ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
CANCER
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
CAREGIVING
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Are Medical Meetings Environmentally Unfriendly?
Exhaust From Railroad Diesel Linked to Lung Ailments
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
EYE CARE, VISION
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
FITNESS
Exercise Guards White Blood Cells Against Aging
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Internet Program Helps Problem Drinkers
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
When It Comes to Toys, Shop Smart, Shop Safe
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
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'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age

TUESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- First came Nintendo thumb. Then, Guitar Hero wrist. Now, for the latest affliction of the wired age, it's cell phone elbow.

Medically known as cubital tunnel syndrome, cell phone elbow is 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.

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."

The first symptoms patients often notice include numbness, tingling or aching in the forearm and hand, a pain similar to hitting your "funny bone." (The unpleasant sensation of hitting your "funny bone" is actually your ulnar nerve.)

As symptoms progress, they can include a loss of muscle strength, coordination and mobility that can make writing and typing difficult. In chronic, untreated cases, the ring finger and pinky can become clawed, Evans and colleagues note in a report in the May issue of the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine.

Though there are no solid figures on how many people have cell phone elbow, hand specialists say the incidence is increasing along with the 3.3 billion cell phone service contracts active worldwide, Evans said.

Still, the disorder is less common than carpal tunnel syndrome, a related condition that causes pain in the hand and wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve that runs from the forearm into the hand.

"Cubital tunnel is the second most common compression syndrome we see," said Heather Turkopp, an occupational therapist and certified hand specialist at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.

Most people who get cubital tunnel syndrome are middle-aged or older. Women get cubital tunnel syndrome more often than men -- and it's probably not because they talk more.

Although the precise reasons are unknown, women may be more susceptible due to hormonal fluctuations or their anatomy, Evans said.

And too much yakking isn't the only cause of cubital tunnel syndrome. Other causes may include sleeping with the elbows bent and tucked up into the chest, sitting at a desk with the elbows flexed at an angle greater than 90 degrees and driving with your elbow propped on the window for extended periods, he said.

In most cases, minor lifestyle changes can help alleviate symptoms, including using a hands-free headset for your cell phone. If sleep position is the problem, an elbow pad to keep the arm straighter at night can help.

More serious cases are referred to an occupational therapist, who may use ultrasound to loosen scar tissue that can form around the nerve as a result of the inflammation, as well as stretching, deep massage and "nerve-gliding" exercises to reduce pressure on the nerve, Turkopp said.

Doctors may also use anti-inflammatory injections or surgery.

Seeing your doctor soon if you're experiencing any numbness or tingling in your hand or forearm can prevent the problem from progressing to that point, Evans said.

SOURCES: Peter J. Evans, M.D., Ph.D., director, Hand and Upper Extremity Center, Cleveland Clinic; Heather Turkopp, OTR, CHS, occupational therapist, certified hand specialist, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich.; May 2009, Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine Published on: June 02, 2009