Esports Injuries Prevention
Esports is a relatively new type of competitive activity in the form of video games. Most people do not realise that esports injuries not only exist, but they come in all sorts and form. While traditional physical sports cause injuries due to impact and high loading, esports injuries are usually due to repetitive movement and loading. How do you prevent them?
Types of esports injuries
As a Counter-Strike player, albeit a bad one, I have had instances where I felt numbness in my fingers after a gaming session. Sometimes I have also felt pain in my elbow from using my mouse for a prolonged period of time. These are common symptoms of esports injuries. However, there are many more types of injuries that can happen from esports. They include:
- Eye strain
- Low and back pain
- Upper and lower crossed syndrome
- Gamer’s thumb
- Gamer’s elbow
- Carpal tunnel / Cubital tunnel syndrome
- Deep vein thrombosis
The above list may seem like a lot, but these are by no means an exhaustive list of esports injuries. Also, you can see that the injuries that esports gamers get do not tend to affect a specific body part. Every area of the body can be affected.
Because of the variety of esports injuries, it is quite difficult to give specific advice to avoid all of them. Some general rules that you can follow is:
- Get a gaming station with good ergonomics
- Warm up before a gaming session
- Stretch after a gaming session
- Do specific strengthening exercises for the areas that you’re straining more (this may depend on the type gaming platform you play on)
The most common type of esports injuries usually affect the hands, wrist, and elbow. We have included a video of easy stretching and strengthening exercises for your hands. As a guide, here’s a list of the exercises you can try:
- Wrist strengthening with weights
- Finger abduction with resistance band
- Nerve glides
- Wrist stretches (prayer and reverse prayer stretch)
- Thumb adductor and extensor stretches
Winsen graduated from University of Melbourne in 2012. He worked in organisations of various sizes such as Singapore General Hospital, Pain Relief Practice, and Physioclinic before working at Elevate Physiotherapy. He specialises in sports and musculoskeletal injuries and has worked with athletes of various sports such as fencing, dancing, dragon boating, and cycling.
In his spare time he enjoys singing and playing chess.