Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ


My son is always texting his friends and now he is complaining of severe pain in his thumb. He hasn't fallen or hurt it in anyway. I say it's the texting, he won't admit it. Is it possible?


Many years ago, teens and young adults began developing pain in their thumbs from playing too many video games. The doctors found that this was just a form of repetitive stress injury brought on by overuse. Now that the texting age is upon is, people are seeing doctors for the same type of thumb pain as they did when they were playing video games, but now it is often from overuse in texting. The thumb isn't meant to have that much repetition. It's a hard worker, but it's not used to the stress that frequent and constant texting puts on it. If the pain is bad, your son should likely take a break from texting and even visit a doctor to be sure it is nothing more serious. J. van Rijn, MD, and T. Gosens, PhD. A Cemented Surface Replacement Prosthesis in the Basal Thumb Joint. In Journal of Hand Surgery. April 2010. Vol. 35. No. 4. Pp. 572-579.

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