A Young Affliction? Do Video Games Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

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The explosion of popularity in video game systems and computer usage has also led to the problem of carpal tunnel syndrome coming to the forefront of society in general. As carpal tunnel syndrome and other similar injuries continue to increase, and afflict younger and younger individuals, questions arise as to how relevant a link exists between carpal tunnel syndrome and video games. While the general assumption is made that a correlation does exist, and that kids who play a lot of video games will be at increased risk for carpal tunnel syndrome than those who do not, but surprisingly few studies have been done at his point to confirm or deny that. The most recent studies seem to have some unexpected and startling results.

 

Several recent studies funded by the federal government suggest that there actually is no connection between carpal tunnel syndrome and office work, carpal tunnel syndrome and computer use, or carpal tunnel syndrome and playing video games. While each of these things may affect certain individuals negatively, most of the studies that have actually been done recently seem to suggest that individuals who play a lot of video games or do a lot of computer work have the same percentage rate of carpal tunnel syndrome per capita than those who do not. Though, touting this study may not be the end all, be all, of an argument, because there are many injuries that are similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in nature, and many of these are believed to be a result of increased video game playing.

Though carpel tunnel syndrome is usually an affliction that affects individuals over the age of thirty, though some children have been known to have it. Injuries such as tendonitis, bursitis, and other injuries are becoming more and more common among young kids. Bitingly called Nintendonitis or Nintendo thumb by a lot of parents, the constant use of video games is the cause of many repetitive strain injuries, of which carpal tunnel syndrome is included. Not only is the problem because of the home video game systems and computer video games, but portable video games and game boy-like systems have only worsened the problem.

Computers and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Doctors say that hours of sitting in the same exact position using the thumb and finger muscles over and over again is what causes the pain and other functional problems. Like in any activity, some exercise is good, but if you continually use the same muscle or groups of muscles without exercising their counterpart in order to maintain balance, then the end results are going to be injury and pain. While most likely a six or seven year old child will not get carpal tunnel syndrome no matter how much he/she plays, they will have other injuries that can make them more susceptible to carpal tunnel in the future. Playing video games for long periods of time can be okay, as long as they take breaks, avoid positioning their hands and wrists awkwardly, and don't play for more than several hours at any one time.

The rise of computer use and flat, light-touch keyboards that permit high speed typing have resulted in an epidemic of injuries of the hands, arms, and shoulders. The use of pointing devices like mice and trackballs are as much a cause in the development of carpal tunnel syndrome, if not more. The constant uninterrupted use of video game controls does the exact same thing. Whether or not an injury starts out as carpal tunnel syndrome, any time video gaming is involved a lack of adequate rest and breaks is pretty much a promise of trouble.

While studies suggest there is not a large difference between the number of people who get carpal tunnel who play video games and those who do not, there is no question that the prolonged playing of video games does lead to an increase in hand injuries. While a lot of evidence suggests that carpal tunnel syndrome tends to affect people who are older, each individual should still take the proper steps to protect themselves. Long periods of playing video games without rest are not healthy, for reasons that go beyond carpal tunnel syndrome. And regardless of which study says what, why take the chance?

Contact www.repetitive-strain.com to learn more about a unique training system shown to have 90 percent success in reducing symptoms in as little as 4 weeks.

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