Tuesday, April 9, 2019

7 Ways to Prevent Wrist Injuries while Gaming



Gaming is not necessarily an endeavor where the body can break down due to the stress imparted upon it, but there are certain parts of gaming that can leave players feeling achy, and a big thing all gamers should be cognizant of is wrist pain. There are a lot of things that can occur with the wrists;therefore, it is imperative that gamers work to prevent wrist injuries including the dreaded carpaltunnel syndrome. Keeping your wrists healthy is the same reason you look up gaming chair prices when thinking about your back.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the median nerve is compressed in the wrist. The nerve travels from the elbow into the hand via a pathway called the Carpal Tunnel. When the wrist is in a constant position of the hand being raised above it – the way you would for typing and other types of activities – then there is pressure put on the nerve itself and the tunnel becomes constricted and compresses the nerve. This leads to a feeling of numbness and tingling particularly in the thumb, index, and middle fingers. This numbness could lead to atrophy of the muscles in the thumb and in the worst-case scenario, necessitate an invasive surgery to correct the condition.

Preventing these types of injuries is key, and when you do proper wrist care, you won’t need to worry about having carpal tunnel issues. The good news is there are not many complicated ways to prevent these injuries. Here are some of the best ways to prevent wrist injuries while gaming.

Good Posture

Make sure you sit properly. Don’t slouch and keep your legs splayed apart while gaming. There are some tricks that will help you achieve proper posture. The first is putting the mouse farther into the desk. Your arm should rest on the desk itself, not hover. Another thing to do is make sure the top of the screen is 2-3 inches below your eyeline – this will prevent you from looking down and straining your neck. All of these posture tips will help keep your wrists properly positioned while gaming.

Stretch

Like all muscles, you need to stretch those in the wrist so that they don’t become tight and compressed. If this is the case with your wrist muscles, then carpal tunnel may be on its way sooner than you would like. Make sure to take roughly 5 minutes to get some good stretches in. There are lots of resources showing you how to stretch your wrists. Never stretch so much that you are in pain from the stretch, you want to feel the tightness alleviate and it should be relaxing, not painful.

Use Ergonomic Tools

Though some medical journals dispute the applicability of ergonomics, there is a clear connection between using a mouse that is ergonomically sound and using a traditional one. This allows you to keep your hand in proper position without having any pressure on the wrist. These ergonomic tools including a wrist rest are great for letting people experience the comfort of gaming without exposing themselves to the different wrist issues. If you are using a controller for console games, one of the best practices is not to hover with your thumb, but if there are ergonomic controllers, purchase them because it will pay off in the long run.

Don’t Squeeze your Equipment

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome derives from pressure on the median nerve and when your muscles are contracting, this applies more pressure. Don’t squeeze the mouse or the controller – instead make sure that you have a soft, firm grip. You need to be able to move your hand around and to squeeze and unsqueeze the equipment is a very easy way to make the job far more difficult than it needs to be. This stress will cause your muscles to tight and the nerve to be constricted. If you are feeling pain in your wrist, it’s probably from squeezing.

Take Breaks

One of the keys to keeping your wrists healthy is to take breaks. For every hour, you should take a 5-10-minute break. Don’t spend several hours at a time gaming with the idea that you will make up for it with a long break after. This is not proper. Instead, be sure that you take breaks in consistent intervals. An additional benefit – besides the health of your wrists – is your mental energy. When you have breaks what you have is time to collect your thoughts and work out any glitches going on in your gaming. Your wrists and your mind will be refreshed.

Keep Your Wrists Warm

One of the easiest ways for your wrist muscles to contract and apply pressure to the carpal tunnel is to have cold hands. If you are gaming, make sure that your hands are warm. This is important because it will increase the amount of oxygenated blood heading into your hand and nourishing the muscles. The other good thing is warm muscles are loose muscles, which means that your hands are not applying too much pressure to the carpal tunnel.

Care for Wrists When Not Gaming

A great way for gamers to prevent wrist injuries is to keep your wrists in braces at night. This ensures that you don’t sleep in a bad position and exacerbate anything going on. Other things to do would be to wear braces when you feel pain. Avoid gaming when feeling some pain as well. Remember – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Conclusions

Taking care of the wrists is actually quite easy when you apply the seven tips listed above. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a very serious issue and when you take the time to do activities preventing its onset, you are allowing yourself extended time to game. It is imperative that you understand if you are diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, you won’t be gaming for a while. Take the measures needed to care for your wrists the way athletes care for their bodies.

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