A Millennial Medical Problem: The ‘Selfie Elbow’

A Millennial Medical Problem: The ‘Selfie Elbow’

It could be the most embarrassing (and vain) form of injury possible.

Avid selfie-snappers, always on the elusive hunt for that perfect selfie, are putting themselves at risk of a new medical condition: ‘selfie elbow’.

No, we’re serious – this is slowly becoming a real medical issue. Similar to tennis or golfer’s elbow, a proclivity for selfies can create pain in your go-to picture taking elbow, reports said Monday.

Award-winning journalist and NBC’s Today show host Hoda Kotb noticed a consistent pain in her elbow, unknowing of this social media phenomenon.

“I went to the orthopaedist and he said, ‘are you playing tennis or ping-pong?’ I told him I was taking selfies,” Kotb was quoted as saying.

“When you take the picture, your arm is up, bent in a weird way and you just click, click, click — think about how many you take: 20, 30, or 40. Selfie elbow, everyone has it,” continued Kotb, who’s amassed a dedicated following on picture-sharing app Instagram.

Icing the elbow and performing certain exercises can relieve some of the pain, as can taking Advil or Motrin to reduce inflammation. The issue simply comes from overuse.

“You get selfie elbow from taking too many selfies, as 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,” said Jordan Metzl, sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in the US.

“Maybe, people should alternate their arms — start spreading the load.”

Selfies join a growing list of millennial-specific conditions more and more kids are succumbing to today; gaming, chatting, texting, and tweeting has caused a significant upswing in teenager injuries.

Apart from rest, ice, and avoiding overuse, the solution to selfie elbow may be more humiliating than the injury itself.

“For those who are dedicated selfie-takers, using a selfie stick can work like an arm extender and takes the pressure off the elbow,” suggested Charles Kim, musculoskeletal rehab specialist at Rusk Rehabilitation at NYU Langone Medical Center.

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