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Jul 04 2016
by Jenna Ciccotelli

Snapping Selfies Could Lead to Injury

By Jenna Ciccotelli - Jul 04 2016
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Taking the perfect selfie takes work, but if you're always using your front camera, it may take some physical therapy too--selfie elbow is real, and has found Today Show's host Hoda Kotb, whose Instagram account is littered with selfies of herself and with every celebrity in sight.

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According to Elle, Kotb recently complained of an achy elbow on the air. "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 told Elle. "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!"

Dr. Jordan Metzl, a sports medicine physician at New York's Hospital for Special Surgery, explained that "selfie elbow," much like carpal tunnel or tennis elbow, is an injury that develops after repetitive action:

"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."

To combat selfie elbow, doctors recommend a regimen of Advil or Motrin combined with exercising and stretching, along with switching arms throughout your selfie session or asking a stranger to take your picture for you.

Lead Image Credit: Mink Mingle via Unsplash

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Jenna Ciccotelli - Northeastern University

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