6226 3632Clinics

Blackberry Thumb: 2012

Are you texting/ using your phone for lengthy emails? Are you experiencing pain at the base of your thumb?

Historically we have seen clients suffering from tennis elbow, bakers cysts, runners knee and mummy thumbs,  as with the advance of technology, a new form of repetitive strain injury is fast emerging: blackberry thumb.

The thumb is designed to act as a stabilizer for pinch gripping with the  fingers; and is therefore the least dexterous digit on the hand. For this reason repetitive and extensive typing can cause the thumb to muscles to fatigue and strain. Symptoms include pain, swelling and associated numbness from potential nerve damage.


BlackBerry thumb can be prevented by use of other fingers to press buttons on handheld devices, and regularly vary which fingers are being used.

Avoid using these devices  for lengthy typing

Have a break from your phone

Treatment for blackberry thumb involves wearing a splint and applying ice and Ultrasound to the affected area. Gentle exercises and massage can be recommended to relieve the tension and reduce inflammation.  If the pain persists however, doctors may opt to inject the thumb area with a cortisone shot. Surgery may be required as a last resort to reduce symptoms.


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