RSI – The Gamer’s nemesis
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) has been a challenge for many professions and with the advent of gaming, it’s now become a more frequent challenge for leisure time as well. In the past, sport activities were the major cause of leisure RSIs – tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, for example.
Repetitive strain injury is defined as a condition in which repetitive actions and overuse, typically with the hands, causes pain or impairment of function in the nerves, tendons and muscles involved.
Gamers dedicate hours to their craft and as a result, many suffer from pain in their hands and lower arms. In addition, gaming has caused an increase in back, neck and shoulder pain because of poor posture.
The most important message for gamers – don’t ignore the pain. Untreated, repetitive strain injury can lead to long-term issues and can become chronic pain. Also, an untreated RSI in one part of your body may cause injury to other parts as you compensate for the pain by changing how you move.
As difficult as it may be in the throes of battle or an intense car chase, schedule some rest time to give your muscles, nerves and tendons a rest from doing the same action over and over. Get up and walk around. Take some stretching time.
Prevention is a good tactic – understand the risky activity and modify it so you stay pain free. If you game for hours every week, call for an appointment to have a personalized preventive program put together for you.
Symptoms to watch for include:
- Tingling or burning sensations
- Dull aches
- Clumsiness in your hands – can’t grasp thing, loss of dexterity
- Swelling around your hands and wrists
- Pain may radiate to other connecting parts of your body, for example the pain in your wrist may radiate up your arm to your shoulder joint.
Once the pain sets in, get help. Physiotherapy, massage and innovative technologies like shockwave or laser therapy can help reduce the pain. A program can be put together that’s personalized to both the injury and your lifestyle.
Are you suffering a repetitive strain injury? The Pain Management program at Our Clinic may be able to help. An integrated team of healthcare professionals can develop an individualized program especially designed for gamers. For more information visit the website, book an appointment, or give us a call at 519-937-1881.