It can be a real pain in the ass to capture the perfect selfie. You need the right make up, the right lighting, the right facial expression. Not to mention no one ever get it right on the first take, so you need about 20 snaps for to get the one that’s juuuuuuuuust right. Well, it turns out that turning the camera on yourself all the time may actually have a real physical implication.
Journalist Hoda Kotb told Elle.com that her addiction to taking selfies has landed her with a real-life ailment that she’s calling “selfie elbow.”
“I went to the orthopedist and he said, ‘Are you playing tennis or ping-pong?’ And of course I’m not, so I told him I was taking selfies,” she tells ELLE.com, adding that her doctor recommended icing her elbow and doing certain exercises to help with the soreness. “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!” she says, laughing.
Dr. Jordan Metzl, a sports medicine physician at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, said that even though it seems ridiculous, injuring yourself from selfie-ing too much is actually legit.
“Basically, the interface between technology and the human body sometimes causes injuries of over-exuberance,” Dr. Metzl, who admits he’s never taken a selfie, says. “What that means is you do something, you do it a lot, then stuff starts to hurt. 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.”
The doctor suggests getting a selfie stick to alleviate the stress on your elbow. Alternatively, if you don’t want to look like an annoying tourist, you can alternate which arm you selfie with or *gasp* ask someone else to take your pictures. But let’s be honest — we’re all going to keep taking selfies. You gotta do it for the ‘gram..
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