‘Cell phone elbow’: Chatting for too long could ‘stress out a nerve’
Now those who just can’t stop chatting into their handsets are facing a new menace called ‘cell phone elbow’. Using your mobile phone for too long can damage nerves in your arm. They have also been blamed for damaging hearing and exposing users to harmful radiation. Users who hold the phone to their ear for long periods are at risk of developing a painful condition in their arm. By bending their elbow too tightly, and for too long, they could overextend a main nerve which is painful; this can lead to tingling or numbness from the elbow to the fingers. Orthopaedic specialists (concerned with bones) say they are seeing increasing numbers of patients with the condition.
How does this happen? There is a nerve called the ULNAR nerve located in the upper arm, the ulnar nerve passes through several small tunnels and outlets of bones and these regions of the nerve are vulnerable to compression or entrapment when there is disruption in the normal anatomy i.e is the positioning of the arm. Compression of the nerve here, often leads to a tingling or ‘pins and needles’ sensation in the little and ring finger. This occurs when we bend the arm for too long at the elbow joint and this can be seen in cases when we make calls with the phone for too long, chatting and also in our sleep position and this restricts blood flow to the fingers also stretching the nerve repeatedly, which travels through the forearm and branches into the hand, can become weakened and scarred leading to numbness over time and the weakness of the hand set in, there is difficulty opening jars, typing, writing or playing instruments. . This condition is known in the Medical field as ‘cubital tunnel syndrome’,
This condition could be prevented or reduced by maintaining good posture and proper use of the elbow and arms by not keeping the elbow tightly bent when using our phones and during sleep. It is advised that mobile users switch the handset from hand to hand every so often and the use of a telephone headset to prevent it.
In conclusion, every thing is got to be done with moderation.The use of social media on our phones has become a daily activity for both the young and the old and if we are not careful to do it in moderation,it could affect our health. Remember Health is Wealth.
NURSE AKINGBOHUNGBE OLUWATOSIN