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Saturday, January 30, 2010

From Blackberry Thumb to Cell Phone Elbow

Order ADVENTURX for Compartment Syndrome, Cell Phone Elbow, Blackberry Thumb and more

Jan 30, 2010

A new problem with similarity: Espresso maker's wrist (West J Med, 1990).  Notice is was recognized 20 years ago.  

'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age

By Jennifer Thomas HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- First came Nintendo thumb. Then, Guitar Hero wrist. Now, for the latest affliction of the wired age, it's cell phone elbow.

Medically known as cubital tunnel syndrome, cell phone elbow is numbness, tingling and pain in the forearm and hand caused by compression of the ulnar nerve, which passes along the bony bump on the inside of the elbow.

One of the causes of pressure on the ulnar nerve? Too much gabbing, often brought on by those cell phone plans with unlimited minutes, experts say.

Prolonged flexing of the elbow, such as when you hold a cell phone to your ear while closing sales, talking to your mother or keeping tabs on your teens while you're at work, puts tension on the ulnar nerve. In susceptible people, holding the bent-elbow position for extended periods can lead to decreased blood flow, inflammation and compression of the nerve.

"Repetitive, sustained stretching of the nerve is like stepping on a garden hose," said Dr. Peter J. Evans, director of the Cleveland Clinic's Hand and Upper Extremity Center. "With the hose, you're blocking the flow of water. With the elbow, you're blocking the blood flow to the nerve, which causes it to misfire and short circuit."

The first symptoms patients often notice include numbness, tingling or aching in the forearm and hand, a pain similar to hitting your "funny bone." (The unpleasant sensation of hitting your "funny bone" is actually your ulnar nerve.)

As symptoms progress, they can include a loss of muscle strength, coordination and mobility that can make writing and typing difficult. In chronic, untreated cases, the ring finger and pinky can become clawed, Evans and colleagues note in a report in the May issue of the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine.

Though there are no solid figures on how many people have cell phone elbow, hand specialists say the incidence is increasing along with the 3.3 billion cell phone service contracts active worldwide, Evans said.

Still, the disorder is less common than carpal tunnel syndrome, a related condition that causes pain in the hand and wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve that runs from the forearm into the hand.

"Cubital tunnel is the second most common compression syndrome we see," said Heather Turkopp, an occupational therapist and certified hand specialist at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.

Most people who get cubital tunnel syndrome are middle-aged or older. Women get cubital tunnel syndrome more often than men -- and it's probably not because they talk more.

Although the precise reasons are unknown, women may be more susceptible due to hormonal fluctuations or their anatomy, Evans said.

And too much yakking isn't the only cause of cubital tunnel syndrome. Other causes may include sleeping with the elbows bent and tucked up into the chest, sitting at a desk with the elbows flexed at an angle greater than 90 degrees and driving with your elbow propped on the window for extended periods, he said.

In most cases, minor lifestyle changes can help alleviate symptoms, including using a hands-free headset for your cell phone. If sleep position is the problem, an elbow pad to keep the arm straighter at night can help.

More serious cases are referred to an occupational therapist, who may use ultrasound to loosen scar tissue that can form around the nerve as a result of the inflammation, as well as stretching, deep massage and "nerve-gliding" exercises to reduce pressure on the nerve, Turkopp said.

Doctors may also use anti-inflammatory injections or surgery.

Seeing your doctor soon if you're experiencing any numbness or tingling in your hand or forearm can prevent the problem from progressing to that point, Evans said.

Saturday, February 07, 2009
Not Smart
I might today wish that I had a phone in my shoe. It might be that those texting gadgets are today's version. Dialing and thumb or finger actions seems to promote some problems. We do know from actual use that ADVENTURX helps, and this is based on some old and well known scientific research regarding the use of minerals and vitamins for this and similar conditions such as Carpal Tunnel.
Posted by herbalYODA at 08:36 0 comments Links to this post
Labels: ADVENTURX, Blackberry Thumb, natural care, texting
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Blackberry Thumb
Don't despair, help is available, surgery may be avoided.

This was originally posted back in May 2008. We overlooked what the "help" is.

It happens to be our ADVENTURX product, originally developed for xtreme sports.

All skiers and snowboarders - now that its winter in the north, don't forget your bottle, now 2-4-1 through 12/31.

