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Are Your Gadgets Making You Sick?

Remember the old Stephen King flick 'Maximum Overdrive,' in which all machines suddenly go berserk and start murdering humans? While we're not quite there yet, lots of casual technology users are paying a very high price for the modern conveniences that their gadgets afford them: Their health, and, in some cases, even their lives, are in jeopardy. The next time you visit the doc (or a mortician) for one of the following ailments, you may discover it's your electronics that are to blame.

Sore Thumbs

Are Your Gadgets Making You Sick? Sore Thumbs
The condition: The diminutive keyboards on BlackBerrys, Treos, Sidekicks and other QWERTY phones can wreak havoc on one's ability to signal approval with a good old "thumbs up." Pain, numbness, swelling and tendinitis are all symptoms of what the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) officially recognizes as "BlackBerry Thumb," caused by overworking the one digit that separates us from the apes.

How to prevent or cure it: Avoid BlackBerry Thumb by typing with your fingers instead of your thumbs, and not typing for more than few minutes at once. If you're already stricken with the ailment, several massage therapists now offer massages specifically for the treatment of BlackBerry Thumb. Engadget founder Pete Rojas went for one, which he chronicles here. Pete's assessment: "I don't think a single massage can remedy years of abuse!"

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