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Physical therapy and esports may seem like two worlds unlikely to collide, but as virtual gaming has risen in popularity, physical therapists are beginning to take note of this new group of patients. After more than a momentary glance, it’s easy to see why esports athletes can benefit from the consultation of a physical therapist.
Esports players spend hours and hours a day performing repetitive and constant motions with their wrists, fingers, and forearms. Consequently, the most common injuries seen are those pertaining to the upper body. Tendinopathy, a level of inflammation or irritation or compression in the forearm that most players mistake for simply carpal tunnel, plagues countless players due to the long hours spent on a keyboard.
Other points of pain come from poor posture. Esports players will often spend hours – if not days – in chairs or positions that put pressure on unprotected nerves and joints.
The ergonomics of sustained video game play do not help the players with either of these two problems. The current equipment on the market doesn’t always offer great support, and can even encourage poor posture, especially if a player is playing for hours at a time.
Young players may be naïve about injuries; they’ve been playing games for years and have yet to experience any issues in their wrists, fingers, shoulders, or thumbs. But like an ultramarathon runner whose body can put up with abnormal amounts of strain, the clock is ticking. At some point the limits to what a person’s body set in, and so do the injuries.
The frustrating component about esports injuries is that there is no fast and easy road to recovery. Often, long periods of rest and icing are required to properly treat an injury. But at the competitive level high-ranking players hardly have the time to walk away from the screen. The solution? Physical therapy. Physical therapy can provide prevention measures and maintenance in order to extend a player’s career.
The good news for esports players is that physical therapy can help address these common issues. If a gamer is suffering from tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, posture-related injuries, or thumb and finger irritation, a licensed physical therapist can prescribe a course of care. Moreover, a physical therapist can help prevent injuries before they occur.
What’s more, with Agile Virtual PT, their entire consultation and treatment can be completed entirely online and from the comfort of their home. They will speak with the same licensed clinician on every call and receive a customized plan based on their injury. For aspiring esports athletes, it’s important to pay attention to your body. If pain starts, address the cause. Either take much-need breaks, change up your posture and ergonomics, or schedule an appointment with a licensed physical therapist.
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