Have a look at the following symptoms
- Pain or tenderness in the outer part of your elbow (lateral epicondyle)
- Gripping something with your hand causes slight discomfort in your outer elbow
- You have difficulty keeping your arm straight
- Your outer elbow muscle twitches when you keep your arm still
- Weak grip strength
Sounds familiar? It may be that you are suffering from Tennis Elbow. Don’t play tennis, I hear you say? That is because Tennis Elbow refers to a condition called Lateral epicondylitis, which essentially means, overuse of the lateral side of the elbow (Wikipedia, 2011). With all these great smart phones around, walking home has suddenly turned into a scene from “Night of the Living Dead”. “Zombies” standing around looking down at their phones with the usual groan. Doctors have reported an increase in elbow pain complaints in the last few years and have even coined a new term “Cellphone Elbow” (Ergow, 2009) to join a large list of new age diseases.
Not to worry though. You can prevent “CellPhone Elbow” with a few simple tips.
- Try to stay fit and exercise your arms regularly. (even swinging your arms more when you walk would help)
- Limit your phone usage or at least switch arms from time to time
- Paul Brown (PaulBrown.net, 2011) also provides a simple exercise to do regularly:
Take one hand in the other and gently flex the held hand’s wrist. That is, bend the wrist in the direction of the palm of the hand.
Straighten that same arm’s elbow.
Slowly rotate the forearm so the elbow crease is pointing away from your body.
Hold for 30 – 60 seconds.
ErgoWeb, Cellphone Elbow, Online: http://www.ergoweb.com/news/detail.cfm?id=2348, Accessed: 27/07/2011
Paul Brown, iPhone Elbow, Online: http://www.paulbrown.net/iphone-elbow/, Accessed 27/07/2011
Wikipedia, Tennis Elbow, Online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennis_elbow, Accessed 27/07/2011