Growing numbers of millennials are being struck down with painful ‘selfie wrist’ nerve condition with some even having to undergo surgery because of the way they hold their phones to take pictures
- Growing number of 18 to 35-year-olds are at risk of developing painful condition
- ‘Selfie wrist’ caused by frequently turning the wrist inwards to capture a photo
- Those affected can lose ability to grip and experience severely numb fingertips
- Reality star Kim Kardashian revealed last year that she developed ‘selfie wrist’
Repeatedly taking selfies has put a growing number of 18 to 35-year-olds at risk of developing a painful nerve condition, because of the way they are contorting their wrists, a leading medical expert has claimed.
Dubbed ‘selfie wrist’, a form of carpal tunnel syndrome, the condition causes sharp pain and a numbing and tingling sensation experienced in the wrist and fingers, with the most severe cases requiring surgery.
Dr Raj Ragoowansi, a consultant plastic surgeon based in Harley Street, says he has seen a large increase among Millennials presenting such symptoms, which are caused by frequently turning the wrist inwards to capture the perfect selfie.
A growing number of 18 to 35-year-olds are developing a painful nerve condition, ‘selfie wrist’
One patient was affected so badly by the condition that she was unable to grip, while another suffered from severely numb fingertips.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Ragoowansi said: ‘I’ve seen a 30% to 40% increase in patients, men and women, between the ages of 18 and 35 presenting with carpal tunnel syndrome, which I rarely used to see.’
Possible treatments for the condition include wearing a wrist splint to keep the joint stable and straight, taking steroids to reduce swelling, and even surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve if other methods haven’t worked.
He added: ‘It’s not just selfies but texting too, about how you hold the phone and type.
Doctors have also seen a rise in ‘iPhone thumb’ experienced by people who regularly text
‘We’re also seeing ‘iPhone thumb’, whereby if you keep on using your thumb, you will get thumb-based pain, due to joint or tendon inflammation.’
Last year, reality star Kim Kardashian revealed that doctors had diagnosed her with ‘selfie wrist’.
Kardashian, who published an entire book of selfies, revealed in a 2018 interview with ITV’s This Morning that she wasn’t taking them anymore because she ‘doesn’t really like them’.
But in a later episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, the 38-year-old reality star admitted her doctors ordered her to stop taking them because she had developed carpal tunnel syndrome after holding her cellphone for too long without moving.
Under doctor’s orders: Kim Kardashian, pictured with daughter, North West, takes a photo via a mirror to help relieve her symptoms, after she was diagnosed with ‘selfie wrist’ last year
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes pressed or squeezed, creating a burning, tingling or numbness.
The median nerve spans from the forearm to the palm of the hand – and runs through a narrow passage in the wrist known as the carpal tunnel.
Using a selfie stick can help relieve symptoms, as well as exercises, including rotating the wrist with an open palm and a closed fist and waving the hand back and forth.
WHAT IS CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition which is caused by pressure on a nerve in the wrist, usually imposed by internal swelling.
People with carpal tunnel include pain, tingling or numbness in the fingers, hands or arms, and potential weakness in the thumb or difficulty gripping things.
The symptoms usually start slowly and aren’t uncomfortable all the time, tending instead to come and go.
Although the condition can affect people of any age, it’s more common among women and people in middle or old age.
Things which may increase someone’s risk of developing carpal tunnel include being overweight, having arthritis or diabetes, a family history of the condition, having a job which requires a lot of bending of the wrist, gripping or holding vibrating objects, or having a past injury in the wrist.
Possible treatments include wearing a wrist splint to keep the joint stable and straight, taking steroids to reduce swelling, and even surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve if other methods haven’t worked.