Do you experience hand pain whilst playing video games? Repetitive injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis may be the reason. Here’s what you can do to help.
Playing video games for many hours can place an enormous amount of stress on your muscles and joints which can lead to multiple types of repetitive injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is where the median nerve gets compressed in a tunnel at the front of the wrist, leading to numbness, tingling, pain and weakness in the hand. The muscles that flex your finger and thumb also travel through this tunnel and repetitive actions like playing video games can cause swelling, inflammation resulting in tendonitis.
DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis is inflammation in the two tendons to the base of the thumb, the extensor pollicis brevis and abductor pollicis longus. They are held down in the first dorsal compartment by a sheath of tissue but repetitive thumb actions can create swelling and aggravation.
Here are some tips that may help you:
• Splints may be required to immobilise the tendons and nerve to allow inflammation and pain to settle. Splints can be custom made out of plastic or neoprene depending on severity and needs
• Reducing swelling through ice, rest, elevation and anti-inflammatory cream/medications
• Resting and avoiding provocative positions and aggravating activities
• Assessing the way you hold your gaming device, can modifications be made to reduce strain through your fingers, thumb and wrist
• Take breaks and stretch in between to relieve tension
• Nerve gliding exercises help to settle nerve pain
• Graded strengthening and increasing tolerance to activity in preparation for return to gaming
• Look at your posture, you core strength and upper body posture, stability and control will directly impact on your ability to use your hands
If you are experiencing pain in the hand or wrist from playing video games, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today so one of our therapists can assess you and give the best advice based on your requirements.