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Gamer's thumb: We are concerned

12:16 PM on 12.20.2006 // Robert Summa
  @summaaftershow

Do you play first-person shooters long into the night? Have your playing ways caused extreme pain in the thumb region? Well, then the American Physical Therapy Association is here for you! That's right, the APTA has released their own guidelines on how you, yes you, can prevent the dreaded gamer's thumb. Here's a few of their helpful tips to make your gaming last well beyond your retirement years:

• Keep wrists straight; do not let them bend downward when holding a game controller.
• Practice good posture while playing. Sit in a chair that provides solid back support with feet comfortably on the floor.
• Stretch and move. Remember to stretch and get up and move every 20 minutes for so to give head, neck, and shoulder muscles a break.  
• Watch for problems. Look for warning signs such as headaches, fatigue, muscle pain or cramping and suggest a break or alternate activity. 

Not sure if you have gamer's thumb? Well the APTA has the diagnosis:

"Video Gamer’s Thumb" refers to a repetitive stress injury (RSI) that 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. 

Act now, lawyers are standing by. While you wait, do you have any helpful hints for your fellow Destructoid gamer on how to prevent this horrible epidemic?



Robert Summa, Contributor
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