Know about Cell Phone Elbow

Know about Cell Phone Elbow

We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

Know about Cell Phone Elbow

While surfing the net I came across a term called “cell phone elbow”. Frankly I have heard terms such as tennis elbow, but cell phone elbow I have never heard before. So I decided to find more details about the disease and found it to be actually “cubital tunnel syndrome” in medical term. I thought I should write some information regarding cell phone elbow (and why it is called so) or cubital tunnel syndrome, as cell phone use is so common these days.

Cell phone elbow is the second most common nerve compression syndrome in upper extremities, after carpal tunnel syndrome. The disease commonly occurs among users of cell phones, especially for long duration. During talking, when a cell phone user holds the phone to their ears they stretch a nerve (the ulnar nerve) which provides nerve supply to smaller fingers (ring finger and little fingers of hands). If the user use cell phone for long duration it can compress the ulnar nerve as well as reduce (and may even choke) blood supply to the nerve, which can be harmful to the nerve.

What are the symptoms of cell phone elbow?

The symptoms of cell phone elbow include tingling, numbness, aching and burning in the ring finger (the half adjacent to little finger side to be precise) and little finger of the affected hand and forearm. The affected hand becomes weak and the patient may even find it difficult to perform certain easy tasks such as opening jars and bottles, writing, typing or playing instruments.

How cell phone elbow is diagnosed?

The diagnosis is mainly clinical, by thorough history and clinical examination.

What is the treatment for cell phone elbow?

The most important advice is to switch hands when you notice symptoms of cell phone elbow or use of hands free device can be of great help. Switching hands while talking on cell phone for prolonged period can reduce the constant compression and prevent development of the syndrome. Sometimes patients may require anti-inflammatory medication and some severe cases may require surgical treatment to decompress the ulnar nerve.

The prognosis is generally good even in severe cases who present late. But overall recovery is much better, who presents early and if symptoms are not severe.

Other causes of cell phone elbow:

There are other causes of cell phone elbow, other than long use of cell phones. Sleeping in elbow flexed position can also cause nerve compression and cell phone elbow or cubital tunnel syndrome. Any condition which cause constant or long duration of flexion of elbow can cause cell phone elbow. Treatment of cell phone elbow depends to some extent on the cause of the syndrome e.g. cell phone elbow due to extension of elbow during sleep is treated by wrapping a pad or towel around elbow during sleep to prevent flexion.

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    Kathrin Magalski March 29, 2011 11.32 pm

    Wonderful website you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get advice from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks!

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    Shira April 04, 2011 07.22 pm

    Thanks for this informative piece! Mkaes me determined to use my blue tooth more often to avoid getting these elbow aches. 🙂

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    Buffalo Chiropractor April 06, 2011 12.53 pm
    Great article. The ulnar nerve is very prone to stretch type injuries. Make sure to alternate hands while keeping the arm in a sustained position while using the phone. From the research it is looking like the speaker phone option has the fewest health concerns for mobile phone use. Thanks again for the great article.

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