level of internet addiction, it is quite easy to understand the level at which overuse of smartphones can be defined.

The overuse of smartphones can be defined by simply identifying certain symptoms, such as withdrawal symptoms, tolerance, mood deregulation, preoccupation, loss of control and craving. The participants who scored 84 or higher on the SAS were termed as heavy smartphone users, and those with lower scores were deemed to be light users.

 

Smartphone Addiction Infographics - Courtesy www.shutterstock.com
Smartphone Addiction Infographics – Courtesy www.shutterstock.com

Several functional evaluations were carried out by the researchers. They discovered that the ratios of enlarged median nerves were quite high among heavy smartphone users, when compared with people who did not use smartphones. The enlargement of FPL tendon was also discovered among all groups with the help of USG X-Ray, but the symptom was more prominent among heavy users.

When examining the hand of heavy smartphone users, all physicians should mind the flexor pollicis longus tendon and the median nerve, lest it be damaged. The study also uncovered the fact that pinch strength could easily be correlated with the SAS scores of the participants. As the SAS score increased, the heavy smartphone users suffered an increased pain in the thumb. The study showed many things that the world did not know about heavy smartphone usage.

So Guys, I would suggest to take atleast 30 mins of break after using your mobile phone continuously for 45 mins or more.

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Featured image Credit:www.modesto-chiro.com

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