There are a lot of risks to playing online- that nice man offering you a million dollars over voice chat in exchange for your bank account details might not have your best interests at heart – but beyond the fiscal dangers, there’s also physical peril that you can run into if you game excessively and don’t take care of yourself. We’ve consulted someone who looks like a doctor that was provided by Paddy Power betting and they’ve given suggestions how best to treat these injuries.
By far the most common injury you can unwittingly cause yourself while gaming, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by repetitive motions and awkward hand/wrist positioning which is very common in gaming. Repetitive hammering of your thumb on a button, having your hands poised over the WASD keys or a badly designed mouse can lead to pain in your wrist and hand when the major nerve that passes over your carpal bones gets aggravated. If it gets to the point that it becomes a syndrome, the only solution according to our doctor is amputation. Uhh, sorry? No, amputation is not the only solution, the best solution is to stretch and take breaks and use a more ergonomic mouse or controller. At the absolute worst, minor surgery can fix it if the condition becomes a syndrome.
While we have it on good authority your eyes can’t turn square, staring at a screen for long periods of time will cause a great deal of eye strain. Not that this can’t happen to someone who works with computers but if you go home from 8 hours of looking at a screen to spend the next 4 hours staring at another screen, your eyes aren’t going to thank you. Symptoms usually include sore and burning eyes, light sensitivity and headaches that can be really, really painful. There are a couple of solutions to help your eyes cope, including turning down the brightness, keeping a decent distance away from the screen, replacing your eyes with cat ones- that’s not a real thing, guy-that-looks-like-a-doctor! The best solution, much like with carpal tunnel, is just taking breaks and trying not to game excessively.
This is linked to the eye strain problem, while migraines can be trigged by a whole host of things, intense concentration on a screen is a fairly common cause and one that you can only really avoid by taking breaks. Getting your head cut off will not help at all, no matter what this guy who’s looking less like a doctor with every word says.
A uniquely gaming related injury, a fair few people who game online will complain about having pain in their shoulders and neck, even their elbows. This is because of a unique position known only to those who play videogames. The forward lean, elbows on knees, ‘serious’ pose. Used when playing a game with full concentration, this posture puts an awful lot of pressure on your neck and shoulder joints. If you sit up straight then you remove a lot of the weight and relieves the pressure that can cause this discomfort. Any input guy-who-looks-like-a-doctor? Oh, he agrees. Must be good advice then.