Did you know that a study published in the journal “Clinical Rheumatology” states that gamers are twice as likely as it is to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as non-gamers? That means, your hands and wrists are more and more affected as you age and as you spend more and more time being in front of the screen playing. So, as a gamer, CTS is not a problem that has to be taken lightly and it is critical to know how to avoid carpal tunnel gaming to make sure you don’t face any health risks associated with PC gaming.
The following advice is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Consult a doctor before beginning any exercise program or if you experience any pain or discomfort.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common issue that affects your hands and wrists. This condition arises when the median nerve, which travels from your forearm to your hand, becomes compressed, this condition arises.
This can be caused by repetitive motions over extended periods or when your wrist joint is bent for long periods. Symptoms of CTS include tingling, numbness, and pain in the hand and wrist.
What are the Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common injury suffered by many people who engage in repetitive motion activities, such as gaming. Compression of the median nerve, which travels through the carpal tunnel in the wrist, is a common reason. These symptoms include;
- Pain and numbness in the hand and fingers
- Weakness in the gripping ability of the hand
- Tingling Sensation
- Loss of sensation in the fingers
Risk Factors of Developing Carpal Tunnel from Gaming
Gaming can be a major contributor to carpal tunnel syndrome due to the repetitive movements of the hand and fingers required to play games. To help prevent carpal tunnel gaming, it is important to take frequent breaks and stretch or change the position of the hand and wrist often.
Gaming is a fun activity for many, but it isn’t if you’re doing it for an extended time. overusing your wrist and hand muscles for a long time can lead to pain, numbness, and tingling in the hands and fingers.
While it’s important to take breaks from gaming to avoid this medical condition, it’s also important to limit the length of time that you play in one session.
Poor posture or awkward positions
Also, the importance of a healthy posture cannot be overstated. Poor posture and awkward positions put extra strain on your wrist and hand muscles, which can increase your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. To prevent this, it is important to sit up straight with your arms and wrists in a relaxed position as much as possible.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel (From Gaming)
Wrist pains are one of the most common symptoms associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It typically begins as a dull ache which can become more intense over time. As CTS progresses, the pain may spread up the arm or even into the shoulder. This is caused by inflammation of the median nerve, which passes through the wrist and is compressed in the carpal tunnel.
Weakness in the Hands and Fingers
This can range from difficulty with everyday tasks, such as opening a jar, to more serious problems like difficulty writing or holding objects. Weakness in the hands and fingers is caused by the compression of the median nerve, which results in decreased blood flow and nutrient supply to the muscles in the hands and fingers.
Tingling and Numbness in the Hand and Fingers
Tingling and numbness in the hand and fingers can be a symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome, which is caused by repetitive motions of the hand and wrist while playing video games. Tingling and numbness in the hand and fingers might result from strain on the median nerve caused by repetitive usage.
How to Avoid Carpal Tunnel Gaming?
#1 Take Frequent Breaks From Your Gaming Console
This is one of the most important things you can do to keep carpal tunnel syndrome from worsening. To prevent holding your wrists in the same posture for too long, get up and walk around every 20-30 minutes. Stretch your wrists and hands or conduct some light exercise during your break.
#2 Make Sure You Maintain a Neutral Position While Playing Video Games
This means keeping your wrists and forearms in a straight line. Avoid bending or twisting your wrists and resting them on the edge of your keyboard or mouse.
Bonus Tip: Use Ergonomic Accessories to Maintain Your Posture While Gaming
Ergonomic accessories such as wrist rests or gaming gloves are designed to provide support for your wrists and hands while you play. This helps reduce strain on your muscles, making it easier for you to complete longer gaming sessions without feeling discomfort.
#3 Participate in Other Physical Activities When Not Gaming.
By engaging in different wrist exercises, you help keep your joints and muscles flexible and strong, making them more resilient against repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
It is best to choose activities that help promote flexibility and strength in the wrists and hands, such as yoga, tai chi, or swimming.
#4 Consider Using a Wrist Brace or Splint During Longer Gaming Sessions.
To prevent carpal tunnel from developing, it’s important to take steps to reduce the amount of pressure on your wrists and hands during long gaming sessions. One of the best ways to do this is by using a wrist brace or splint.
These devices help keep your wrists in a neutral position, preventing them from bending or twisting too far, which can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
#5 Use an Ergonomic Mouse and Keyboard When Gaming
Ergonomic mice and keyboards are designed to reduce the amount of strain on the hands and wrists. These peripherals often feature contoured shapes, adjustable wrist rests, and adjustable angles that help to keep your hands in a neutral position while gaming.
#6 Ice Your Hands and Wrists Frequently
This helps reduce inflammation in the hands and wrists, which can help relieve the pressure on the median nerve that causes carpal tunnel syndrome. Make sure to take frequent breaks as well, so that your muscles have time to rest and recover from strain. You can apply ice for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
As I have mentioned above are some of the preventive measures available on how to treat carpal tunnel gaming, It is critical to consult a physical therapist if you are experiencing any pain or numbness in your hands or wrists, it is important to see a doctor to rule out carpal tunnel syndrome or other conditions. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent the condition from getting worse.