Physiotherapy for Gamers: Preventing Injuries in the E-Sports World
The electronic sports (e-sports) industry is booming worldwide. Professional competitors make millions of dollars in tournament winnings and the total viewership last year reached 450 million people. However, the physical health of gamers is an issue that must be addressed. E-sports athletes are at risk for musculoskeletal injuries such as eye fatigue, neck and back pain, wrist and hand pain, and even chronic stress syndromes like rheumatoid arthritis.
Many of these problems can be prevented with regular physiotherapy treatment by Ace Allied Health who are knowledgeable about these and understand how players’ bodies work while playing video games. The therapists can help determine whether a patient should continue gaming or if it is time to take a break. In addition, therapists can offer preventive care by teaching patients proper ergonomics and assisting them with strengthening exercises.
Injuries can also be avoided by addressing the way that gamers hold their mouse and keyboard. Gamers who are used to holding their hand in a certain position may unknowingly be straining their fingers and thumbs, which can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, a physio Castlemaine can teach patients to place their hands in a neutral position when they are using the mouse and keyboard. Taking short breaks to stretch out the fingers and hands can also be helpful.
Some esports organizations are taking steps to mitigate these injuries in their players. For example, Seattle-based Evil Geniuses recently hired a full-time director of player performance to monitor the health and well-being of its players. This is a great step towards ensuring that the players can live longer careers in esports.
As the esports industry continues to grow, there will be more opportunities for physiotherapists who are knowledgeable about gaming and its related health issues. They can educate their patients about injury prevention, provide onsite rehabilitation, and serve as the point of contact for referrals to other healthcare professionals. They can also present to e-sports leagues and organisations about the health benefits of a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare for their players.
If you’re interested in a career in the medical field, consider enrolling in an allied health program. These certificate programs allow students to get out of the classroom and into a healthcare profession quickly and fully trained. Courses are offered at colleges in some countries. Allied health professionals are medical personnel who diagnose and treat diseases, illnesses, and injuries using evidence-based practices.