Posted on April 3, 2008, Jon Soucy "Wiiitis" Documented by MRI
When most people get a sore muscle, they tend to relax, try not to strain themselves, and maybe take some ibuprofen. If you’re Dr. Julio Bonis though, you write a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine detailing a new affliction known as “wiiitis.” Ever since Dr. Bonis traced some soreness in his shoulder to a long stretch of Wii Tennis playing, the term seems to have spread through the mainstream media as a “hazard” of too much time spent with Nintendo’s console. And now it seems the affliction is undergoing close analysis for the purposes of an article in another medical journal, this time the May issue of Skeletal Radiology. The article covers the case of a healthy 22-year old with “wiiitis” who undergoes treatment, which includes an MRI scan. After all this, what they determine was the cause of “wiiitis?”
“[L]ittle resistance is offered by the light 200 g handheld controller to the aggressive maneuvers made by the participant, which may lead to awkward deceleration forces being applied to the upper extremity…. It is likely that, during the deceleration phase of swinging the Wii controller, there is significant eccentric loading on the participant’s muscle groups, causing the ultrastructural damage, as demonstrated in this case.”
I’m not very good with “science speak,” but I think they’re basically saying that you get sore because your putting the same force into swinging the Wii-mote that you might for something a bit heavier, like a tennis racket or a golf club. Of course that doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t really care at all about this to begin with.