Where there's a Wii...there's a back ache

DOCTORS in Clevedon and Nailsea say patient numbers are soaring due to parents getting over competitive on computer games.

DOCTORS in Clevedon and Nailsea say patient numbers are soaring due to parents getting over competitive on computer games.

Patient number at osteopathic and chiropractic clinics have been increasing due to the popularity of the new Nintendo Wii games and doctors have been drawing up advice sheets for people using the computer programmes.

Michael McGinn from the Complete Health Clinic in Nailsea has compiled a list of exercises and tips to try to prevent people from injuring themselves with the sports games.

He said: "We teach people how to avoid injuries by doing gentle stretches. We do a lot of preventative care and have lots of exercise programmes.

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"The main tips I tell patients is to treat it like any exercise, with a warm up and warm down.

"The boxing and bowling games are especially strenuous. We advise people not do it for more than 25-30 minutes and to take regular breaks and do stretches.

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"The great thing is that these games are better than other types of games because it's getting people to exercise. It's a big plus, we are really delighted."

Lower back, neck and shoulder problems are the most common injuries with the new must-have console.

Steve Joly from Nailsea Osteopathic Clinic, Somerset Square, says he treats a lot of patients suffering from repetitive strain injury (RSI) as a result of computer games, but he believes more will come through the door as a result of the Nintendo Wii.

He said: "We see a lot of people who injure themselves working on computers or playing games.

"A lot of people have RSIs from working with computers and neck and shoulder problems from being hunched over and having bad posture.

"The Wii game is more proactive than a lot of other games, where you just sit in front of the computer.

"I don't think injuries will be as severe as sporting injuries but the danger is over exertion. You don't realise what the parameters are when you're dealing with something that's a virtual reality game.

"You don't know what force you need and you're using muscles you wouldn't normally exercise, which can result in injuries.

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