Doctors have warned that capturing that perfect selfie can put avid selfietakers at risk of developing “selfie elbow“, which is becoming a medical condition.
Like tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, an addiction to taking selfies can cause a pain in the primary elbow and there has been a spurt in patients landing in the doctor’s office with the condition.
The problem is overuse. Like carpal tunnel and tendinitis, it is the repetitive nature of the task that causes the aches. If you do something enough times -typing, tex ting, or taking selfies -it is going to have consequences.
“Basically , the interface between technology and the human body sometimes causes injuries of over-exuberance, “We used to see it with Blackberry phones -it was a real thing. People would get tendinitis in their thumb because they were on their Blackberries all the time.“
You put too much stress on the muscle and it irritates the area where the muscle comes off the bone and you get this inflammatory response. The condition can be treated by taking pain relievers like Advil or Motrin for the inflammation and putting on some ice as well as stretching the muscles.
The condition is an addition to the long list of concerns about the increase in technology injuries in teens. Gaming, using Snapchat, selfie-taking, texting and tweeting teens are more prone to overuse injuries than ever before.
In a recent case, award winning journalist Hoda Kotb went to a doctor complaining of pain in her elbow. I went to the orthopaedist and he said, `are you playing tennis or ping-pong?’ I told him I was taking selfies.
“In recent years we’ve been seeing an increase in carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis from overuse in teens, where 10 to 15 years ago it was mostly scraped knees and falling off a bike,“ said Charles Kim, a musculoskeletal rehab specialist at Rusk Rehabilitation at New York University Langone Medical Centre.
Kim suggests a selfie stick for the dedicated documents, which works like an arm extender and takes the pressure off the elbow.