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It’s almost impossible these days to not be walking down the street and see someone snapping a picture of something or someone with their smartphone.
Admit it ..
You probably have hundreds if not thousands of pics on your phone.
Am I right?
And I bet a few “selfies” for good measure but …
Did you know that taking too many pictures of yourself can lead to a very painful condition called selfie elbow – yes it’s absolutely true!
Constantly taking pictures of yourself can cause pain on the outer part of your elbow and you have no one else to blame for it but yourself.
The problem lies in the position of your arm and elbow as you click away all day long.
You don’t even pay much attention to the way or angle you are holding your smartphone.
You simply bend your arm at angle that gives you the best shot.
And why wouldn’t you.
This injury is simply a result of the tech revolution.
Everyone has a smartphone these days.
We simply never leave the house without it.
It is as much a part of you today as the keys to your house, credit cards, bank cards or money.
Getting back to your injury…
Here’s what you must understand:
Selfie elbow is caused by the repeatedly extending and locking your arm and maintaining a tight grip on your smartphone as you click to take your pictures.
Sounds simple right?
So you’re probably thinking …
How else am I able to self-take pictures without extending my arm?
Well here are 5 tips for healthy and safe self picture taking:
1) If it hurts – simply stop.
You know you’ve snapped way too many pics when the outer part of your elbow starts throbbing and hurting.
Here’s the thing:
Your elbow pain may only begin as a dull ache.
If you are like most selfie snapping people, you just ignore the pain and continue taking pictures.
I have heard that it is not uncommon for people to snap 40 selfies a day!
But here’s the kicker…
With each click, you are increasing the damage to your extensor tendons and muscles.
It can extend the amount of time for a full and complete recovery.
2) Switch fingers when clicking the button on your smartphone.
If you are like most people, you probably always use the same “clicking finger”.
If you switch it up and use different fingers or your thumb from time to time, you will take strain off one specific forearm extensor muscle.
You don’t think about it at the time but because your injury is due to repetitive use, changing your fingers which make the click to take the photo can make a huge difference.
Be sure to check out the Washington Posts take on this injury and condition.
3) This one is pretty simple yet so many people just don’t think about it.
Switch hands when taking your pictures.
If you are right handed, you will most likely hold your smartphone in your right hand to snap the pics.
Try using your left from time to time.
Sounds simple but when it comes to decreasing your pain and suffering, any little thing can help.
4) NEVER, EVER fully straighten and extend your arm when taking selfies with your smartphone.
Here’s why …
When you extend your arm fully and then perform wrist extension actions such as clicking a button …
It causes a lot of force, tension and strain on your extensor tendons and muscles.
Doing it half a dozen times a day is not a big deal but …
When you are a “selfie addict”, you probably snap upwards of 25 plus pics a day.
This is where the term repetitive comes into play.
And by now you know that your injury has been caused by repeatedly snapping pics.
Avoid extending your arm fully when taking your photo.
The pain and discomfort will only get worse.
And you don’t want that – do you?
5) Last but by no means least – avoid squeezing and gripping your phone so tight.
I know you don’t want to drop your expensive smartphone but
Over gripping is a major contributor to your injury.
The constant gripping, squeezing of your phone combined with the repetitive clicking of the button is much more strenuous on your extensor muscles than you think.
So much so that it causes the muscles and tendons to break down and tiny tears develop.
Think of your tendons which attach muscles to bone as ropes.
When you are doing the same action or movement over and over again for an extended period of time, the rope begins to fray and tear.
Picture an old rope on a fishing boat.
That’s what happens when your start to develop “selfie elbow”.
You can check out my post right here, that provides 9 symptoms of tennis elbow with a detailed checklist.
So what are your best options and where do you go from here?
More critical is to learn what not to do!
Because your injury is more like golfers and tennis elbow, you need to avoid the common mistakes that people with this condition make.
For example …
Don’t overdo it with anti-inflammatory medication.
Sure in the short term, popping a pill is ok for temporary pain relief but remember that it is NOT the solution.
If you head to your Doctor for professional medical advice, he/she will most likely diagnosis you with either golfers or tennis elbow.
If you are like most people, it will most likely be tennis elbow.
Don’t go for cortisone injections or shots.
While they are effective and work for about 4 weeks, after that you will be right back to where you started today.
Be here’s what you need to know:
Elbow straps, bands and braces are an absolute joke!
They are a complete waste of money!
Avoid them at all costs for the simple fact that they immobilize your arm and restrict blood flow.
When in fact …
What you really need right now is a tsunami of blood pouring into your elbow to flush out the toxic blood.
Does this all make sense to you?
I hope so.
Because following traditional types of treatment can drain your bank account and extend your suffering.
So what’s the permanent fix and solution to overcome your tennis elbow and have you back snapping pictures with your smartphone as quickly as possible.
It’s a 5 step approach that is so simple to implement and follow that a kindergarten student could successfully do it.
I’m dead serious.
Here’s what to do next:
Click on the button below where a video will show you these 5 steps which you can implement right now to stop your elbow pain and have you back in action!
is the author of Tennis Elbow Secrets Revealed which has been teaching individuals how to overcome their tennis elbow injury at home since 2005 with over 1,767,986 copies sold.
He is a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and Exercise Rehab Specialist based in Vancouver, BC, Canada