Selfie Elbow: The New Tech Injury?
"Selfie Elbow" they're starting to call it - But is it really a new kind of "Tech" injury caused by repeatedly taking selfie shots while holding ones phone - Or just Tennis Elbow Déjà vu?
- Elle magazine online seems to have started the buzz, picking up on Hoda Kotb's complaints about her aching elbow, while hosting the Today Show.
- Hoda Kotb, journalist and co-anchor of hour 4 of NBC's Today Show, is apparently a huge selfie enthusiast, as demonstrated by her Instagram and Twitter filled with hundreds of selfies with family, friends, fans and celebrities.
- The Daily Mail claims that, (according to research) the selfie-snapping obsessed upload over 17,000,000 selfies every week to social media — driven, in part, by celebrities like Kim Kardashian — But, they warn,
"capturing the perfect selfie could be detrimental to your health."
- According to this short video by Wochit Entertainment, paraphrasing the Elle article:
"It's like Tennis Elbow or Golfer's Elbow, minus any actual exercise - other than taking selfies,"
- Curiously, the term Selfie Elbow may have been coined in an April Fools Day joke article in The University Of Minnesota's 'HEALTH TALK' (April 1, 2014)
Another High-Tech Overuse Injury
- The Elle story (and video) quote Dr. Jordan Metzl, a Sports Medicine Doctor at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York:
"The problem is simply overuse. If you do something enough times—typing, texting, taking selfies—it's going to have consequences. And like Carpal Tunnel and Tendinitis, it's the repetitive nature of the task that causes the aches."
- Chris Matyszczyk, writer at Cnet, chimes in, with dull ennui and barely-contained disgust at the overt egotism, in 'A new pain in the tech: Selfie Elbow,' casually adding it to the litany of tech-related injuries, such as 'Text Neck' and 'BlackBerry Thumb.'
- And Hayley Tsukayama adds "Text Claw" and "iPad Hand" to the list, in her post: 'Selfie Elbow’ is the latest in a long line of tech-related injuries' at The WashingtonPost. com:
- The WashingtonPost. com piece also quotes Doctor of Physical Therapy, Mary Ann Wilmarth, saying:
"These conditions could be seen as variations on good old-fashioned repetitive strain injuries. Selfie elbow, is similar to Tennis Elbow or Golfer's Elbow, which are names for conditions in which you experience inflammation in the tendons that run along your arm from your hand to your elbow."
So, It's Tennis Elbow Or Golfer's Elbow, Then — Not Really Something New
- I'm going to call it at this point; Selfie Elbow isn't just "similar to Tennis or Golfer's Elbow" — It IS Tennis Elbow — So, in that sense there's nothing radically new here — Just an old nemesis in a new costume.
- However, I have to point out that the same tired, old boogie man known as Inflammation is trotted out once again by well-meaning "experts" and and authorities blamed for the trouble.
- Inflammation, however, is not the cause of your Selfie Elbow or Tennis Elbow or whatever you want to call it — It's a symptom, and let's not make the mistake of blaming the messenger for the message. See my Storify: Smashing The Tennis Elbow Inflammation Myth:
- Besides, what most of these Repetitive Strain Injuries have in common — (Especially persistent tendon injuries like Tennis and Golfer's Elbow) is that they are Chronic Degenerative conditions — Not Acute, Inflammatory conditions. Medical researchers began to discover this 30 years ago.