Wrist Pain

In this smartphone dominated era, the communications are apparently becoming effortless and with this, people are often being misguided. The Lancet, British medical journal, has reported the first official case of ‘WhatsAppitis’ – the name derived from WhatsApp, which is a popular messaging app.

WhatsAppitis is the condition of the body in which pain is developed on both wrists due to excessive use of the instant messaging app on smartphone.

The case was discovered when a 34-year-old emergency medicine physician who was 27 weeks pregnant complained about the pain in both wrists after waking up in the morning.

In a statement, Inés M. Fernandez-Guerrero, of Granada’s General University hospital wrote that the patient had no history of trauma and had not engaged in any excessive physical activity in the previous days.

“The patient was on duty on Dec 24 (Christmas Eve), and the following day, she responded to messages that had been sent to her on her smartphone via WhatsApp instant messaging service. She held her mobile phone, that weighed 130 g, for at least 6 hours. During this time she made continuous movements with both thumbs to send messages,” she wrote.

After analyzing the patient’s signs of injury, the diagnosis of  WhatsAppitis was done. The patient was given non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and was refrained from using her phone.

Although the doctor declared the state of the pain as “WhatsAppitis”, it could have been SMSitis, Whateveritis, etc. based on any popular messaging apps. “WhatsAppitis” could have been chosen by the concerned team of researchers owing to its popularity.

So WhatsAppitis is to smartphones as Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is to keyboard. Perhaps, Fernandez-Guerrero should have made this clear as she talked about Nintendinitis – video game-related health problem classified as a form of repetitive strain injury (RSI) and Tenosynovitis – the inflammation of the fluid-filled sheath.

[Source: The Lancet]