Gamers should be considered true athletes. Gamers in esports can get injuries requiring physical therapy. Many gamers suffer from poor posture, improper chair ergonomics, and repetitive stress-strain injuries. Most do not seek medical attention for their injuries which may result in a chronic pain cycle. Most are gaming for 3 to 10 hours daily and 40% of gamers do not participate in any other physical exercise. Gamers can suffer from eye strain, neck pain, elbow and wrist pain, and hand/thumb pain. They also can suffer from upper extremity peripheral nerve compressions such as thoracic outlet syndrome or carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness, tingling, pain or burning in the wrist and hands. Gamers may suffer from pelvic pain and low back pain due to the constant sitting. Faulty postures, such as slouching, that gamers remain in for hours and overuse are the major causes of esports injuries. Overuse injuries can result in strains and sprains of the forearm, wrists, and hands. Goals of physical therapy for this patient population includes treating the physical injuries, improving their general health, correcting their gaming posture and finding adaptive strategies, such as ergonomics, to enhance in-game performance.
How can Pamela Morrison Physical Therapy Help Gamers in Esports?
Our expert orthopedic therapists can evaluate the gamer for postural issues, test range of motion of the spine, neck and entire upper quadrant; perform special diagnostic orthopedic tests, and assess their ergonomics while playing. Once the involved areas are evaluated and main pain sources are identified the therapist will begin treatment. Reducing pain, improving range of motion, improving posture, and increasing strength will be implemented. Pain modalities used could include therapeutic ultrasound, ice, heat, electrical stimulation, TENS, iontophoresis, and soft tissue mobilization (massage and nerve flossing). Joint mobilization, myofascial release, and neuromuscular re-education will also be implemented into the rehab program. Our goal is to have the gamer return to their esport as soon as possible and educating them to prevent the return of the injury.