Gamers, also known as esports athletes, are prone to injuries during training and competitions, just like traditional athletes.
A pro esports athlete can spend up to 12 hours playing per day. That's why most gaming-related injuries are from overuse.
Gamers are most likely to have injuries to the parts of their body they use most: arms, hands, and fingers.
Even gamers who aren't yet professionals spend a lot of time competing.
Whether amateur or pro, if you're an esports athlete, you may be at risk for injuries. Our sports medicine providers can help.
Playing esports at a competitive level means spending large chunks of time in front of the screen.
While sitting during practice and competition may seem like a passive action, gamers' arms, hands, and fingers are extremely active.
This is why many gaming injuries can cause:
Gamers work with focused attention in front of a screen for hours each day. You're either gripping a mouse or controller or tapping on a keyboard at lightning speed.
That's why it's vital to think about your esports health.
The most common injury among gamers is De Quervain's tenosynovitis or radial styloid tenosynovitis (gamer's thumb). This is a painful condition where the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist become inflamed. It happens because of repetitive motion.
Other injuries gamers deal with include:
While some athletes may need surgery, UPMC Sports Medicine has many nonsurgical options that help gamers heal and get back to competing.
Our sports medicine team may suggest one or more of the following:
We also offer surgical treatments, including minimally invasive procedures (this means a quicker recovery).
At UPMC Sports Medicine, we help athletes in all sports — whether traditional or esports — get better and back to competitor form.
Just as traditional athletes take measures to prevent getting injured, you should do the same.
Here are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting hurt and missing a big tournament:
If you want a long and successful career, you must form healthy habits early on.
Gamers often turn pro at an early age. Tweens and teens who are serious about gaming should be thinking about posture, exercise, and diet.
Sitting for a long time is hard on your body. It can make your back hurt and your muscles feel tight.
Gamers can take these steps to improve posture:
Tailor your workouts to the movements you perform in your sport. This can help sharpen your hand-eye coordination — one of the most important factors in gaming.
Also, your body is under stress when competing in esports. Not only are you using your upper body to control your movements, but gaming can also increase your heart rate.
The better shape you're in, the more successful you'll be.
A few stretches and exercises that can be extra helpful for esports athletes include:
Even eye warm-ups like practicing near-to-far focus can be extremely beneficial.
A good diet can give you a competitive edge in gaming. All athletes, including esports players, need the right fuel from their food to be at their best.
Here are a few tips:
To learn more or make an appointment with a sports medicine expert, call 1-855-937-7678.
UPMC Rooney Sports Complex
3200 S. Water St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex
8000 Cranberry Springs Drive
Cranberry Township, PA 16066