Competitive gaming, or e-sports, has been around for over two decades, and in that time, it has grown into a massive industry. While injuries in e-sports may not be as common as they are in traditional sports, they can still occur and often lead to long-term damage if not treated properly.
One of the biggest dangers of playing video games in a competitive setting is that you’re constantly in a seated position. It can lead to several problems, including back pain, neck pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. To make matters worse, many e-sports players tend to play for hours, which can cause even more damage.
There are a few high-profile cases of e-sports players suffering from severe injuries due to long hours of gaming. In 2015, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, one of the most popular ‘League of Legends players globally, developed severe back pain that forced him to break from competitive play. And in 2016, Kim “DeMusliM” Sae-jong, a professional StarCraft II player, had to retire from competitive gaming after developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
These injuries are devastating for E-sports players and can be debilitating, and often require extensive treatment. These injuries can lead to a player retiring from e-sports altogether in the worst-case scenario. So if you’re thinking of getting into a career out of playing video games competitively, be sure to take precautions to protect your body.
Here are some of the most common E-sports injuries that you should know to better prepare yourself for them and prevent them from happening.
Professional gamers are no stranger to long hours of play. And while all that gaming may seem harmless, it can lead to some severe muscle strains. When you’re sitting in one position for an extended period, your muscles can start to fatigue. It often leads to pain and discomfort, which can be debilitating when trying to compete in a tournament.
The best way to prevent annoying muscle strains from occurring is to take regular breaks. Get up, do some jumping jacks or walk around for a few minutes every hour or so. Walking around and standing up will help keep your muscles loose and prevent them from getting too tired. It would be best to stretch before and after you play to help keep your muscles flexible.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is, by far, one of the most common injuries among e-sports players. The condition can b compression of the median nerve, which runs through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. That can lead to several problems, including pain, numbness, and tingling in the hands and fingers.
Players who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome often have to take extended breaks from gaming to allow the condition to heal. In some unfortunate cases, you may require surgery to correct the problem.
It’s important to do short wrist exercises and stretch them out regularly to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. It would help if you also used ergonomic equipment, such as a wrist rest, to help alleviate or reduce the strain on your hands and wrists. But the best way to know the exact condition of your wrists is by consulting medical professionals who are experts in neurological disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome. The neuro specialists at Causenta have years of experience in neurology, and they can help provide you with the best and optimal care that your wrists need in both prevention and cure.
Eye strain and fatigue
E-sports players often develop eye strain and fatigue due to the long hours they spend in front of vast and bright monitors. When you’re playing a game, your eyes constantly focus on objects close to you. And in turn, it can cause many problems, including headaches, blurred vision, and tired eyes.
Like muscle pain, the best way to prevent eye strain and fatigue is by taking breaks often and focusing on objects far from you. It would be optimal if you also tried to blink frequently to keep your eyes lubricated. And if you wear either glasses or contact lenses, be sure to clean them regularly to prevent any build-up of dust or dirt. You can also add multiple light sources like a lamp and some light strips behind your monitor to evenly diffuse light across your field of view. It will help prevent your eyes from working too hard from focusing on a singular light source.
Tennis elbow is a notorious condition caused by repetitive arm motions, such as those often used in gaming. Pain and inflammation are some characteristics of the dreaded Tennis Elbow.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is vital to see a doctor right away. Treatment for tennis elbow often includes rest, ice, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. In some instances, doctors may recommend physical therapy.
Stretching your arms and shoulders often can do wonders for the health of your arms and elbows. And if you’re experiencing any pain, it’s essential to take a break from gaming, so you don’t make it worse.
Whether you’re considering a career in E-sports or you’re just the type of person that spends long hours playing video games, make sure that you’re still prioritizing your health first and foremost. If you experience any of the various symptoms of these injuries, don’t hide them and get professional help right away. If not, you might lose your ability to do the things you love forever. So make sure to address any of these pains as early as possible before they get any worse.