Unfortunately, gaming creates risk for pain or injury.
All types of gaming, whether PC or console, increase the risk for elbow, wrist, and hand problems.
Through constant use of a controller or keyboard and mouse, there is risk potential created by the positions of the hands and wrists. Repetitive strain injuries or overuse tendinoses are the most common injuries in gaming. These are infamous in professional gaming, and a few gamers have been forced to retire due to this type of injury.
Often overlooked, prolonged sitting creates additional risk to a gamer’s health.
Sitting can create forces greater than 150% of body weight on a person’s spine. Increased pressures on the discs and bones of the spine can lead to early degeneration (or wearing down, i.e. arthritis or “spondylosis”) in the lower back and neck. Degeneration can lead to damage of the nervous system or blood vessels that exit the spine and travel to the arms and legs.
These seated postures also create a remarkable imbalance in musculature. Most importantly are the effects in the hip and shoulder regions of the body. Sitting for long periods of time creates tightness in the muscles in the front of the body that have a tendency to pull the body forward. Additionally, the muscles of the back of the body—which hold the body upright against gravity—become weak and inhibited. Complications of these muscular imbalances may include muscular pain, joint pain, headaches, compression of nerves or blood vessels, and early degeneration of joints throughout the body.
Beyond the physical risks, there are mental health risks involved with gaming.
Competing (and perhaps streaming) may cause stress—stress to perform, to build viewership or maintain viewers, or stress about personal concerns such as income or bill payments, etc. Mental health is an important part of health care that is often overlooked, and ignoring mental health can decrease performance in gaming, but more importantly, it can affect your personal life.
Find out how you can identify these problems and fix them if you’re already in pain. And, if you’re not, you can learn how to prevent these types of issues from occurring in your gaming career. Feel free to contact us with any health related questions/concerns in your gaming career.
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