Tenosynovitis and overuse strain injuries are two common conditions that gamers will face. Fortunately, both conditions can be effectively treated to resolution. For gamers, PC and console alike, tenosynovitis will occur in the tendons of the forearms, wrists, and hands/fingers. This condition can occur from acute injury, infection or—as seen most commonly in gamers—overuse.
Tenosynovitis is a condition is characterized by inflammation of the sheath (or “synovium”) that surrounds tendons—not to be confused with overuse strain, or tendinosis. The mechanism of injury can be similar, but certain symptoms will help identify which condition is present.
For gamers, the most common mechanism is overuse. Repetitive contraction of the muscles without counter-balancing with opposing movements and lengthening muscles under tension. This ailment can affect PC and console gamers alike.
Gamers affected by tenosynovitis will most likely experience pain with swelling and tightness in the affected area—which may include the palm, back of the hand, in the forearm, or at the elbow.
When this condition occurs in the forearm, wrist, hand or fingers, it can be difficult to move these joints comfortably. Additional symptoms include increased pain and swelling while gaming or redness of the skin over the tendon in question.
Note: if you have these symptoms AND a fever, this may be indicative of an infection. If you experience this, you should consult a doctor immediately or visit the emergency room.
As an inflammatory condition, anti-inflammatory foods, supplements, and using ice on the area may help decrease inflammation and improve pain and other symptoms.
Treatment for tenosynovitis can lead to resolution, but unfortunately it will often be painful to endure. Following resolution, continuation of these protocols allows for prevention of this condition from reoccurring. Also, preventative care using these techniques should not be painful.
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