Your iPhone addiction is giving you carpal tunnel

Smartphone addiction could be doing damage and causing pain — including numbness and tingling — in your hands and wrists, a study has found.

An international study, starting with 500 students, found that 54 percent of “intensive” users — those using devices more than three hours per day — showed signs of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Intensive users showed signs of effects on the median nerve within the carpal tunnel and the transverse carpal ligament, resulting in numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand.

In a study of 48 university students by Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University, intensive users of electronic devices reported more wrist/hand pain than non-intensive users. The findings were published in Muscle and Nerve.

The findings indicate that caution may be warranted when using handheld electronic devices, in order to minimize the chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

“Our prior work identified that out of 500 students, 54 percent of intensive users and 12 percent of non-intensive users reported musculoskeletal symptoms in relation to use of electronic devices.”

“We randomly selected 48 students using stratified sampling from the intensive and non-intensive users for further investigation and our results showed that excessive use of electronic devices may be linked to a greater risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome,” said Dr. Peter White, co-author of the study.

“Therefore, vigilance in educating and monitoring young people using electronic devices is important, especially children and adolescents as they are less capable of self-regulating.”


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