We’re sorry to break it to you, but there’s another thing you’re doing that’s secretly pretty bad for you.
Yup. Taking selfies is causing us serious damage, and not just in the usual ‘oh crap, I walked into a lampost while Snapchatting’ way.
ELLE reports that Today journalist Hoda Kotb has been diagnosed with ‘selfie elbow’ – just like tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, but caused by taking selfies.
She recently started noticing a pain in her arm and elbow, so went to her orthopedist, who asked her if she was playing tennis or ping-pong (she hadn’t been doing either).
They then worked out that it wasn’t caused by exercise, but art: the art of taking the perfect selfie.
She points out that when you reach up to take a selfie, your arm is ‘bent in a weird way and you just click, click, click—think about how many you take: 20, 30, or 40.’
Hoda now has to ice her elbow, do special exercises, and take painkillers to reduce soreness.
But she’s not the only one struggling with this very modern condition.
Dr. Jordan Metzl, a sports medicine physician at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, explained to ELLE that the problem is becoming more common, and it’s mostly down to people taking too many selfies.
‘You do something, you do it a lot, then stuff starts to hurt,’ he said.
‘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 get tennis elbow from playing too much tennis – or having poor form – and you get selfie elbow from taking too many selfies. 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.’
Which means pain. A lot of pain.
Doctor’s orders include alternating the arm you use to take selfies, doing regular stretches, and using selfie sticks to take the pressure off the elbow. If your arm starts to ache, maybe take a break from all the Instagram and Snapchat.
Listen to your body. Your health is more important than however adorable you look with the puppy dog filter.