SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – One might think that texting can strengthen the thumbs — but experts say it can cause injuries.

Kristin Crow, occupational therapist and hand specialist with Beaumont Hospital, said many people are risk these days with the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets.

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“A lot of people are texting and using their phones and iPads,” Crow said.  “A lot of it is repetitive use so it’s just kind of the same old issue of overuse syndrome.”

Crow said that these thumb injuries are similar to sports injuries.

Texting Thumb, or also known as Blackberry Thumb, is when the thumb joints are repeating the same action too often and it causes a stress injury to them.

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Crow said thumb injuries can be avoided and the importance of stretching the finger muscles.

“Stretching would be a good thing,” Crow said.  “Bending the wrist backwards and stretching out the fingers because the fingers are flexing all the time when you’re holding on to the device.  So you move your hand into the opposite direction that would stretch those muscles out.”

Crow also said that not only is stretching important but taking breaks and getting some exercise is important as well.

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“The best thing to do is take a break and maybe go take a walk around the block,” Crow said.  “Just get some general exercise would be the first thing.”