Popular Wii Sports Games Can Cause Injuries

Thursday, Mar 5, 2009  |  Updated 5:45 PM PDT
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Popular Wii Sports Games Can Cause Injuries

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A few months ago, people stood in line for hours to buy the new Wii videogames!  Now some of those same people are lining up at the doctor's office, Dr. Bruce Hensel reported.

"What sets the Wii games apart is the motion sensitive controllers that require players to act out movements, but as players spend more time with the wee, some are noticing that it's not just fun and games," Dr. Hensel said. 

Tennis, golf, baseball, boxing,  players use the wii remote to mimic the actions of swinging a racket, bat or club.   What players often forget is that it is NOT the real thing.

Kristyl Sunderman was on the golf team in college and does yoga every week, so she thought playing Wii golf and Wii yoga would not be a big deal. She was wrong.

"After playing the wii on 2 occassions my lower back is hurting, and my right knee," Kristyl said.

Dr. Ralph Gambardella says he is seeing people come in with injuries caused by playing Wii,and the potential for more is huge.  For example, he says that a Wii golf club is weighted differently than a real golf club, so that it is putting a strain in a different way. 

"So what we have here is we have a combination of something that is in a way mind addictive, if you've ever played any of those things and you've got any competition in you.  so that the time frame gets lost very quickly, and you think that you're doing it for 15 minutes and the next thing you  know it's an hour later," Gambardella said.

After an examination, Dr. Gambardella found that Kristyl aggravated a degenerative disk condition in her back, and hurt her knee.   She will undergo physical therapy... and she has advice for other wii players.

"So just be careful use caution, don't get overexcited," she said.

"The advice is simple; if you feel any pain anywhere, stop, ice the area and if your doctor says it's safe for you, take some anti-inflammatories; when you back to playing take it slow and try to cut down playing time,"  Dr. Hensel said.
 

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