Hi, this is Dr. Terry Zachary and today I want to talk to you a little bit more about hand, wrist, carpal tunnel and elbow health. And specifically on the hand today, we want to talk about the prevalence and what is going to happen in the future with more prevalence of thumb injuries due to the smartphone and our dependence on the smartphone in our lives and in our children’s lives. It’s obviously a very key part of society today and it can certainly be helpful but physically, there are some challenges that I want to talk about.
The first thing is when we are talking about mechanics with thumb, they are the same thing that we have always talked about in the kinetic chain for anything that we do with our hands. The muscles that actually grip or the thumb muscles that actually did the flexion to make the keystrokes are always supported by stabilizer muscles. So for example, when I grab something not only do these grabbing muscles that we see, the flexor muscles become active. But equally and more importantly, the extensor muscles the muscles on the back of the hand wrist forearm and elbow are contracting statically.
Unfortunately in one position. And that is why we want you to strengthen all the hand muscles through the full range of motion. So these stabilizer muscles are very healthy and strong and remain through the full range of motion in balance so they can support gripping. Well, the same thing happens with your thumb. We are always going to make sure that thumb extensor muscles are exercised through their full natural ranges of motion if we are going to be texting a lot. The reason is, is that, again for a text, whenever I’m doing the.
Texting, Smartphone, Thumb Injuries Proper Hand Exercise
Keystrokes, my thumb extensor muscles that are supporting the thumb, the thumb flexion activities, are contracting but in a static position. We never bring our thumbs really through the full range of motion. So we have to make sure that chronically over time, we’re not doing our keystrokes and slowly developing a real static thumb extensor muscles, okay Those are the muscles that become injured when we flex and texting. And also because of course we are going through a small range of motion with the flexor muscles, we need to really keep these thumb muscles exercise.
both through extension and through flexion. I hope that makes sense there. The other key to look for in texting is that we are always texting with the thumb down. And what that means, is that thumb extensor muscles not only are firing to support the action of the flexion, of the thumb flexors, but they are also, having to support the thumb against gravity because that is twofold. Same as in anybody who has got a palm down, professionally the dental profession usually comes to mind from palm down, that is going.
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