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Got sore thumbs, shoulders from texting? Stretch

The proliferation of cell phones is leading to a new range of pain, according to Dr. Mark Sobor of ChicagoHealers.com. All that texting is causing neck, shoulder, hand and arm pain, including the same kinds of repetitive motion injuries as those ...

The proliferation of cell phones is leading to a new range of pain, according to Dr. Mark Sobor of ChicagoHealers.com.

All that texting is causing neck, shoulder, hand and arm pain, including the same kinds of repetitive motion injuries as those who type on computer keyboards a lot. Further, cell phones are really designed for all that writing.

Dr. Sobor says people tend to hunch over, putting strain on their neck and upper backs. They tend to use only one thumb to type, focusing strain on one side. And repeated motions of some muscles deprives them of oxygen, causing them to spasm.

Here are his tips, in his words:

--Prepare for texting like for a physical workout. Warm up and stretch your muscles.

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--Improve your posture. Don't hunch over while texting. Place your phone or PDA on a surface where you don't strain your neck and upper back bending over to see the screen.

--Take frequent breaks. Put the phone down between texts, get up and move around. Regularly open and close your fingers and stretch them.

--Stretch your forearm muscles by extending your arm with palm facing up and using the other hand to pull your palm toward the floor. Hold for 15 seconds, repeat 2 or 3 times for each arm.

--Use both thumbs to text and keep messages short.

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