"Blackberry" Thumbs? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/25/06-Tyler

"Blackberry" Thumbs?

Most would say technology like the Blackberry has made life easier. The number of portable digital assistants subscribers have doubled over the last year.  However, one East Texan who says she's addicted to her Blackberry now realizes it's causing her some health problems.

"Yes, I am a Blackberry addict. I start in the morning, I don't know, 8 and it goes to about 5:30 or 6:00 in the evening," says Nancy Johnson.

Nancy Johnson of Tyler is in marketing and public relations and is always on the go.

"I check my email.  I check my calendar so I know where I need to be and when I need to be there," says Nancy.

But over the last couple of months Nancy's thumb has been hurting.

"It's kinda an achy, stinging feeling, when you think you need to stretch it out or shake it off," says Nancy.

She couldn't shake off the pain, so she went to see Dr. Carey Clark with Azalea Orthopedics.  She was diagnosed with, Blackberry thumb.

"Blackberry thumb manifest it's self in 2 ways. One it's a trigger thumb tendentious and also people that have preexisting arthritis," says Dr. Carey Clark with Azalea Orthopedics.

Dr. Clark says you could get a similar tendentious from text messaging. Nancy isn't the only addict in the room, Dr. Clark admits he is addicted to his Treo.  So what's the cure for a blackberry thumb?

"Rest, ice it just like an athletic injury, however this doesn't sound very athletic. And make your text messages as short as you can," says Dr. Clark.

"I have tried to be a little more cautious, but my address book is on here, I make calls... just the hole nine yards," says Nancy.

Nancy says she's not going to give up her Blackberry. She's going to change how she answers some of her email by using a bigger keyboard.  

Dr. Clark says there are different treatments for a Blackberry thumb. First modifying your Blackberry use, if that doesn't help then steroid injections and wearing a brace. He says the last resort is having surgery. 

Karolyn Davis, reporting.  kdavis@kltv.com 

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