Serious selfie injury? That might sound far-fetched, but today…it’s really not.
Social media use has skyrocketed in the past several years, and so have injuries related to constant smartphone and tablet use, according to orthopedic specialists.
Some people refer to these injuries as “selfie elbow” and “texting thumb”. Our Texas Orthopedics hand surgeons would classify these as overuse injuries—where repeated use of the same muscles/bones/joints creates stress and pain to that specific area.
This pain can become chronic and lead to a limited range of motion or even tendonitis if not addressed.
Given that the average teenager sends more than 3,400 texts each month–with that number for adults not far behind–the act of sending texts is not going away anytime soon.
One way our board-certified orthopedic surgeons and hand and wrist doctors suggest preventing overuse injuries to your thumb is to switch it up and use your non-dominant hand sometimes. In addition to giving your busier hand and fingers a much-needed break, this will also:
- Strengthen your brain to work harder by “thinking” with the other hand.
- Improve dexterity and hand-eye coordination.
In order to avoid elbow injuries by constantly holding your arm in the same stiff position for the perfect shot, our orthopedic surgeons recommend selfie sticks or propping your elbow up on something to offer support.
One way to ensure avoiding either of these injuries is to cut back on electronic use all together. We know that’s easier said than done, but outside of work, set designated times and zones at home where you are completely device free for a while. You’ll get a thumbs-up for it…from your thumbs and elbows!
(Adapted from UT Southwestern Medical Center)