Cell phones have been accused of causing cancer before, and of lowering fertility thanks to their heat levels. However, doctors worldwide are reporting a less sensational, but potentially far more dangerous affliction striking users worldwide. Scientist are dubbing the new disease "cell phone elbow", a use injury similar perhaps to Wii-itis, but with the potential to cause long term damage.

According to doctors, when you bend your elbow to hold your cell phone to your ear, you stretch a nerve which extends underneath the funny bone and controls the smallest fingers. According to Dr. Peter J. Evans, the director of the Hand and Upper Extremity Center at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, long chats can "(choke) 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."

Doctors are advising users who experience such tingling sensations to switch hands and, if possible, cut back on their use. The alternative is to risk long term damage to your nerves. The disorder officially goes by the name cubital tunnel syndrome, and its victims have troubled opening jars and performing other dexterous activities, such as playing musical instruments.

Dr. Evans wards, "It could impede your typing ability, your writing ability. People get very unintelligible writing if it gets severe.'

Donna Malloy, 66, reported on CNN.com that she suffered from the disease. She states, "Mainly when I was holding something, I noticed, 'Geez, they're tingling.' It got progressively worse. If you walk around holding the cell phone, after a while you're not sure you have it in the hand anymore. I thought: 'I'm turning old and falling apart.'"

Dr. Leon Benson, an orthopedic surgeon and spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says patients like Ms. Malloy aren’t necessarily falling apart, rather they're putting too much stress on their ulnar nerve. In time this stress can lead to permanent damage. Reiterates Dr. Evans, "The more you bend it, the more it stretches. It diminishes the blood supply, and the blood is not flowing through the nerves."

Dr. Benson adds that the injury isn't as common as carpal tunnel syndrome and can be avoided with a bit of common sense. He states, "It's like anything else, any sporting activity. You can hit balls at the driving range -- just don't hit 300 of them, because you'll be sore. So common sense would dictate not to talk on the phone for hours if your small and ring fingers go numb."

The affliction can also strike heavy computer users and truckers, both of which tend to hold their arms in a bent position when performing their work.

source: http://www.dailytech.com/Cell+Phone+Elbow+Begins+to+Strike+Patients+Worldwide/article15309.htm