More talking, more problems: 'Cell phone elbow' damages nerves

By Madison Park

CNN

(CNN) -- If your pinkie and ring fingers tingle or feel numb, you might not want to pick up that cell phone to call the doctor.

Too much cell phone use can lead to overextending nerves, causing what doctors call "cell phone elbow."

Orthopedic specialists are reporting cases of "cell phone elbow," in which patients damage an essential nerve in their arm by bending their elbows too tightly for too long.

When cell phone users hold the phone to their ears, they stretch a nerve that extends underneath the funny bone and controls the smallest fingers. When talkers chat for a long time in that position, it "chokes the blood supply to the nerves. It makes the nerves short-circuit. The next thing you know, there's tingling in the ring and small finger," said Dr. Peter J. Evans, the director of the Hand and Upper Extremity Center at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

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//www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/06/02/cell.phone.elbow/index.html


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