Complaints of 'cell phone elbow' on the rise - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/22/09

Complaints of 'cell phone elbow' on the rise

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By Cassie Hataway | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Too much time on your cell phone can be hazardous to your health or, more specifically, to your elbow. 

It is a condition that doctors are calling ‘cell phone elbow'.  It may sound like a silly problem but is actually very painful.  Doctors say a growing number of users are reporting pain in the elbow that may start with tingling in the fingers and end up with some loss of control. 

"[Symptoms can include] loss of grip, loss of feeling, dropping objects, loss of strength and coordination.  This can be severely painful.  It can stay like that for weeks it could stay like that for months", says occupational therapist Edwin Hall. 

The medical name for cell phone elbow is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.  It happens when you bend your elbow more than 90 degrees for an extended period and the blood supply to the nerve that runs from your shoulder through your elbow and into your hand is cut off.  One easy way to cut the risk is to switch hands when you use the phone, but a cordless headset would be the best prevention.

If you are already bothered by cell phone elbow and you leave it untreated, Dr. Hall says you may end up needing surgery.

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