Kanye West: rapper, fashion mogul and “Presidential candidate” who I’m using foam fingers to make quote signs with, is in the news again. In a now-deleted tweet on Tuesday, September 8, West detailed a doctor’s visit to receive steroid injections in his hands. Describing the shots as “cortisone mixed with a wittle sprinkle of lidocaine,” West received the hand injections to remedy pain from, as he said, “too much texting bro,” which he said on Twitter through his phone, so, we agree.
Injectable steroids refer to man-made medicines that mimic the hormones humans make naturally, and are used to treat a variety of ailments in the body. Among other things, corticosteroids are often used to alleviate inflammation and reduce redness and swelling fairly quickly.
The other substance in his medical cocktail, Lidocaine, is a nerve blocker used as an anaesthetic and offers numbness with complete pain relief almost instantly, which Kanye verified in the following tweet, which contained a video of the doctor injecting him. “The dexamethasone takes 24 to 48 hours,” he added, referring to the particular steroid he got.
No matter the cutesy adjectives the star uses to describe it, West is detailing an internal medical treatment he received for texting pain. This is a common problem resulting from something we all do nearly constantly, especially these days when human contact is so minimal. Since “wittle sprinkles” of injectable medicine are unlike ice cream sundaes — and probably need deep consideration before treating yourself to a scoop — we talked to someone in the know.
“Using steroids to treat hand pain due to texting is an aggressive measure and it perhaps warrants further review of the underlying cause,” says Abe Malkin, a Los-Angeles based regenerative physician. Since excessive texting can irritate tendons and tissue and cause inflammation of the joints, steroids exert a strong anti-inflammatory effect — so strong, that typically the shots need to be given up to 3-4 times throughout the year, Malkin tells me. Also, there are side effects to using a quick fix like this one, “including risk of infection, as well as potential degradation of bone and cartilage tissue in the joint,” Malkin states.
Although Kanye tweets at the rate of a stock chyron moments after the opening bell, he’s never shared other measures for this texting pain of his. Malkin tells Mic that taking a break from texting could relieve the pain from excessive phone usage. Also, a simple soak in Epsom salts might have helped before resorting to a doctor's visit. “Lifestyle modification such as reduction in texting and phone use would generally be the first step in treatment, followed by more standard approaches to reducing inflammation such as ice and NSAID therapy along with homeopathic methods to reduce inflammation such as Epsom salts and tumeric,” Malkin suggests. “Steroid injections should be used as a last resort for severe cases which have not shown improvement with other therapies,” he said.
If you don’t have Yeezy money, but you do have hand pain, you’ve got non-medical options that don’t require a full texting moratorium. “Icing joints can be a very effective method of reducing inflammation,” Malkin says. If you do want some OTC relief, anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen, Aleve, or Naproxen.
Or, if you’re Ye, just hire a texting assistant, you’re that wealthy, sir. I volunteer, but only if I get to stay near your horses in Wyoming.