Modern High-tech Reasons Can Also Cause Tendonitis

1. Nintendo Wii’s role in causing tendonitis

It’s known as “Nintendonitis”, and results from too much of video gaming, which causes Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).  Nintendonitis is marked with stress on muscles and arm tendons, and grows into “tennis elbow” or tendinitis if not addressed.

Many think that a video game, no matter how physically engaging, isn’t at par with an actual sport. Therefore, they aren’t ready (physically) to play for hours on the Nintendo Wii. And when they’re too distracted, they don’t realize they’re feeling pain or strain from the real life motions required for such games. in physical sports, players are aware of their body, aches, and sprains, unlike Wii players, who are only focused on the screen.

This is further aggravated through extra-long gaming sessions, which is extremely common in the gaming community. Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) spokesman Associate Professor Darren Rivett says that people jump a lot during such gaming sessions and that can lead to problems. Similar strain is experienced in non-stop use of small joysticks. Poor posture further leads to bad strain in the neck and shoulder region. Professor Rivett recommends Wii gamers to take a few minutes to stretch and not play if you’re unwell. Marathon gaming sessions are also not advisable, and gamers must take short breaks.

Additionally, a Wii is an exercise substitute. People new to the Wii also assume that they need “big physical movements”,and aren’t aware that the Wii is designed to pick up on small movements.

2. Texting thumb

After voice communication, texting is the fastest way of communication. But excessive use of SMS and other web-enabled texting technologies also lead to what is known as Texting Thumb. Texting Thumb is another RSI (repetitive stress injury) that results from strain on the thumb and wrist. Symptoms include pain, and sometimes a popping sound from the thumb or wrist. Texting Thumb can also result in reduced grip strength, or a diminished motion range.

What causes Texting Thumb?

The thumb is not designed for a three-dimensional range of motions, which is required for activities like typing on a cellphone screen. Over time, excessive use of the thumb for this can lead to stress on the joint, reaching the muscles and tendons of teh thumb,

While pressing the key on a keypad doesn’t set off this issue, constantly navigating your thumb tip does across the keypad, at a rapid pace causes this. Additionally, smartphones make it worse as you use a wide variety of applications, all of which use your thumbs – including gaming, consuming online content, browsing websites, along with messaging.

This results in tendinitis or tenosynovitis, or a combination of both. tendons or synovial sheaths (which protect the tendons) gets inflamed. This inflammation harms the tendons proper functioning. If left untreated, this can lead to the degeneration of the tendon’s synovial sheaths, permanently affecting grip strength and motion, as well as pain. It is also known as Blackberry Thumb, but medically is termed De Quervain’s syndrome.

As early as 2005, the American Association of Hand Therapists had issued a warning stating that hand-held electronics were leading to increased cases of carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis related issues.

An article in the Medical Journal of Australia mentions a young teenage girl who had to visit a medical clinic with a swollen right forearm, despite trauma or sporting injury.  “There was no history of trauma, or recalled change of activity. Further inquiry revealed that she had been given a mobile phone…The patient had been using only her right thumb to press the keypad.”

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