“Gaming injuries” are a real thing these days due to the repetition of using the same finger, wrist, arm and shoulder muscles over and over at a console or with a joystick. Just like any other competitive sport, overuse injuries can easily occur.
And video games aren’t just for kids anymore. Adults alike are smitten with popular games like Fortnite with the average age of player in the U.S. currently at 35 years old (Entertainment Software Association).
Playing for long stretches—sometimes hours in just one sitting–can contribute to a host of physical problems such as headaches and blurred vision, but your muscles and bones can take a beating too.
Here are some common gaming injuries:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: where tendons and nerves in the hand, wrist and forearm can become damaged due to overuse causing numbness or pain
- deQuervain’s Tendonitis: tendonitis of the thumb and wrist
- Chronic back pain
- Chronic neck pain
- Shoulder or elbow tendonitis
Three tips to help prevent injuries if you’re a frequent gamer are:
- Check that your monitor and console are situated properly—monitors should be at eye level to avoid neck strains and looking up while consoles should be less than a full-arm’s length away.
- Pick a chair that is comfortable but also offers ample and upright support for your back—slouching on a couch is not a good idea.
- Take breaks in the action at least every half-hour. Stand up to stretch your legs, perform some quick neck rolls, and shake out your arms– and especially hands–to avoid cramping.
Strengthening hand and wrist muscles is also smart. Playing with any sort of flexible putty or simply squeezing a tennis ball a few minutes daily can help.
If your pain from video gaming persists, it might be time to contact us for an appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons in Austin or PM&R (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation) specialists to discuss treatment or therapy. You can schedule an appointment with Texas Orthopedics anytime online right here.
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(Adapted from Lifewire.com)