From the first time you booted up a video game, you knew you found something special. Whether it be the original Mario Kart or the upcoming Gears 5, video games are a release. They are more than just a hobby for some, they literally transport you into the moment or story (I mean have you seen those Kingdom Hearts III graphics?!?).
Video games are so easy to play for hours, they suck you in and you lose track of time. When you start up your pre-ordered copy of the newest game for the first time, you can plan on spending more than a little time on it.
Have you ever finished a gaming session and felt pain anywhere? It sounds odd, but you hardcore gamers surely know what I am talking about. It’s part of the experience, right? Not necessarily, and while some look down on video games citing lack of activity, you are doing an awful lot of movement in certain parts of your body.
Here are some of the most common gamer injuries and remedies to fix:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: This is a condition that affects the nerves in the wrist, and it can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and fingers. To prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, take breaks from gaming every 30 minutes or so, and stretch your wrists and hands regularly. You can also use a wrist brace to support your wrist.
- Tendonitis: This is an inflammation of the tendons, which are the tissues that connect muscles to bones. Tendonitis can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected area. To prevent tendonitis, take breaks from gaming every 30 minutes or so, and stretch your muscles and tendons regularly. You can also use a heating pad or ice pack to help relieve pain and inflammation.
- Eye strain: This is a condition that can cause eye fatigue, pain, and blurred vision. To prevent eye strain, take breaks from gaming every 20 minutes or so, and look at something that is at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. You can also use an anti-glare screen protector or wear glasses with blue light filtering lenses.
- Back pain: This is a common problem for gamers who sit for long periods of time. To prevent back pain, make sure you have a comfortable chair that supports your back, and take breaks from gaming every 30 minutes or so to stand up and move around. You can also do some stretches to help improve your flexibility and reduce your risk of back pain.
- Neck pain: This is another common problem for gamers who sit for long periods of time. To prevent neck pain, make sure you have a comfortable chair that supports your neck, and take breaks from gaming every 30 minutes or so to look around and move your neck. You can also do some stretches to help improve your flexibility and reduce your risk of neck pain.
It is important to note that these are just a few of the most common gamer injuries. If you experience any pain or discomfort while gaming, it is important to see a doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
It is important to recognize when your body is injured, and get the help you need.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This is the correct name of the injury people usually just call “Carpal Tunnel”. The carpal tunnel is simply a passageway for nerves on your palm. If the median nerve that runs through the carpal tunnel get pressured or irritated, it causes problems.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is mostly characterized by weakness or numbness/tingling in the wrist, hand, and fingers. It can worsen if not treated.
In the case of devoted gamers, the repeated actions of button pressing or positioning of the hand on a controller or over a keyboard can cause the irritation to begin.
If you are noticing any symptoms, get medical attention immediately. If caught early, nonsurgical treatment methods can be utilized. If not surgery may be needed.
This is literally what it sounds like. Imagine you are playing Zombies on your Call of Duty game of choice, and you end up with a shotgun. In your hands, it is a formidable weapon, but that does not stop you from having to manually fire each round. Even when you upgrade to an automatic weapon, your finger is locked in the same position as you unleash a hailstorm of bullets on the undead horde.
These repeated actions can cause trigger finger and trigger thumb, though this can occur from any form of button mashing, not just the triggers. Trigger finger and thumb is where your extremities lock in a bent position and then snaps back straight. When left untreated this can be locked in place and won’t straighten. This can also require corrective surgery in severe cases.
While this is more of a category than a specific problem, it is a common one. It is hard to keep sitting up perfectly straight, with your arms, wrists, and hands all help to the correct angles when you get hours deep into a game. It is important to remember to do so, as poor posture can cause the above issues as well as back and neck problems.
When gaming, make sure that you keep adjusting if you catch your posture slipping. If you have an ergonomically designed gaming chair, that can really help things out.
Any of these problems if left untreated can end up with you needing surgery. If that is the case, find an orthopedic surgeon and get it done. It will be good in the long run as your health will be improved. You don’t want your ability to consistently game to be jeopardized by such a preventable injury.
Make sure take breaks as needed to ensure that your health is not compromised by your gaming experience. As hard as it is to do so sometimes, consistent small breaks will allow you to keep playing games without problems for many years to come. Take simple precautions, good posture, consistent breaks, and even stretch to prevent an injury. Be healthy, stay sharp, and happy gaming!