My job at TechRepublic doesn't require any travel, but there are plenty of IT pro members of TechRepublic who spend quite a bit of their working life on the road. There's good news for these folks... the Hyatt hotel chain has created a special "BlackBerry Balm" hand massage at most of its North American spas. Check out the news story: 'BlackBerry Thumb' sparks new massage treatment.
According to the story, "The 30-minute massage, that costs about $30, begins with heat treatment and uses a 'BlackBerry Balm.' It 'focuses on counteracting tension on various hand and arm muscles, specifically in the thumbs and overworked wrists,' according to a Hyatt statement."
Move over carpal tunnel syndrome, there's another ailment that's affecting the work place, and it's called BlackBerry Thumb—"a stress-related injury due to over-use of any PDA or smartphone... the condition is caused by 'highly repetitive, forceful thumb movements with the thumbs held back from the palms.' The symptoms are pain in the thumb and region around the base of the thumb and hand. Treatment typically consists of resting or strapping the thumb, anti-inflammatory medicines, cortisone injections and, as a last resort, surgery."
How can you prevent BlackBerry Thumb? One hand therapy specialist recommends "holding the device comfortably in the hands and close to the body, and not typing for more than five minutes without a break."
I admit that I spend quite a bit of time text messaging and gaming on my son's PS2. I haven't suffered from any of the BlackBerry Thumb symptoms, but that won't stop me from splurging $30 on a hand massage at a Hyatt spa if I ever have the chance to experience it. After all, you don't actually have to hurt before you get a massage, right?
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.