The Blackberry Thumb

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You could call it the case of a blackberry thumb. Millions of us have some sort of personal digital assistant, whether it's a cell phone, blackberry or palm pilot, and many of us don't realize that those little PDAs can cause some big problems.

"It's a disease of epidemic proportions. The consequence of the modern age," says Dr. David Girgenti of Med +Plus Neck and Back Center in Rockford.

Dr. Girgenti is talking about carpal tunnel syndrome, a problem that occurs when your median nerve, which travels from your neck to your wrist, becomes irritated. Girgenti says CTS is a problem that's now hitting the younger generation.

"We used to never see kids with symptoms, but now we see about 10 to 20 a month, and that's an incredible number," says Girgenti.

More than two and a half billion text messages are sent every month, and Girgenti is urging us to treat our on-the-go texting like any physical workout. Stretch first and watch your posture.

In the early stages, people typically experience numbness or tingling in the arms, hands and wrists. Girgenti says there are several non-surgical procedures to treat the problem, including laser light therapy, so he's urging those who notice symptoms to seek treatment early in order to avoid invasive operations.