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Tips to Avoid and Treat “iPhone Elbow”

Updated: Apr 1, 2019

By Kelsey Schwab

For as long as I can remember, I have always been fairly tech savvy. I was one of the first people I knew to get an iPhone, and have been “plugged in” ever since. As the Office Manager of WPC, I use my cell phone constantly for social media updates, emails, and communicating with staff. I also get suckered into infinite scrolling Reddit and Instagram (a bad habit I am working on moderating). Because of this new shift in technology, I have developed over-use conditions related to my device usage including neck pain and tennis elbow (no, I do not play tennis!). Thankfully I work for a sports chiropractor!

What is Infinite Scrolling?

Infinite scrolling is a relatively new mobile technology that websites and social media outlets use to help users navigate information without having to reload or press buttons. Content is continually loaded as the user scrolls through a page. Examples of websites include Pinterest, Instagram, Reddit, and Facebook.

Why is it bad for you?

A number of conditions in the hand and arm have been linked to increased phone usage such as lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow, now also being called “iPhone elbow”), thumb strains, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis. These are all overuse or repetitive stress injuries caused by excessive scrolling, clicking, and holding a cell phone.

Changes you can make:

  • Take your main offender apps off of your phone, even if it’s just during scheduled amounts of time, days of the week, or permanently

  • Set boundaries with your employer about when you are able to communicate outside of work

  • Turn off app notifications

  • Plug your phone in across the room or in another room at night. This way you are not scrolling before bed or when you wake up in the morning. It will also help you get out of bed!

  • Leave your phone tucked away the whole time you are out to eat or hanging out with friends

  • Switch up your hands. Hold your phone with the opposite hand and use your finger instead of your thumb

How do I treat the damage I’ve already done?

At home:

  • Ice! You can help control the inflammation with ice

  • Wrist roller - mini foam rollers are helpful, check out

  • Stretching: Stretch your arm out in front of you, pull fingers towards yourself. Turn wrist down, pull your fingers down and towards yourself

At your Sport’s Chiro’s office:

  • Manipulation of joints of the wrist decreases compression and improves mobility resulting is less pain and better function

  • Using manual therapy like the Graston Technique can help break up scar tissue, reducing pain and improving the health of the wrist and forearm

  • Kinesiology tape like RockTape can decrease inflammation and provide support during activity, sports and work

  • Deep tissue massage therapy helps mobilize inflammation and retrain supportive muscles, also decreasing pain

Call our office at 303-744-7100 or email if you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment!

Washington Park Chiropractic is the only practice in Denver, Colorado specializing in Sports Chiropractic, Prenatal Chiropractic and Pediatric Chiropractic. Our Wash Park Doctors are expert certified and trained in Sports, Pediatrics and Prenatal Care including massage, acupuncture, Webster Technique, Graston Technique, Laser, K-Laser, Kinesiology Tape, RockTape and Normatec.

Kelsey Schwab is the billing manager at Washington Park Chiropractic. She grew up in the fountainhead of Chiropractic, Davenport, Iowa. She has been a chiropractic patient all of her life and is an advocate for doctors of chiropractic.


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