Can Playing Video Games Cause Carpal Tunnel?

There’s no doubt that modern electronic devices can be exceptionally hard on the hands and wrists. Constantly beckoning us to text loved ones and make use of our staggering array of colorful digital apps, smart phones are certainly a big part of the problem. Video games, however, present a very unique and dangerous threat.

Able to cast a captivating spell over people of all ages, video games can entice players to hold and manipulate controllers for hours and hours at a time. Of course, we’ve all heard stories of extremely dedicated players who may get lost in a specific game for days at a time. But you don’t need to be this kind of over-the-top marathon player to damage your thumb, fingers, or wrists by playing video games.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If your wrist hurts from video games, the culprit may be carpal tunnel syndrome. This painful and debilitating condition occurs as the result of a pinched nerve in the carpal tunnel of the wrist. The symptoms of carpal tunnel include numbness, tingling, and discomfort in the thumb, index and middle finger. In particularly pronounced cases, these symptoms can spread to other fingers or move up into the forearm.

Nerve pressure within the carpal tunnel can be greatly increased by repetitive motions and general overuse of the hands and wrists. Fine motor activities such as video game playing can place an extreme amount of stress on this nerve causing it to both swell and compress the nerve and tendon sheath called the carpal tunnel.

Basilar Joint Arthritis

Regular players can also develop and/or aggravate basilar joint arthritis from video games. Basilar joint arthritis is a common form of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis that results from the thinning of the cartilage tissue connecting the thumb to the wrist. Like carpal tunnel, this condition can be both caused and aggravated by repetitive movement and an overabundance of stress.

As quoted in the Daily Mail, hand surgeon Dr. Mark Ciaglia reports that video games are causing joint cartilage to wear out faster than ever before. “Were we’re actually seeing a shift in the demographics of patients that get arthritis because they’re just wearing their joints out so much sooner,” he said.

Learn More About the About the Effects of Video Game Playing on Your Hands and Wrists

If you want more information about the health impact that playing video games can have on your hands and wrists, contact the Florida Hand Center today. A skilled and knowledgeable medical professional can help address your concerns about carpal tunnel syndrome, basilar joint arthritis, and any other hand health concerns that you may have.