Selfies are causing a rise in people needing surgery for sore wrists, says doctor

The trend for selfies is fuelling a rise in sore wrist complaints, according to a doctor [Image: Getty]
The trend for selfies is fuelling a rise in sore wrist complaints, according to a doctor [Image: Getty]

They are a key way for many people nowadays to capture a special moment - and probably post it on Instagram later.

But selfies are fuelling a rise in the number of young people complaining of sore wrists, a doctor has told The Sunday Times.

The action of taking a picture of yourself - with or without others - using a smartphone, risks the development of a painful nerve condition.

An increase in what has been branded “selfie wrist” corresponds with a growing obsession for people to share images of themselves on social media.

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However, the ailment - which is a form of carpal tunnel syndrome - has left some sufferers requiring surgery.

“The wrist holding the camera phone is in a flexed position: that is the most unfavourable position,” explained Dr Raj Ragoowansi, a consultant plastic surgeon based on Harley Street, who has seen a spike in patients complaining of the injury.

“The carpal tunnel is an unforgiving space in the wrist — if you keep on taking selfies, the blood supply of the nerve in it will be compromised, causing pain and numbness.”

It is triggered because people have to perform a repeated inward flexing of the wrist to get a flattering angle.

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In minor cases, “selfie wrist” causes pins and needles in the fingers, hand or arm, and can be eased with painkillers and hand therapy.

However, some people need injections or surgery in order to relieve pressure being placed on a particular nerve.

“In one 26-year-old I saw a month ago the numbness was so severe that she couldn’t grip,” Dr Ragoowansi revealed.

Another woman presented to him with “severely numb fingertips” and admitted she regularly took selfies.

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Dr Ragoowansi estimates that he has seen a 30 to 40 per cent increase in men and women, between the ages of 18 and 35, who go on to be diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome - something he used to “rarely” see.

Because of how “commonplace” it has become, he now asks patients to document in detail their mobile phone use.

As well as selfies, how you hold your phone and type can also cause damage.

Nobody appears to be immune - Kim Kardashian previously said she was giving up taking selfies due to suffering such an injury.

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It comes as it was revealed people are photoshopping out their knuckles for a perfect manicure snap.

Sara Tasker, a Instagram expert, uncovered the new trend, writing on Twitter: “New in ‘instagram trends that quietly frighten me’ we have airbrushing out your knuckles for that ‘hot dog’ look...”

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