BlackBerry Thumb: Real Illness or Just Dumb?
IC Pain 4U: Thumb Malady Said to Strike Frequent Text Messagers
By Daniel J. DeNoon
WebMD Health NewsJan. 26, 2005 -- Do your thumbs hurt? If you're sending lots of text messages, you may have the trendiest new malady: "BlackBerry thumb."

Yes, you can peck out text messages with any finger. But users of popular wireless devices such as the BlackBerry type much faster by pecking out messages with their thumbs. Many people soon learn to type 40 words a minute.

Whatever your thumb-typing speed, lots of messages mean lots of repetitive thumb motions. And that could mean trouble, says Alan Hedge, PhD, director of the human factors and ergonomics research group at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

"The thumb is not a very dexterous part of the hand," Hedge tells WebMD. "It is really designed as a stabilizer for pinch gripping with a finger. That is why you only have two of them, not eight. It is the fingers that have dexterity, not the thumb."

The full-size keyboard was designed with this in mind. One uses one's dexterous fingers for lightning strikes on the letter keys. One reserves one's relatively clumsy thumbs for the humble task of striking the spacebar.

"When you switch that around, you put a lot of strain on the thumb," Hedge says. "So if you persist in typing a lot of information with your thumbs, you risk injury."

Hand surgeon Prosper Benhaim, MD, associate professor of orthopaedic and plastic surgery at UCLA, agrees that too much thumbing could be injurious.

"Anything that causes repeat motion can predispose someone to injuries of various sorts, whether it is tendinitis or aggravating underlying arthritis," Benhaim tells WebMD. "These things can be made worse or even initiated by overuse. But thumb typing is very repetitive, and the keys are so small it makes it difficult to navigate around easily. Because it is so small, people are likely to press harder vs. a larger keyboard. So the thumb on the BlackBerry does more than you would do with your fingers on a keyboard.'

BlackBerry Thumb: Tendinitis, Aggravated Arthritis
What kinds of injuries are possible?

"BlackBerry users include a significant segment of the population old enough to be developing arthritis - and this can aggravate it," Benhaim says. "And there different types of tendinitis. One is trigger thumb. trigger thumb. The other is de Quervain's tenosynovitis, involving the tendons on the side of the wrist right where the forearm joins the wrist. These tendons participate in controlling the thumb and are very sensitive to repetitive motions."

These kinds of injuries are not new. Back in the 1980s, these injuries had a different name - and a different blame, says hand-injury specialist Gary McGillivary, MD, assistant professor of orthopaedics at Atlanta's Emory University.

"This is like what they used to write about Nintendo thumb - they called it nintendonitis," McGillivary tells WebMD.

Video game players have sometimes come down with rather serious injuries, says David A. Allan, MD, PhD, director of the repetitive strain injury center and supervisor of occupational medicine at the University of Pennsylvania's Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia.

"I saw one kid who just played and played video games for seven hours at a stretch," Allan tells WebMD. "His thumb was only a small portion of his problem - his whole arm was affected." Allen says the child had nerve damage in his shoulder as well.

But it's rare for repeat motion injuries to involve long-lasting nerve damage, Allan says.

BlackBerry Thumb Rx: Rest Your Weary Digits
What's the treatment for BlackBerry thumb? Lay off thumb typing, the experts tell WebMD.

"If they have true tendinitis, I might give them a cortisone shot," Benhaim says. "Or I might use a thumb brace, maybe. I would certainly tell them to rest it. And then to minimize the stress and strain. Do more typing on your keyboard and then sync over to your BlackBerry rather than typing longer messages on BlackBerry itself."

Merchandisers have been quick to cash in on the trend. Several thumb splints and glove-type treatments are available. But Allan warns that these quick cures may actually aggravate the problem.

"With the thumb splint, it is very iffy that it will change the mechanics of the motion to make it better. And it might make it worse," he says.

BlackBerry Thumb Epidemic?
All the media fuss might lead you to think that there's an epidemic under way. Not so, Benhaim says.

"I do not think it is as big a deal as people say. I've seen video-game thumbs a lot, but no there's no epidemic," he says.

In fact, none of the hand experts who spoke with WebMD has seen a single patient with BlackBerry thumb.

"I haven't seen it," says Benhaim.

"I haven't seen any patients with this," says McGillivary.

"Nobody has yet been referred to me with BlackBerry thumb," says Allan.

Read more here.

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