Whether it’s to hail an Uber or to post a tweet, millennials are always on their smartphones. But what if you knew that using your pinky to cradle your device could lead to a deformity?
We’ve heard about “cell phone elbow” and “Blackberry thumb.” We’ve heard that looking down at a smartphone puts pressure on the spine and may damage your eyes. We’ve experienced “text claw,” a soreness and cramping in the wrists, forearms and fingers resulting from overusing our phones. But now we’re learning that such overuse might lead to temporary pain or even a deformity of your pinky finger.
Japanese cell phone provider NTT Docomo recently released a warning to users via Twitter about the deformity. It’s called “smartphone pinky,” and is the result of using your little finger to support the weight of your phone. When you hold a heavy smartphone in your hand, it rests and presses on the inside of your end pinky joint, a susceptible spot for pain to develop. Doing so too often may lead to the development of an “indentation between the first and second joints of your pinky,” according to Rocket News 24.
Of course, any repetitive motion of your fingers or hands can lead to pain, tendinitis or even carpal tunnel syndrome, but because your mobile use strongly relies on the pinky — we use the little digit for balance and for a sturdy grip — it may not be safe to be on your phone all the time.
“The smaller the object we’re holding, the less likely we will use our pinky finger. A smartphone is heavy and cumbersome enough that the pinky instinctually supports the bottom of the device.”
So what should you do? Take frequent breaks from using your phone and try not to depend on your pinky finger to support your phone’s weight when you are using it. While it might be hard, smartphone pinky is worse.
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