Taking too many selfies can lead you to this serious medical condition

Selfies have taken the world by storm in the past 2 years. With the advancement of cameras in smartphones and fast internet speed on mobiles, it has become the international obsession of not only the common people, but also celebrities to click images of themselves, doing mundane things and putting it on social media just to get likes and shares. Companies have started banking on this selfie fever with many contests based around taking selfie with their products to win something or anything. But, with everything obsessive, comes health problems and with taking selfie all the times, people have started developing a medical condition known as selfie elbow. Somewhat similar to a tennis elbow, more and more people have begun developing the condition. Read more to know about the selfie elbow.


1 The obsession of selfies

A selfie is defined as a self-portrait photograph that is taken using a digital camera or camera phone, usually held in hand or using a selfie stick. People then share these images on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook amongst other social media networking apps. There are many such selfie apps that allow users to add and edit the images by applying various filters to the selfie, before posting it on the social media sites. The first ever selfie was taken by Robert Cornelius in 1839 which was a daguerreotype of himself. Nowadays it has become common to see people taking selfies everywhere, whether it is a wedding, funeral, picnics, birthdays, whether they are eating or sleeping or even taking a dump; selfies have become the way to express themselves on social media. But with the popularity, one thing has also increased amongst people who constantly take selfies and that is a medical condition that makes them experience incredible pain.

obsession of selfies

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2 The medical condition that arises from taking too many selfies

According to medical professionals, people who take lots of selfies, with or without the use of selfie sticks, can experience the medical condition aptly named as selfie elbow. It is very similar to the tennis elbow, a condition in which repetition of a particular movement makes the joint of that body part ache. Repeatedly holding the camera in front of you and taking pictures can cause trauma to the muscles and tendons of the elbow in your hand and forearm muscles. Another condition that has started to plague selfie aficionados is known as smart phone pinkies.

It means that the pinky finger of the person who takes selfies get bent in a particular direction because it is used to support the phone while taking selfies. Constant use of the pinky finger will mean that the joints between the first and second bones of the finger will not straighten and will cause pain if tried to do so forcibly. In order to avoid long term damage to your joints, avoid using your phones for long periods of time and use hands free kits when you have to use them repeatedly or for a long time. Use dictation apps on your phone to avoid inflammation of thumbs and fingers.

medical condition arises by taking too many selfies

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3 How to cure it?

Well, the simplest way to cure and reduce the pain is to not take too many selfies. You can take a few pics, but don’t spend too many hours taking selfies from all different angles possible. And if you think you are suffering from this condition, then ice and heat packs can help you. You should visit your doctor, who would tell you about the exercises you should be doing to get relief.


When Hoda Kotb, co-anchor of the fourth hour of NBC’s today, went to her doctor with a pain in the elbow, she was indeed diagnosed with this condition, and has been told to do the exercises and also to reduce the number of selfies. So, here you go, now there is this real condition which might give you pain in the elbows, if you do not give some rest to your phones and obviously to your elbows.

How to cure Selfie elbow

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