Selfie Elbow- Yes, We’re Serious

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Walker PT & Pain Center Office Manager, Faviola, might be needing some treatment for that Selfie Elbow!

Selfie elbow, the latest tech-related injury. Yet another injury add to the list alongside the smartphone claw, neck injuries from using tablets, and carpal tunnel from typing. Hoda Kotb, the host of “Today”, told Elle that her doctor believes that her selfie addiction has caused her elbow pain. The awkward grip she was using while extending her arm is the perfect concoction of contorted movement to cause pain.

Doctor Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist says, “These injuries are nothing new. They are variations of old fashioned repetitive strain injuries that have been around as long as there have been jobs. The movement that most people use to take selfies is similar to many movements done by mechanics, electricians, and other workers. This movement shouldn’t irritate people who only take a few selfies. People who take multiple selfies everyday should keep an eye on the symptoms listed below.

Similar to golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow, selfie elbow got its name by the movement or action that causes the pain. Symptoms are the result of inflammation of the tendons that pass through the elbow. This pain can occur in anyone who strains the tendons of the forearm and is not limited to selfie addicts.

Symptoms of selfie elbow are-

  • Tenderness in the elbow.
  • Elbow pain when using your arms (such as lifting, writing or driving).
  • Numbness or tingling in the elbow down to the hand.

So, what can you do if you are affected by selfie elbow? The first thing you should do is stop with the selfies! You’re not likely to have a repetitive motion injury if you stop repeating a motion! Selfie elbow, like golfer and tennis elbow, is caused by inflammation of the tendons that run through the elbow. To reduce inflammation, limit movement, use ice (especially after movement) and start stretching. Some good stretches to combat pain are tendon glides and forearm stretches. Tendon glides and stretches allow the tendon to reach its greatest amount of movement and help reduce swelling.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we specialize in repetitive motion injuries. Whether you have become injured from work, sports, or other activities (selfies), we have a rehabilitation program for you. Call us at (714) 997-5518 to set up an evaluation with one of our expert physical therapists.


Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town and Country Rd., Ste. 1

Orange, CA


(714) 997-5518

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