“Selfie Elbow” Is A Legitimate Medical Condition Now

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
So we’ve all heard of tennis elbow, right? It’s a widely accepted, legitimate repetitive stress injury with plenty of well-documented cases. There's even Blackberry thumb, the modern texting equivalent. But have you ever heard of “selfie elbow?” It turns out that this, too, is now an actual medical condition more and more people are facing thanks to, you guessed it, selfie madness. The problem wasn’t talked about a whole lot until recently, after selfie elbow got some attention from Hoda Kotb, host of the Today show in the US. Kotb began complaining of pain in her elbow on the show, so she went to the doctor. And that’s when she got the unusual diagnosis.
Kotb told Elle all about her doctor’s visit. She said, "I went to the orthopoedist, and he said, 'Are you playing tennis or ping-pong?' And of course I'm not, so I told him I was taking selfies." And anyone who follows Kotb on Instagram knows just how many selfies she’s taking. (It’s a lot.)

Xo @raakstarwrites #tomorrowschildrenfund

A photo posted by Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) on

Sports medicine physician Dr. Jordan Merzl told Cosmopolitan that the cause of all these elbow issues — tennis elbow, golf elbow, and now selfie elbow — is overuse. It’s the same thing that causes carpal tunnel and tendinitis. He says treatment is easy enough: ice, stretching, and ibuprofen for pain. Another possibly worthwhile investment if it's that big of a problem: a selfie stick.

More from Tech

R29 Original Series