As a young gamer no one imagines that they would ever have health issues brought on by gaming. The smart bike rider wears a helmet to protect their head, and most people apply sunblock on to prevent their skin from getting roasted by the sun. With other activities there are precautions taken to keep safe and healthy, but most gamers aren’t thinking about the way their hobby can negatively affect their health.
There was a season while playing Path of Exile on the PC that my wrist began to experience pain. The game required more mouse clicking than the games I regularly played, and little by little my wrist began to hurt more and more. The pain in my right wrist wasn’t sharp, but an irritation and I knew that hours of gaming had spurred it on.
Wrist pain can be from the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome (pressure on a nerve in your hand) or pain from a repetitive strain injury (i.e. repetitive mouse clicking). It’s scary when the pain first comes, because you may worry that it will never go away or that your gaming days are done. The good news is that it is possible for the damage to be healed. In my case, I was able to heal up and no longer feel pain.
I don’t want anyone to live with pain, and so through research here are tips and tricks to prevent and heal wrist pain.
Be as Diligent as a Ballerina with Posture
- Keep your knees at 90 degrees and back at 90-135 degrees.
- Screen Height should be placed so that your eyes are 2”-3” below the top of the monitor. You should be able to sit up and look straight ahead. A screen that is too low can cause neck pain from tilting your head forward.
- Your arms and shoulders should rest on desk or chair arm rests. Avoid putting your mouse and keyboard at the very edge of your desk so that your hands and arms are hovering. Place your keyboard and mouse further onto your desk so that the weight can rest.
- You can purchase gloves or brace to keep your hand and wrist into a proper position. While this is not the ideal situation (who wants to wear these while gaming?) they can seriously help keep you healthy and pain free. See an example here.
Changing my posture significantly helped remove the pain from my wrist. Notice where your posture currently is, and make the small changes needed to prevent and heal wrist damage. It’s surprising how well posture can help!
Stretch! Even If You Hate It
I’m terrible at stretching and I hate spending the time to do it. If you offered me a million dollars to stand and touch my toes I wouldn’t be able to do it. To top it off stretching takes time and I am impatient man. With this said, pain is even more annoying. Take the five minutes of your time to stretch. Here’s a short video that will show you proper stretches to prevent pain in your wrist.