With smartphones and mobile devices becoming larger and larger — hello, iPhone 6 — more people are in danger of developing symptoms in their hands that, if not treated, can progress into crippling conditions that can only be addressed with surgery.
So before you continue taking drunk selfies and Tweeting self-important updates that include what you had for breakfast, one doctor suggests you slow down, listen to your body and seek help before it's too late.
"Hand problems are manifesting themselves more and more in younger people."
"Hand problems are manifesting themselves more and more in younger people," Dr. Randolph Lopez of Hand Surgery Specialists of Houston explains. "Patients wake up at night feeling like there's no circulation, they're shaking their hands, they have difficulty in the morning, and they have difficulty buttoning a shirt, for example."
Dr. Lopez suggests to try to figure out what precipitated the problem in the first place. Did you have a tense text fest the day before with an long-lost ex? Were you up late typing a long proposal for work?
If you can pinpoint a traumatic event that may have been the catalyst for the injury, Lopez suggests modifying or cutting back the behavior for a period of time, and try some of the stretching and strengthening exercises in this Cadillac-sponsored "Up To Speed" video hosted by Nicole Hickl.
"If you catch a problem early enough, patients have several non-surgical options available," Lopez adds.
Lesson learned: Never ignore a nagging pain. Unless that nagging pain is your significant other.