Top 10 Video Game Injuries

Before we even get started here, let's be very clear on this: we do NOT think this is funny.

This is not one of those Top 10 articles about a tragic situation told in a humorous tone. It is a sincere look at the Top 10 Video Game Injuries - and maybe a cautionary tale on how to avoid them.

And you WANT to avoid them, trust us on that - because tearing a tendon is painful, but tearing a tendon while playing Candy Crush? Oh man, that is just down right humiliating!

So without further setup, here are the Top 10 Video Game Injuries for your edification...


10. PlayStation Thumb

Not for nothing but thanks to trolling by fanboy gamers in each of the main console makers camps it can be hard to get an accurate take on which problems are real, and which are made up just to piss off the members of a specific game console community.

Perhaps the new PS4 controller is less than ideal - that seems to be a matter of opinion - and maybe Sony's customer service is a little on the chilly side, but nobody is saying that PlayStation Thumb is not real!

So what is PlayStation Thumb? In simple terms it is a repetitive injury that is characterized by blistering, numbness, and tingling in the thumbs. That is according to doctors - and the 9-year-old gamer who originally brought the issue to their attention by publishing a paper on it in The Lancet, a weekly UK-based peer-reviewed general medical journal.

According to the available science on this subject it is often caused by excessive use of thumb-operated video game controllers -- most commonly associated with the PlayStation gaming systems -- and begins with swollen muscles and ends with painful blistering.

It may seem unfair to single out the PlayStation - but no, it seems that the PlayStation gamepads are more susceptible to this particular effect than others. Actually to be fair no empirical research has been done on this outside of a paper written by a 14-year-old schoolgirl in South Africa, so it could even be down to the fact that the exclusive games on the platform simply require more thumb-action...

In medical circles this injury is better known as a sub-set of stenosing tenosynovitis, and it is generally treated by injection of the tendon sheath with a corticosteroid - which while not 100% effective has been found to be effective over weeks to months in more than half of patients. The other half only get degrees of improvement, so this could end up a permanent injury. Yikes!

The 39-year-old former Friends star Mathew Perry could tell you a bit about this sort of injury if you asked him - the actor ended up injuring both of his hands, which he credited to the video game Fallout 3.


09. Nintendinitis

While similar in effect and cause to PlayStation Thumb, Nintendinitis (also known as Gamer's Grip) is a video game-related health problem classified as a form of repetitive strain injury (RSI).

Unlike PlayStation Thumb, which is generally thought to be down to overuse of the joysticks, Nintendinitis is mainly obtained through use of the D-pad, and is not restricted to just the thumb as any finger can be affected.

The early symptoms are blistering, paraesthesia and swelling of the fingers, which can lead to stress on tendons, nerves and ligaments in the hands, and further onto lateral epicondylitis ("tennis elbow"), tendinitis, bursitis and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). At the risk of repeating ourselves - YIKES!

It turns out though that this is just one sort of injury that has been laid at the feet - err - console - of the Nintendo gaming systems.

Last year doctors from the BMJ Group in the Netherlands outlined 38 papers that reported cases of Nintendo related injuries in medical literature, concluding that the the injuries they found spanning every generation of the Nintendo gaming systems (including GameBoy) ranged "from mild to life threatening." Double Yikes!

Posted: 28th May 2015 by CMBF
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