The beginning of any discussion of injuries in eSports will always be met by a…. for lack of a better word… jabroni…. saying something like, “Really, they got injured playing video games?” Which, in some capacity makes sense. Injuries in eSports are almost always chronic as opposed to acute. Gamers aren’t having their careers ended by ruptured Achilles tendons or compound fractures; however, eSports injuries are as real as the twelve hour workdays that spurn them.
Perhaps the most realistic injury when it comes to gaming injuries is the dreaded Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. According to the Mayo Clinic, The Carpal Tunnel is the passage between the palm side of the wrist and forearm that protects the median nerve. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the result of pinching that median nerve, which usually isn’t traceable back to one activity in particular, but more likely a combination of risk factors. The main risk factor for Gamers is obviously mouse/controller usage, but can also include any wrist injury that could have potentially narrowed this passage. Hai and Bjergsen are just two of the many pro players to suffer Carpal Tunnel or similar wrist injuries. One of the most recognizable ways to combat the condition is the tape both of these players have been seen wearing on stage. This tape helps keep the wrist in a more favorable position, and is effective in subverting further wrist damage. Another option is simply stretching and working the wrists in between games. This may seem lame…. Okay this definitely seems lame to most but you know whats really lame? Failing that flash over the wall because of limited wrist mobility.
Picture credit to Liquid Legends
Eye Strain / Headaches / Overall Brain Scrambling
Every gamer or even avid TV-watcher knows the feeling of needing to look away from the screen for awhile and refocus after putting in some serious work on screen. It’s pretty intuitive as to why this happens, your brain and eyes specifically aren’t really built to deal with the strain LCD/LED lights from a computer screen. There are a couple ways of combating this. First, Gunnar, and likely other companies like them, have begun to produce gaming glasses that are intended to ease the burden put on your eyes in game. They’ve managed to make them look pretty cool in every sense of the word, but for the people who just can’t come around to the idea of wearing computer glasses, other options include regular breaks, and lowering your screen brightness. That being said, don’t be too cool.
Neck, Back, Etc.
While injuries to the necks and back might seem exclusive to contact sports, they’re surprisingly common among Video Game Players, and actually claimed the career of Jung “Mvp” Jong Hyun, the most decorated Starcraft 2 player of all time. After repeated dealings with neck pain that left his shoulders and arms numb for extended periods of time. These kinds of injuries stem in large part for players often playing with poor posture, or simply not at peak comfort. Many teams sponsor their own gaming chairs, designed to offer comfort and let you show off some team loyalty. To avoid neck and back strain, keep your monitor at eye level, as it will help you improve your posture while at the desk, and make sure to stay hydrated (OK maybe not at the level of an elite athlete but maybe enough to, you know, maintain sustenance and stay alive). Staying hydrated is key, as vertebrae are made almost solely of water.
Picture credit to: secretbackpaincure.com
Written by 2Piece
Edited by Williaf