You probably didn’t think it could really happen. No one picks up a smartphone thinking that it may cause serious injury requiring medical treatment. Sure, we joke about how one’s hand will get locked into that position if they keep gripping that phone. But no one actually expects it to happen.
As reported by local media, an unnamed woman from Changsha became one of the first to discover that it really can happen. And based on the video and story from Netshark, she learned it the hard way.
Apparently, the woman took a week off of work to unwind. There is no mention of what type of work she did that might have contributed to high-stress levels. Netshark picks up the story.
“Instead of traveling outdoors during her vacation, however, the woman spent most of her time focused on her smartphone. Based on the report from Pear Video (via Shanghaiist), she only would let go of her device when she fell asleep at night.”
Her hand became stuck in a grip-like position as a result of continuous use of her smartphone. As bizarre as it sounds, this scenario is quite plausible. She was diagnosed with a condition known as tenosynovitis. it is the inflammation and swelling of tendons.
There are various forms of this condition that are specific to the hand. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis affects the thumb. Stenosing tenosynovitis (better known as Trigger Finger) affects the thumb, middle finger, or fourth finger. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, dysfunction, and swelling. It can result in difficulty using the hand to complete loss of function.
Despite the unusual circumstances in this story, it does not have to be related to smartphone use. Other causes could include infection, arthritis, genetics, previous injury, strain, repetitive stress. Activities known to trigger the problem are writing, typing, sports, and the like.
Now that we can add smartphone use to the list, it is appropriate to mention that the makers of smartphone software are taking note of problems associated with overuse of their creations. In the latest versions of iOS and Android, there is a way to track, measure, and limit smartphone use.
You can see exactly how much time you are spending on each app and set limits. Those limits can be based on time of day or overall time spent. If you administrate a family, you can do the same for all of the devices in that family.