They Call It "Video Gamer’s
result of the holiday season, now that the tree is down and the
decorations stored away, is the number of children and teens, heads
bent, intent on the latest version of a game on
PlayStation 3 or Microsoft’s’ XBox 360. They may
something that they didn’t wish for – sore thumbs and hands
– according to the American Physical Therapy Association
Gamer’s Thumb" is a very real condition that can have
effects on children’s hands and upper arms if they
take proper precautions, says Cindy Miles, PT, MEd, PCS, owner of a
pediatrics physical therapy private practice in Whitehall, PA.
Continued stress on tendons, nerves, and ligaments in
hands and arms can lead to long-term consequences such as tendinitis,
bursitis, and carpel tunnel syndrome, explains Miles.
Gamer’s Thumb" refers to a repetitive stress injury (RSI)
causes swelling at the base of the thumb due to overuse of video games.
RSI is an umbrella term for a collection of disorders most commonly
affecting the hands, wrists, forearms, and shoulders, notes Miles. She
adds that symptoms can range from fatigue and loss of strength to minor
or acute aches and pains, burning, and tingling.
protect against injuries, APTA also recommends the following:
wrists straight: do not let them bend downward when holding a
good posture while playing. Sit in a chair that provides
solid back support with feet comfortably on the floor.
and move. Remember to stretch and get up and move every 20
minutes for so to give head, neck, and shoulder muscles a break.
for problems. Look for warning signs such as headaches,
fatigue, muscle pain or cramping and suggest a break or alternate
Physical Therapy Association organization representing nearly 70,000
physical therapists,physical therapist assistants, and students
nationwide. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapist
education, practice, and research.
more information, visit www.apta.org