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Is 'Selfie Wrist' A New Health Problem In The Digital Age?

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There have been reports of selfie-induced trauma in recent years. Is selfie wrist the new health hazard in the digital age that people need to be worried about?

Selfie Wrist

People who love taking selfies often do so by holding their smartphones or their cameras at an arm’s length, and twisting their wrists inward to take the photo. Evidently, this now-common pastime has been bringing about a silent health problem that is selfie wrist.

Among the doctors seeing this problem more and more is Dr. Levi Harrison, who says that he has been seeing more patients with the condition, in which the nerves become inflamed and the patient experiences numbness, tingling, or sharp pains in their hand, wrist, or arms. According to him, this condition is a form of carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs when the median nerve becomes squeezed or pressed at the wrist.

Factors such as injuries to the wrist, an overactive pituitary gland, an underactive thyroid gland, rheumatoid arthritis, and work stress to the wrist are common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome. As such, it’s possible that the “overworking” of the wrist to take the selfies may be another cause of this condition. In fact, data shows that at least 62 percent of Americans have taken at least one selfie of themselves.

Growing Health Hazard?

According to the Irish Medical Journal, there have been cases of selfie wrist recorded in recent years, although these cases were more often as a result of injury rather than continued and repeated wrist movement.

For instance, in one case, a 13-year-old girl fractured her right distal radius and ulna after she fell onto her hand when she and a friend attempted to take a selfie while jumping on a trampoline. Furthermore, selfie-related deaths have also been recorded in recent years, after several people lost their lives in the attempt to take a selfie.

As such, experts believe that it is important to educate the public on the hidden hazards that this popular practice may pose. In fact, the Internal Ministry of Russia has even released a “Safe Selfie Guide” to educate the public.

“It is important to educate society about the risks associated with taking selfies in order to reduce both major and minor trauma associated with the new trend,” researchers wrote.

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