'Selfie Wrist': Doctors Warn Millennial Phone Habits Could Lead To Surgery

The desire to live like Kim Kardashian is leading more and more millennials to the emergency room.

The selfie superstar is notorious for capturing every waking moment with a pout and a peace sign. But Kim Kardashian's affinity for the selfie has left her in some serious strife.

Last year, Kim recruited a selfie assistant to help her keep up with her 154 million Instagram followers after damaging her wrist.

"It'll help Kim's hand without missing a beat on social media," Kris Jenner said in an episode of 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians'.

While there is not a lot about the everyday life of Kim Kardashian your average millennial can relate to, doctors have noted a rise in this selfie-inflicted injury.

Kimmy K's selfies are harming more than just your self esteem. Image: Instagram

According to Dr Ryan Harvey, House Call Doctor Clinical Director, our phones are causing us physical health problems. 

"There has indeed been an increase in carpal tunnel syndrome with the spread of mobile phones. Studies have shown that five hours of mobile phone use a day is associated with higher rates of carpal tunnel," Dr Harvey told 10 daily.

The flexed position that the wrist must contort to for using a mobile phone or taking a selfie increases pressure on the medial nerve as it runs through the wrist.

Dr Harvey explained that carpal tunnel syndrome is a "condition resulting in numbness, pain, lose of function of some fingers and the hand. In some cases surgery is needed to fix the problem.”

Capturing those key moments could be doing more harm than good. Image: AAP

But General Practitioner Dr Rebekah Hoffman insists it's important we don't let the problem get to the stage where surgery is required.

"It's more about prevention than treatment. Ideally we're actually not even getting these injuries to start with," she told 10 daily.

"My advice is to regularly change your position. So at least every 20 minutes or half an hour, get up, do some exercise," Doctor Hoffman provided a number of tips millennials should keep in mind to avoid contracting carpal tunnel syndrome.

Other key recommendations include:

  • Only use as much force as you need (don’t press too hard on devices).
  • Try to alternate hands of tasks if possible.
  • Take regular breaks and stretch your hands.
  • Watch your body posture as hunching your shoulders, sets off a chain reaction that can make wrist problems worse.



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A 2017 Lonegran Research study revealed that Australians are spending an average of 9.4 hours a day in front of screens: that's 143 days every year.

So if you want to up your selfie game, it's extremely important you change up your position. Both to find that perfect lighting, and avoid that trip to the doctor's office.

Featured Image: Instagram