Prolonged usage of instant messaging applications on your smartphone can result in a problem known as 'WhatsAppitis', according to a doctor in Spain who first 'diagnosed' it.

Ines M Fernandez-Guerrero has reported her findings on this new medical problem in the 22 March edition of reputed journal Lancet.

"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, according to TheLocal.

Fernandez-Guerrero, of General University Hospital in Granada, added: "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 6h. During this time she made continuous movements with both thumbs to send messages."


To treat this so-called disease, Fernandez-Guerrero prescribed "complete abstinence from using the phone to send messages," along with an assortment of anti-inflammatory drugs.

The doctor went ahead and drew a comparison between WhatsAppitis and a previously recorded disease called as Nintendinitis, or Nintendo thumb, which was caused by a repetitive strain injury diagnosed in heavy Nintendo users in the 1990s.

New Age Diseases

Diseases which where considered as limited to children have now started affecting many adults owing to the massive popularity of video games and new technologies, said Fernandez-Guerrero.

"Tenosynovitis caused by texting with mobile phones could well be an emerging disease. Physicians need to be mindful of these new disorders", she wrote.