Kids and Carpal Tunnel
Too much gaming can be a real pain for kids.
When weather turns cold and days grow short, kids end up inside. And time indoors often translates into time playing video games. While gaming content has long been on the minds of parents, the physical effects of long-term play have not. The fact is, it should be.
Excessive time with the joystick can lead to a problem usually associated with cubicle-dwelling adults – carpal tunnel syndrome. CTS is increasingly being diagnosed in children of all ages and computer usage and video gaming are to blame. Kids often spend hours at a time working a keyboard, joystick or mouse with few breaks. The repetitive motion of these activities can cause the “tunnel” of bones and ligaments in the wrist to narrow, pinching nerves and causing numbness or pain in the hand, wrist or arm.
The epidemic of CTS in adults is well documented. A 2003 Bureau of Labor Statistics study found CTS accounted for 50% of all US work related injuries.
Tips to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Limit the duration of video play time
- Schedule regular breaks
- Watch for warning signs including: numbness, tingling, burning or stiffness in hands, wrists or arms
“Between computers and video games, the potential for repetitive strain injury during the developmental years is real,” explains Deven Khosla, MD of Reno’s Sierra Neurosurgery Group. “Making parents and kids aware of the risk is key to preventing carpal tunnel syndrome from developing.”
Ensure that your child’s gaming experience is a healthy one by taking simple preventative measures. For more information on carpal tunnel syndrome and its treatment, contact Sierra Neurosurgery Group at (775) 323-2080 or visit sierraneurosurgery.com.