Do you enjoy playing video games during your free time? Well, you are a part of the majority then because according to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) roughly two-thirds of Americans play video games regularly. That is more than 215 million people playing video games on a regular basis. With all this gaming going on, there are some who may develop gamer’s wrist.
Gamer’s wrist is the pain or numbness you may feel in your wrist, and it can sometimes extend into your thumb and forearm. It could be any combination of gamer’s thumb, carpel tunnel and repetitive wrist strain injury. It is a direct result after repeatedly gaming, typing, using a computer mouse or texting daily. With most of the population doing any or all these motions extensively, a lot of people could be at risk of developing at least some symptoms of gamer’s wrist. This type of wrist injury may seem unusual because when we think of injuries relating to gross motor skills, it usually involves traditional injuries such as sporting injuries. However, most people don’t even think about how many tendons and ligaments we use when typing and texting. And when we overuse our gross motors day in and day out, the result can be the same as a traditional injury.
The good news is that there are ways to prevent and even treat gamer’s wrist. One way you can prevent gamer’s wrist is to improve your ergonomics and posture. Having a high-quality desk chair and making sure you have good posture as you work can put a lot less stress on your joints. Before you start typing a way or starting a video game, be sure to warm up and stretch between sessions. Treat it as if you would a sporting event to help prevent any injury involving your wrists. You should also make sure that you are taking breaks. Whether it is 5 minutes or 30 minutes, you should take the time to allow your hands and wrists to rest. If you are already experiencing wrist pain, you should rest your wrists for a couple days or weeks depending on the severity of the pain you are experiencing. Once you have rested, it would be a good idea to talk your primary care physician on how to further treat your symptoms.
Gamer’s wrist can be a serious condition that may stop people from doing what they love depending on the pain they are experiencing. Gamer’s wrist usually occurs when people overuse their tendons and ligaments in their wrist, but it also can happen depending on the age and the physical make up of a person. If you are experiencing wrist pain, be sure to rest, recover and talk to your doctor on what other treatments and preventions you can do for gamer’s wrist.
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Article written by William Graves.