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Is being glued to your mobile giving you the smartphone pinky? Let’s find out

Published on:6 April 2020, 15:53pm IST
While covid-19 has given us some idle time, we often spend it on our phones. Let’s discover how smartphone addiction is causing the ‘smartphone pinky'
Team Health Shots
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Want to remind them to switch off the light,?Just text them! Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

As covid-19 has us all quarantined, do you often find yourself glued to your smartphone for hours? In this testing time when going out is not an option, our smartphone has become the only portal to the outside world. Needless to say, too much of anything is bad. It’s time we address our smartphone addiction especially during this time of self-isolation. 

This smartphone addiction has managed to raise its own set of health hazards. There have been an increasing number of smartphone users who complain about developing a deformity in their ‘pinky finger’.

Also, Read: 3 rock-solid reasons why you need to stop checking your phone first thing in the morning

Dr Sachin Bhonsle, senior consultant, orthopedic Surgeon, Fortis Hospital Mulund says that the ‘pinky finger’ syndrome is a condition where the little finger bears the weight of the heavy smartphone for hours leading to a painful syndrome.

With the increased usage of bigger and wider screen smartphones, the multiple messages or emails types causes the thumb and two other fingers to be excessively-used.

smartphone
Staying glued to your smartphone is a kind of addiction called Nomophobia. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

He added that, through these repetitive movements, hypermobility of the small joints in the fingers occurs while the ligaments around the thumb slowly become stressed.

Quiz time: Just how addicted are you to your smartphone? Let this quiz answer that for you

“Looking at this long term, over-use of the fingers causes stress in a repetitive manner and can further lead to osteoarthritis, as the cartilage between the joints begins to degenerate. When arthritis sets in the fingers, there is a possibility of excess bone formation around the joints, which can then lead to enlargement or deformation of the finger,” Dr Bhonsle explains.

While this isn’t seriously injurious to health, it does impact and influence the degenerative change on joints. Some of the other factors include: diet, family history and underlying health conditions.

Also, Read: My #momsays put the phone away to sleep better. And science agrees!

Here are a few tips that Dr Bhonsle suggests to keep away from the ‘smartphone pinky’ :

  • Put down the smartphone when you get conscious of its excessive usage.
  • Give yourself specific shorter durations for using it.
  • If you’re obsessed with both gaming and texting, then choose to do them separately.
  • Put your phone down much before your hand starts to hurt.
  • Incorporate hand exercises by stretching the fingers and hand joints.
  • As an alternative to typing, you can use a swipe keyboard or speech
  • While you’re watching videos or movies, you can use a stand for your smartphone or airplay the content on TV.
  • In case your hand starts to hurt, you can consume an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Give your other hand a chance: You can switch between your hands after short intervals so it isn’t held in one hand for longer durations.
  •  If these tips don’t offer much help, immediately seek medical help. 

It’s time you act responsibly while using your smartphone and bring down the stress on the joints and tendons of the hands. In these testing times, along with maintaining sanitization we must take care of our hand health.  

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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