Excessive WhatsApping can lead to ‘WhatsAppitis

LONDON:Are you a serial texter?  You could end up with a diagnosis of “WhatsAppitis”. 

British medical journal The Lancet has recorded the first official case of “WhatsAppitis”. 
A pregnant woman in Granada who arrived at hospital with sore wrists after over-using the mobile phone text message service is the first patient to suffer from this condition. 

Ines M Fernandez-Guerrero of General University Hospital in Granada recorded the case in the latest edition of the journal. 

“A 34-year-old emergency medicine physician, 27 weeks pregnant, presented with bilateral wrist pain with sudden onset upon waking up one morning. She had no history of trauma and had not engaged in any excessive physical activity in the previous days,” she wrote. 

She went on to note, “The patient responded to messages that had been sent to her on her smartphone via WhatsApp instant messaging service. She held her mobile phone, that weighed 130g, for at least 6 hours. During this time she made continuous movements with both thumbs to send messages”. 

“The diagnosis for the bilateral wrist pain was WhatsAppitis. The treatment consisted of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and complete abstinence from using the phone to send messages”. 

The doctor detailed the case of the 34-year-old emergency medicine physician who was pregnant and on duty on December 24. 

Heavy cellphone users have earlier been found top suffer from ringxiety — a phenomenon in which users imagine their phone ringing or feel it vibrate when it actually doesn’t. 

Heavy cellphone users hear this phantom ring more often than those using the phone in moderation. 

India is home to over 300 million mobile phone users with six million being added to the list each month. Though no comprehensive study has been done in the country on the prevalence of ringxiety, doctors say at least 25% of all mobile phone users may be hearing false rings. 

Fernandez-Guerrero wrote that a so-called Nintendinitis (a video game-related health problem classified as a form of repetitive strain injury) was first described in 1990, and since then several injuries associated with video games and technologies have been reported. 

“Initially reported in children, such cases are now seen in adults. Tenosynovitis (a type of tendon injury) caused by texting with mobile phones could well be an emerging disease. Physicians need to be mindful of these new disorders,” the study said.