With social distancing protocols and lockdowns going around and forcing people to stay at home, many individuals have begun to discover new hobbies—chief among which is playing computer games. Although such activities can be incredibly fun and stimulating at times, there are certain risks that one may face when doing them constantly. Overuse injuries, in particular, are becoming more common, especially for those who have found themselves sitting down in front of the computer, console, or tablet for hours playing games.
Are you finding yourself doing the same thing, spending countless hours in front of the computer screen without any rest or break? If so, ensuring that you do not end up with overuse injuries will not only protect your health but your enjoyment of said activities!
In this article, we want to share with you tips on how you can keep overuse injuries at bay while you play games:
Be Aware of the Early Signs
Not everyone is going to be dealing with overuse injuries right as of this moment. However, the risk of it occurring increases significantly if one were to spend a lot of time carrying out the same movements repeatedly.
For gaming, for example, this would include finger and wrist movements. Your wrists can be twisting left and right often, your fingers pressing the button in rapid succession, and the entire hand just grasping onto the mouse or controller. These actions can lead to overuse injuries—although not right away!
To prevent overuse injuries, the first thing you must do is be aware of the signs. Symptoms such as swelling, tingling, pain, numbness, and loss of strength are signs that your hands are experiencing overuse injuries. If you do notice these symptoms, act right away. Otherwise, they can grow worse into things like tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and trigger finger.
Take Action Immediately
If you have noticed the early symptoms of overuse injuries, what can you do to recover and heal?
The first and most effective thing you can do is to cut down the time you spend playing games or doing whatever it is that includes repetitive movements in areas you are experiencing the symptoms in. This way, your hand has the time to rest and recover from the stress it just underwent.
If the first tip isn’t enough, then doing other things like applying some ice, taking some medication for the pain, and even wearing a splint can help to relieve the pain and give the body time to recover. One thing people do not realize that can massively increase the risk of overuse injury is poor posture! You need to be sitting appropriately with your hands correctly positioned to minimize stress on them, and if this isn’t something you are doing, then correct your posture immediately.
Video games are a great hobby to have. However, you need to remember not to overdo it as well! Too much of anything isn’t good, and if you find yourself feeling some pain trying to get more computer game hours in, you are pushing your limits.
Take a break and let your body rest, and if you find that you are not recovering from the injury, do not be afraid to reach out to specialists for treatment. With a custom treatment plan, you will be able to restore your hand’s movements, enjoying your hobby once more without the pain.
North Florida Hand and Wrist offer state-of-the-art facilities to help those dealing with hand or wrist discomfort. If you are looking for a hand doctor in Jacksonville to help you recover from overuse injuries, make an appointment with us today!