Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Video Games: The Facts

Published: 18th December 2009
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The latest technology in video gaming is growing rapidly. Many people, mostly young individuals, are hooked in playing different video games. They are enjoying the advantages of the newest entertainment trend and spend most of their times in front of their TV's. One thing they might not be aware of is that carpal tunnel syndrome can possibly attack them.



The existence of popular video game systems as well as computer usage led in the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. Ina large scale, it has become a problem for many gamers. Since carpal tunnel syndrome affecting younger individuals continuously increases in numbers, this leads to the studies of the cause and symptoms to whether the injury is really associated with playing video games.



General assumptions has been made saying that correlation exists. It has been find out that kids who are playing a lot of video games has increased possibilities of developing carpal tunnel syndrome compared to kids who do not play video games. Surprisingly, based on some studies that has been conducted, it reveals some startling and unexpected results.



The federal government even funded recent studies to find out whether playing video games is related to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. Although they have said that there is no relation at all, some part of the studies states some negative effects of playing too much video games or doing lots of computer works.



There can be so much argument to discuss but the injuries that has been acquired are similar in nature to carpal tunnel syndrome. This is proven by increased playing of video games.



Carpal tunnel syndrome is an affliction usually affecting individuals over thirty years old. However, some children have also displayed some of its symptoms. The injuries include bursitis, tendonitis, and related injuries that are becoming more common to young kids. Nintendo thumb or Nintendonitis is the name called by most parents to the constant usage of video games causing strain injuries which is repetitively occurring. This also characterizes carpal tunnel syndrome. Video systems used for homes are not the only contributor, but also video systems that are portable which include handheld game systems.



Results and findings of several doctors reveal that prolonged hours of sitting in exactly the same position and using the finger muscles and thumb over and over again, causes imbalance in the muscles which leads to pain and other associated functional problems. Compared to other activities, exercises are very beneficial, however, using the same muscles or muscle groups in particular without exercising its counterparts so that balance is maintained will definitely cause pain and injury.



Children ages 6 or 7 years old will not developed carpal tunnel syndrome, nevertheless, if they continue to play excessively, they are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. As much as possible, long taking breaks in between excessive game playing sessions should be done to give rest to the affected muscles, avoid positioning of wrists and hands awkwardly, and prevent several hours of continuous playing.



The computer's rise in using light-touch, flat keyboards which permits high speed typing results in epidemic injuries of the hands, shoulders, and arms. Usage of pointing devices such as trackballs and the mouse triggers the carpal tunnel syndrome development. In addition, the uninterrupted use of controls in video game systems does the same thing. Regardless of the carpal tunnel syndrome development, lack of adequate breaks and rest can be very troublesome.



There are studies though that suggests that there is no big difference in the number of people who are affected by carpal tunnel syndrome because of playing video games as compared to those people who don't play video games at all. Increased injuries on the hands have still got to do with prolonged time in playing video games. In this case, it is much better to protect one's health even if carpal tunnel syndrome would likely affect older people. Video game enthusiasts should be aware of the possible problems they will encounter in the future because of this reason.



The studies conducted to prove whether carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with playing video games might also affect the future of the video game industry. However, innovations can be still made to solve this problem. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be prevented as video game industries continue to flourish and new developments and designs are thought of.



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