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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
Many cell phone users send text messages, but with an increase in texting, doctors said they are seeing a new health condition called texting thumb.
Carter Strange said he gets and sends text messages all the time. "Even my grandparents have figured it out, everybody does it," Strange said.
Strange said there has been a time when he sent too many text messages and got a cramp.
"I got thumb cramps just from texting," Strange said.
Doctors and therapists in Greenville County said texting thumb is the latest condition that has testers dialing them for an appointment. They said they're treating patients for tendonitis of the thumb.
Kathi Burke said not only does she have carpal tunnel syndrome, she said she also gets cramps in her thumbs too.
"I've had to stretch my hand out on something after I've been texting," Burke said.
Doctors said texting thumb can be treated with physical or massage therapy. Kevin Lynch is a massage therapist for the Life Center, which is part of the Greenville Hospital System.
"The nerve really can wake you up in the middle of the night because of repetitive use," Lynch said. "Typically a lot of people I deal with have somewhat of a carpal tunnel syndrome which brings numbness to the hands, pain in the hand and the fingers."
Doctors said those with more serious injuries may need surgery in order to allow the inflamed tendon to move. But they said those who suffer from texting thumb should try therapy first and try to give their thumbs a rest.
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