A 16-year-old northwest suburban girl has been dubbed "Carpal Tunnel Girl" at Adlai Stevenson High School after her incessant text messaging led to the condition.
The Lake County News-Sun reports that Annie Levitz now has to wear "ugly braces on each wrist" because her texting addiction damaged more than her phone bill.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when a main nerve in the arm is compressed at the wrist, and can cause someone to lose their ability to grasp things, along with "frequent burning, tingling or itching numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers -- especially the thumb and the index and middle fingers," Dr. Sofia Aksentijevich, a rheumatologist who diagnosed Levitz, told the paper.
"I used to send about a hundred text[s] a day but it has slowed down since i got the braces," Levitz told the News-Sun--via text message. "...the braces make it painful to text as well as it just hurts in general same goes for typing on the computer."
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, carpal tunnel is caused by trauma or injury to the wrist that cause swelling; overactivity of the pituitary gland; work stress; repeated use of vibrating hand tools among other things--though they say there is "little clinical data to prove" whether repetitive movements such as text messaging can cause the disorder.
"I've broken many dishes," Levitz told the paper. "Yesterday in Target, I dropped my Starbucks. It just slipped out of my hand."
The doctor told Levitz, whose latest phone bill (after she "cut down" on texting) showed 2,000 texts, that she needs to "text less," but she prefers it to talking on the phone.
"I still prefer texting," she told the News-Sun. "But I've learned that some communication is not worth it."
One of her solutions?
An iPhone...it requires "less work."