Love Taking Selfies? Docs Warn ‘Selfie Wrist’ Injuries Are Rising

Taking too many selfies can cause the nerves in your wrist to become inflamed and “angry”.

2 min read

Who hasn’t indulged in one of the biggest trends of the digital age – selfies! It’s revolutionised how we take pictures. But has it also brought with it a new age “health hazard”? That’s what research says.

Your next selfie could be your most painful one, suggests US-based Dr Levi Harrison. He says that flexing your wrist inward to take that perfectly angled photograph can cause numbness and tingling sensation. In that way, “selfie wrist” is basically a form of carpal tunnel syndrome.

“What happens is the nerve becomes inflamed and angry,” says Dr Harrison. Too much of it can cause a sore wrist.

Taking too many selfies can cause the nerves in your wrist to become inflamed and “angry”.
Dr Levi Harrison (right) explains selfie wrist injuries.
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Dr Levi Harrison)

Another study details how selfie-related trauma is rising by the day. The incidents included the selfie-taker jumping on a trampoline, walking on rocks or just not paying attention and ending up breaking their wrist from falling or colliding with other objects.

And if you’re in these precarious positions, it may not be the best idea to take selfies.

Some 259 people worldwide have died while taking selfies, according to a study. They found that the most selfie deaths occurred in India, followed by Russia, the US and Pakistan.

Researchers from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, collated from news reports on selfie deaths that occurred from October 2011 to November 2017.

Most of the victims were men (about 72 percent) and under the age of 30.

Taking too many selfies can cause the nerves in your wrist to become inflamed and “angry”.
A hiker takes a selfie at the edge of a cliff.
(Photo: iStock)

The study's authors suggest that "no selfie zones" be established in tourist areas, especially on mountain peaks, near bodies of water and on top of tall buildings. India has more than a dozen of these zones, including several in Mumbai.

Coming back to the ‘selfie wrist’. Dr Harrison suggested ways to hold a smartphone without causing too much stress on the wrist. He encourages patients to try exercises called “flappers” and the “queen’s wave.”

While selfies provide an easy way for us to take pictures of ourselves and our surroundings, let’s be a bit more cautious so that it doesn’t end up harming us.

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