Doctors Warn of “Mobile Elbow” Caused by Using Cell Phone Too Much
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Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Leon Benson has a warning about your mobile phone use, and it’s not about radiation going into your brain via your ear canal. Rather, it’s about “cubital tunnel syndrome”, otherwise known as “mobile elbow” or “cell phone elbow”.

The problem is that the ulnar nerve, which runs across your elbow, and down to your pinky and ring finger, gets over-stretched, and can have its blood supply restricted, if you are holding a phone to your ear for too long (where, in our estimation, “too long” equals the difference between the amount of time you are behind the wheel, and the amount of time you aren’t using your cell phone while behind the wheel).


Explains Dr. Benson, a professor of orthopedic surgery at Northwestern University School of Medicine, “The more you bend it, for example when using a phone, the more it stretches. It diminishes the blood supply, and the blood is not flowing through the nerves.”

“While the nerves are designed for stretching, it’s not normal to be in a position to be stretched for an hour,” he goes on to say.

While the issue involves the so-called “funny bone”, it’s really no laughing matter. It can be serious enough so as to require surgery.

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So the next time that you are talking on the phone, and you get a tingling feeling in your phone-arm or phone-hand, plug in your headset, switch hands, or, hey, hang up!

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One thought on “Doctors Warn of “Mobile Elbow” Caused by Using Cell Phone Too Much
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  1. Cell phone elbow is also known as “cellbow” or its official name, cubital tunnel syndrome (CuTS).

    CuTS is a repetitive stress injury (RSI) that can result in moderate to severe pain and numbness in the elbow and ring & little fingers. Untreated, CuTS can result in extreme pain, surgery or an unusable hand.

    The problem occurs where the ulnar nerve passes around the elbow. The nerve rests in a groove called the cubital tunnel tucked behind the bony point on the elbow. Repeated stretching or hitting this nerve results in numbness, shocks and pain, similar to what you feel when you hit your “funny bone.”

    The ulnar nerve can be stretched and irritated by talking on a cellphone frequently or for long periods. If you cannot reduce your cell phone use, the next best solution is to buy an earpiece that allows you to talk on your phone hands-free.

    If any of your readers are afflicted with cellbow, they may wish to visit our Cubital-Tunnel.com forums where they can share their experiences, ask questions and get answers about their condition.

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