‘Selfie Elbow’ – A New Pain for the “Me Generation”

Orthopaedic & Spine Center

People in the United States (and all over the world for that matter) love taking ‘selfies’.  You know, those pictures of yourself that you take with your smart phone that you then post to Facebook or Instagram.  All of this self-absorption isn’t healthy, but not in the way you might think.  A new medical problem is being seen with greater frequency and it is directly related to taking ‘selfies’.  It is called “selfie elbow” and it happens when you hold your arm up in front of your face to take that AMAZING photo of yourself at Olive Garden, the Louvre, on vacation or wherever you might be.  Because of the way you hold your camera arm when taking selfies, you can irritate the tendon and muscles near your elbow, causing inflammation and pain.  Do this multiple times a day and YOWZA!

Think this is a joke?  Orthopaedics This Week and Cosmopolitan Magazine have recently published articles on the subject. Hoda Kotb of NBC’s Today Show went to the doctor and was diagnosed with the condition, which she then shared with her audience on TV.

So what do you do if you think you have Selfie Elbow?  Boyd W. Haynes III, MD, Fellowship-trained Sports Medicine Physician at OSC has this advice.  “Treat it just like tennis elbow.  You may want to try icing the area several times a day for about 10 minutes at a time.  You can take Naproxen Sodium or Ibuprofen for the pain and inflammation.  You can use a selfie stick to relief the tension on your elbow.  Or you can quit taking so many selfies!”