Today people spend hours holding up their smartphones and keeping their necks bent at uncomfortable angles. This has led to people complaining of pain in their hands, wrists, and neck in record numbers. Here are eight tips to avoid having this type of joint pain.
1. Stretching Exercises
Take breaks from holding your smartphone and perform stretching exercises with your neck, wrists, and fingers at regular intervals. Some basic exercises you can perform are:
- Lay your palm flat on a table and slowly pull one finger up using your other hand, bending the finger back as much as possible. Repeat the process for every finger.
- Place your palms against each other in a praying pose. Apply downward pressure with your hands, palms still pressed together until you feel a stretch. Hold the pose for a few seconds and repeat three times.
- Slowly turn your head left and right and up and down. Rotate your head in a clockwise and anticlockwise direction. Repeat the process for at least five minutes, taking pauses after every turn.
- Get a stress ball and squeeze it gently a dozen times.
- Fan your fingers out until they are stretched and as far apart from each other as possible. Repeat the movement ten times.
2. Use Both Fingers for Typing
Most of us fall into the habit of typing exclusively with our dominant hand on our smartphone. This does not do any favors to the thumb of that hand, which often does most of the typing. The resulting thumb pain is known as “texting thumb”.
This condition can be avoided if you use both hands while typing. This way both your thumbs will be able to share in the task of typing. You can also switch to using a stylus and give your thumbs a rest.
3. Use the Swipe-Typing Feature
You can type using the “swiping” feature of many digital keyboards. This method of typing takes some getting used to but is much quicker and does not put as much stress on your fingers as regular typing. Gboard and Swiftkey are a few excellent swiping-keyboard apps.
4. Employ Speech-to-Text
Most smartphones nowadays come with extremely useful but often underused speech-to-text options. This facility employs the Smartphone’s AI, which listens to your commands and turns them into action. For example, you can dictate a message, and the AI will turn it into a text message. Or you can issue verbal commands to your phone to select an option on the screen, open an app, search for a subject online, etc.
5. Type More Efficiently
The older generation might complain about the Internet teaching bad writing skills, but using emojis, abbreviations, and shorter sentences is a good way to minimize the amount of time you spend typing on your phone and avoid hand soreness or injury.
6. Use Ice Packs
Hand injury due to excessive mobile use develops over time. One of the first symptoms is when your hand becomes inflamed and starts throbbing. You must address the problem right then by placing an ice pack on the inflamed area. Keep the ice pack on the swollen area until the swelling and redness is reduced, then give your hand a rest for a few days before starting to type again.
7. Use Speakerphone or Earphones
Talking on your smartphone for hours can result in neck cramps. Instead, make use of the speakerphone option so you don’t need to have your phone pressed up against your ear and your neck bent at an awkward angle for long periods.
If you are concerned about someone overhearing you, use earphones. You will be able to hear the caller more clearly in addition to giving your neck a rest.
8. Use Proper Video-Viewing Position
Online binging on Internet videos is the new fad, and it is playing havoc on your body. People frequently sit propped up on an elbow or lying back with their necks raised up while watching successive videos and become so engrossed that they stay in that uncomfortable position until it becomes noticeably painful.
If you’re binging, make sure you’re doing so while sitting in a proper position. Also, take breaks and just walk around for a bit if you have been in one position for too long to get your blood circulation going again.
Ultimately, the best result will be gained if you cut down on the time spent on your smartphone altogether. The greater your dependence on your smartphone, the more toll it will take on your head, neck, and arm joints.