While it may be convenient, texting may also be hazardous to your health. You probably already know that texting behind the wheel isn’t a good idea, but did you know that excessive use of your cellphone may actually lead to thumb osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis is a serious condition that requires the expert care of an orthopedist in Queens . Read on to learn more about the link between texting and thumb arthritis.

Understanding Thumb Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a type of degenerative joint disease. Your joints, including the joints of your thumb, are normally protected by cartilage. Cartilage is a tough, fibrous tissue that prevents the ends of bones from rubbing against each other. Patients with osteoarthritis have deterioration of the cartilage. Osteoarthritis of the thumb may be caused by repetitive motions such as excessive texting. Although it’s too soon to tell whether this type of arthritis is definitively linked to texting and gaming, some experts have noted that there is an alarming rise of arthritis pain among young children and teens. These individuals tend to spend hours each day with media devices.

Identifying the Symptoms

If you have osteoarthritis of the thumb, you’re likely to notice that you develop symptoms gradually and that they grow worse over time. Initially, you may experience pain with movement of the thumb joint, such as when you use your cellphone or turn a doorknob. Over time, you may suffer from pain even while your hands are at rest. Other symptoms may include problems gripping objects, reduced range of motion, and swelling or stiffness of the thumb joint. The joint may also begin to appear enlarged.

Treating Thumb Osteoarthritis

An orthopedist can develop an effective treatment plan for you, which may involve modifying your texting habits. You may also benefit from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), occupational therapy, physical therapy, splinting, or steroid injections. For severe cases of osteoarthritis, an orthopedic surgeon may recommend surgery.

At Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine , our specialists provide comprehensive care for patients who have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in Queens. Our orthopedic specialists also treat sports injuries such as sprains, strains, fractures, and tendinitis. If you suspect you may have a medical problem of the musculoskeletal system, call us at (718) 690-9520 for an appointment.

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