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Last week I blogged about an article from the NYT that talked about the toll text messaging was having on teens. At the end I joked about how in the future we would probably see more technology-related afflictions.

Well here's another one for ya: cell phone elbow

I'm not making this up, promise.

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The medical term is "cubital tunnel syndrome" and it is a "numbness, tingling and pain in the forearm and hand caused by compression of the ulnar nerve, which passes along the bony bump on the inside of the elbow." [Source:Health.com ]

From the article:
One of the causes of pressure on the ulnar nerve? Too much gabbing, often brought on by those cell phone plans with unlimited minutes, experts say.

Prolonged flexing of the elbow, such as when you hold a cell phone to your ear while closing sales, talking to your mother or keeping tabs on your teens while you’re at work, puts tension on the ulnar nerve. In susceptible people, holding the bent-elbow position for extended periods can lead to decreased blood flow, inflammation and compression of the nerve.

Repetitive, sustained stretching of the nerve is like stepping on a garden hose,” said Dr. Peter J. Evans, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Hand and Upper Extremity Center. “With the hose, you’re blocking the flow of water. With the elbow, you’re blocking the blood flow to the nerve, which causes it to misfire and short circuit.”

According to the article, minor changes in your lifestyle can help alleviate the symptoms, such as using a hands-free headset for your cell phone.

Speaking of, I'm all for using a headset when I'm driving, but what is up with people who just walk around with those bluetooth headsets 24/7? I never know if they are talking to me or someone on the phone. Cell phone elbow or not, if you are one of those annoying blue-tooth wearing people, then you may have other things to worry about.

Be careful out there, it's a dangerous place for cell phone users, it seems.

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