Smartphones have made our lives infinitely easier, but the convenient technology has come at a cost to our physical health. Carpal tunnel from too much texting, chronic neck pain from bending our heads to look at our phones and impaired eyesight from staring at a screen all day have given us more than enough reason to put down the phone. Yet this latest injury of a 29-year-old man suffering a torn tendon as a result of his Candy Crush obsession might be the final saving straw to remind us taking a break from our phones is not only sensible but crucial for our health.
A group of San Diego doctors wrote in a report titled "Tendon Rupture Associated With Excessive Smartphone Gaming” published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine that the patient suffered a torn tendon in his left hand after playing Candy Crush all day, every day for six to eight weeks. The patient is right-handed and used that hand for normal activities while utilizing his left to keep playing. He told the doctors "playing was a kind of secondary thing, but it was constantly on.”
The euphoria the patient received from playing the highly addicting game masked the pain caused by the injury. This suggests video games could work as a “digital pain killer.”
"The problem is when we play video games it can stimulate the mind and body to release natural chemicals, such as adrenaline and cortisol,” Dr. Andrew Doan, one of the authors of the study, said. "We believe also endorphins, which are natural painkillers, are released."
Doan noted, however, that this natural pain-numbing sensation could cause gamers to continue playing without stopping, thereby allowing a potentially serious injury to arise.
In other words, limit your gaming time before you hurt yourself.