For most people, hand injuries are a fairly standard yet minimally-experienced issue that is only frequent among those whose jobs or interests involve lots of handiwork.
From world-class musicians to visual artists, experiencing injuries in the hands can easily make for a painful and challenging process from diagnosis to recovery. At North Florida Hand and Wrist, we see an abundance of different cases from diverse conditions and severities that tell what sectors are most prone to experiencing such issues.
Among the different groups and professionals that our hand specialists have been seeing and treating, there’s one community that’s more prone to hand injuries than others: video gamers.
Virtual worlds, real injuries
With many hours spent on the computer or console each day, avid and professional gamers dedicate a significant portion of their lives to ruling the digital domains. However, the prevailing truth most gamers fail to realize is that they’re also quite prone to experiencing legitimate medical concerns or issues in real life.
Beyond the screens where all the magic happens, gamers often find themselves experiencing issues with their hands that bear a certain level of pain that can’t just be healed by a salve or stim. As video games become a potential life calling for any dedicated player looking to make money while doing what they love, it’s also become clear that hand health is more relevant than ever.
Paying the price
For amateur and pro competitors seeking to earn a fortune from sponsorship deals, stream revenues, and tournament prizes, the average gaming session can last anywhere between five to ten hours a day. While amateurs have less daily playing time, the extended periods that today’s gamers spend on controllers or mouse and keyboard set-ups put their hands at risk.
If you’ve been playing for a while now and getting hooked on a game that you love to enjoy each day, then you’re most likely experiencing a few issues yourself. Although some problems can be fixed with a bit of rest and some ice, others need to be treated with surgery. Fortunately, you can start being proactive in preventing common gaming injuries by knowing what you can potentially experience:
1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Best defined as a nerve being pinched in the wrist, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a rather painful condition that can get severe and require surgery if not cared for properly.
When CTS is experienced, the main symptoms to watch out for are swelling, tingling, or numbness in the hand or a dull to sharp pain in the wrist, leading to further complications. Considering that the condition itself is caused by several different issues (such as arthritis or tenosynovitis) that can worsen over time, proper care must be sought fast through:
- Surgical procedures (which entails decreasing pressure by making a small incision to the ligament at the top of the carpal tunnel)
- Corticosteroid injections
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
Aside from CTS, another common hand injury experienced by gamers of all levels is tendonitis. Compared to the wrong posture that causes CTS, tendonitis is a condition deeply rooted in the presence of a repetitive motion that affects the flexor or extensor tendons.
While the condition itself is rare in console players, it is more common in mouse-and-keyboard players because of the motions that come with using a mouse. One such mouse movement associated with tendonitis is “flicking,” which is a swift motion where the mouse is moved in a flick motion for faster reaction times.
Among the different sectors of society that are most prone to experiencing severe hand injuries, no group is at greater risk of poor hand health than the gaming community. Thankfully, keeping this guide in mind can help ensure that you’re well-aware of what you need to watch out for so that you can prevent a host of issues from popping up in the long run!
We have hand specialists in Jacksonville, Florida, that serve carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel syndrome, and ganglion cyst cases. We are a state-of-the-art surgical facility staffed by a team of dedicated practitioners whose primary goal is to ease any hand or wrist discomfort you may experience. Schedule an appointment with our expert physicians today!