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Smartphones and social media have become an increasingly important part of our lives. We spend many hours scrolling on various social platforms to stay connected with loved ones, learn new things or just as a form of stress relief to end the day.

However, a number of individuals have noticed finger, hand and elbow pains from the prolonged used of smartphones for scrolling and browsing through social media.


Reasons You Could Be Feeling Pain

There are a few reasons why your hands and elbow could be hurting after too much browsing, texting or smartphone use.

Cell Phone Elbow

The cell phone elbow uses the medical term cubital tunnel syndrome. This occurs when there is a nerve compression syndrome that can cause tingling, numbness or pain in the forearm and elbow. This syndrome tends to happen when you are constantly talking on the phone, with your forearm and elbow kept in a similar position for too long.

Text Claw

The condition known as text claw occurs when regular tech or smart phone users experience sudden pain, cramping and stiffness in their hands after using their devices. This pain can spread through the hand and wrist after engaging in motor activities like browsing, scrolling and typing.

Texting Thumb

Smartphone users tend to use a lot of thumb movement, from texting to tapping, when on their phones. This can aggravate many thumb problems like thumb arthritis and pain whenever the thumb bends.


Thumbs down: the effects of smartphones & social media on our hands | action rehab


Treatment options for smartphone hand pain

When you first notice pain, discomfort or cramps in your hands, it’s best to do some stretches and place pressure off the areas that are hurting. If the pain persists for more than a week, get in touch with your local therapists that treats hand injuries.

Prevention of smartphone hand pain

  • There are also a few steps you can take to precent the occurrence of these syndromes and protect your hands and wrists.
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend on your smartphone, laptop and other devices
  • Opt to use hands-free or earphones when having to constantly take calls
  • Constantly change positions so your hands and wrists aren’t staying in the same manner for too long
  • Take short breaks to do hand and wrist stretches, move and wiggle your fingers, give your hands a bit of a rest before continuing your task
  • Using heat or cold packs on your hands and wrist after prolonged use can also be helpful
  • Try to slow down your movements when typing or texting


Thumbs down: the effects of smartphones & social media on our hands | action rehab


Get in touch with Action Rehab for Hand Therapy you can rely on

Smartphones and social media have become ubiquitous in our daily lives, and many of us spend hours each day scrolling, typing, and swiping on our devices. However, this constant use can take a toll on our hands, leading to pain, stiffness, and even long-term conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.  If you’re experiencing hand pain or discomfort related to smartphone or social media use, our clinic can help.

At Action Rehab, we specialise in treating hand and wrist injuries, and we can develop a personalised treatment plan to help alleviate your pain and get you back to your daily activities. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you take control of your hand health.


  • Ben cunningham

    Ben Cunningham is the Hand Therapist at the Melbourne Football Club and has over 20 years’ experience providing hand and upper limb therapy, including working in the United Kingdom at the Queen Victoria Hospital and as the senior clinician at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.