Everyday, everywhere you look -- be in the office, in public transportation -- you will see people glued to their mobile phones with their earphones plugged in, as if shutting themselves out from the rest of the world. They are not mindful of their surroundings, not wanting to be disturbed, and deeply focused on what’s happening on their screens.
What could they possibly be doing?
Watching funny videos could be one. The other is plain simple -- they are playing video games. Perhaps to past the time, perhaps to release the stress -- either way, this has been an on-going trend in today’s world. In fact, you may find yourself relating to this because you are one of them! And there is nothing wrong with that.
Today’s gadgets and technology has paved a way for a lot of things to be possible. What used to be a hobby that’s meant to enjoy at home can now be done wherever, whenever. We are not going to dwell on the differences between gamers, but we will be talking about the risks you are exposing yourself into once you have started this hobby.
Peripheral neuropathy happens when nerves that carry messages to and from the brain and spinal cord from and to the rest of the body are damaged or diseased. One type of peripheral neuropathy you may be exposing yourself into for playing too much video games is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
If you’re feeling numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand, it may be a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome. Normally, it is caused by pressure on your median nerve (the one responsible for the movement and feeling of your fingers), which runs the length of the arm, goes through a passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel, and ends in the hand. Repetitive motions, like typing or any motions of the wrist that you do over and over can be the main cause of having carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you are experiencing discomfort whenever you are playing, here are some therapies and treatments others have used to help when their hands hurt from gaming.
Basic Hand Stretches
Hold your hand in front of you, palm facing away, fingers pointed up or down. Then, gently pull your fingers towards you with the other hand. Follow this by pointing the fingers down with the palm facing you, and placing your free hand against the back of the hand you’re stretching. Gently pull your hand towards you once again.
Use Squeeze/Stress Balls
The cock-up splint wraps around your thumb and wrist in such a way that you have to keep your wrists in a neutral position, which lessens stress on the carpal tunnel.
Hold your arm straight down, palm forward and hand a few inches from your body. Then, flex the wrist back and returning it to neutral, like your hand is a little wing and you’re flapping it. Do this 30 times.
Have your monitor and keyboard set at a proper height, and keep your feet flat on the floor. If you're playing video games, you are also better off seated properly. Take breaks, get up, stretch, and walk around every 20 to 30 minutes.
Other Ways to Prevent Gaming-Related Injuries
To help you prevent conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s highly recommended that you take vitamin B Complex everyday. It has essential nutrients needed for the health of the brain, muscles, and the nervous system.
We get it -- nobody wants to be disturbed, yet lose a match whenever they are at the peak of their playing. But you should also value your well-being as much as you value merits in a game.
Now go and wing it!