BlackBerry Thumb

Body Talk

By Staff

Originally published in Body Sense magazine, Spring/Summer 2007.

The huge success in the past few years of the BlackBerry and other personal digital assistant (PDA) devices has led to a new injury. Margot Miller, a physical therapist and president of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Occupational Health Special Interest Group, indicates that BlackBerry thumb is “a catch-all phrase for repetitive stress injury, causing pain and/or numbness in the thumbs and joints of the hand.” Swelling, hand throbbing, and tendonitis are among the symptoms associated with using the thumb for composition of e-mails and prolonged instant messaging. While stretching and ice help alleviate the condition for some, massage works for others. Be sure to let your massage therapist know if you’re suffering from any of these tech-related symptoms.