Move over eye strain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Our love affair with technology may now be giving rise to a new health problem that should give you pause before you post that next selfie. Say hello to “selfie wrist.”
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Levi Harrison, a Los Angeles doctor, recently noted that flexing your wrist inward to take that perfectly angled and meticulously framed photograph can cause numbness and tingling sensations, as the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
“What happens is the nerve becomes inflamed and angry, ” as Harrison told KABC, adding that this new condition is actually a sort of carpal tunnel syndrome that has exploded because of the recent fascination with selfies.
Harrison said to watch out when repeatedly posting to social media because too many selfies can make the nerves “angry” and cause a sore wrist.
“You’re right in the moment,” Harrison told KABC. “Let’s take a picture right now and that’s what happens.”
Harrison suggested ways to try and hold your smartphone without causing extreme stress on the wrist. He also encourages patients to try exercises called “flappers” and the “queen’s wave” to stretch out the wrist.
“That is the nature of our generation right now,” said Tina Choi, 29, who is one of Harrison’s patients, told KABC. “We’re taking so many selfies these days.”
Of course self-portraits are as old as art itself but never before has the need to capture one’s own beauty been so urgent and so repetitive as in the age of Instagram.