Carpal Tunnel in Esports, explained in 5 minutes
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Carpal Tunnel in Esports, explained in 5 minutes

August 23, 2019

You’ve probably heard of Carpal Tunnel — the
quiet killer of esports careers, a syndrome that gives players intense hand pain or even
forces them into retirement. But just what is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and
how much of a danger is it really to our favorite League of Legends players? The Carpal Tunnel is actually a part of your
body, a small tunnel in your wrist made of bone and ligament. Running through it are nine tendons that flex
your fingers, as well as the Median Nerve, which carries signals to and from the brain
so that you can control your thumb and feel things in this half of your hand. Because the space in this tunnel is so limited,
harsh movements and tissue swelling can put pressure on the nerve, and make it harder
for it to transfer information to and from the brain. That’s when you get early carpal tunnel
symptoms — tingling, numbness, burning, and other weird sensations in fingers that the
median nerve is responsible for. Eventually it can cause hand weakness and
trouble with fine motor skills. In the most extreme cases, people can lose
portions of their thumb muscles to deterioration, or the ability to feel hot and cold in parts
of their hand.” A lot of different things can lead to carpal
tunnel syndrome, like genetics or medical conditions. But when it comes to gaming, the problem is
mainly how often we play, and how easy it is to binge. Pro players spend dozens of hours a week on
their PCs, either scrimming with their team, practicing in solo queue, or just enjoying
some casual play in their off time. All of this play time has way more actions
per minute, or APMs, than casual computer use. That intense and frequent finger movement
can cause swelling and thickening of the tendons in the carpal tunnel, putting pressure on
the median nerve. But while those are the physical causes of
Carpal Tunnel, psychology plays a big part. Because most players are fairly young, they’re
more likely to dismiss minor body pains. We’re more apt more likely to just brush it
off and pretend that it’s not a big deal but it’s because of that same devaluing of the
sensations that we feel it’s what leads to us getting to this point where the carpal
tunnel syndrome or the pressure on the nerves gets bad enough where we do have to stop playing
or where it actually limits us from being able to do what we love, which is playing
games League of Legends has seen its own share of
carpal tunnel troubles. Toyz, midlaner for Season 2 champions Taipei
Assassins, suffered with his Carpal Tunnel diagnosis until his retirement in 2013. He did eventually return to pro play, but
his story is one Matt thinks shouldn’t happen in esports anymore. It is never something that any pro or casual
player needs to retire from. And the main reason is because it’s rehab
is extremely straightforward in how we manage it. It just takes the right changes in lifestyle,
posture, and ergonomics to relieve pressure on the nerve and give it time to heal. In fact, not only is early Carpal Tunnel highly
manageable, it’s also not as common as players fear. So I want to go over the biggest myth that
every gamer needs to know when it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome or just wrist pain
in general. So all of us no matter how what we’re feeling
on our wrists, we think immediately that we have carpal tunnel syndrome. Most of the time it’s just that we have a
little bit of aching or a little bit of discomfort and that’s more relative to something like
a muscle irritation or tendon irritation or even a minor strain. Nothing severe enough to the point where we
have to say hey we have stage 10 carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s not that. Today, carpal tunnel isn’t the brushed-off
career ender it once was. Players don’t whisper the name across gaming
house halls like it was Voldemort. Instead, esports organizations are tackling
it head on, bringing in physical therapists like Matt to educate players on the risks
of long hours, monitor their wellbeing, and manage any injuries. Esports players are also getting some new
accessories out of it — braces and therapeutic tapes that restrict their wrist movement during
play, and guide muscle use to reduce strain on tendons. There are the technical accessories too, like
specialized mouses, keyboards, and support pieces that keep their bodies in more comfortable
positions. On the extreme end of things, players can
get cortico-steroid injections or take medication to temporarily get rid of inflammation and
pain. Or they can undergo carpal tunnel release
procedure and have their tunnels sliced open, and spend weeks or even months in recovery. If there’s just one thing I can leave to our
community in terms of one piece of advice, it would just be to listen to your body. With safe techniques and the help of health
professionals like Matt, we can keep wrist tunnels everywhere safe.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Hey folks! Hope you enjoyed the video, we had a blast making it. In case you missed it, we are doing weekly RP giveaways on our esports app.

    Just download the app on iOS: or Android:, and check out the discussion tab!

  2. Don't care. I'll play untill I can't move. It won't get much better when it happens so use what's left. Also, aim with your fucking shoulder people. Simple.

  3. Are you a magician that was cursed with Carpal Tunnel? heres the fix Carpool Tunnel, cause some wrecks on the worst people you can find that are carpooling together in a Tunnel

  4. hey ,if anyone else wants to learn about all natural treatment for carpal tunnel try Pycanta Tunnel Syndrome Protocol (just google it ) ? I´ve heard some great things about it and my mate got amazing success with it.

  5. i used to play CSGO & other competitive games. at least 12 hours a day. It was really bad. I use to lose feeling in the tip of my fingers if i shook them. If i closed my eyes i used to see flashing lights. ect. For reasons i’ve been free of computer games for 2 1/2 months now. And i feel much better. The addiction was strong for about 5 years. And it only took me about a month to get rid of the extreme urge to play.

  6. 3:46 lol you included Cloud9 in the teams focusing on tackling this issue?
    Boi, C9 can barely focus on doing the fucking objective.

  7. As a pianist and a gamer, getting carpal tunnel is the worst feeling esp. when your hand freezes, and I've got it on both hands :'(

  8. I want my 5k hours i spent playing dota back

    Started getting car pool tunnel in my right hand. Might be the mouse if anything but still sucks

  9. Don’t even worry about this
    I have had it or felt early effects
    It’s a really annoying feeling in your wrist, it’s easy to avoid
    It’s not gonna be out of the blue, you.l have time to counter it before it gets bad.

  10. Am I the only one thinking of anclepadds, like for anime mousepads but without the oversexualysation.
    Also: oh no some Asian dude can't play game for other people, oh noh

  11. You can honestly fix wrist pain with just direct strengthening like any muscle tendon or joint. Something like doing front squat and building that up will turn your wrist into pure steel. You are only as strong as your weakest link. So don't have any muscle group that is lacking like lower back, rear delts, bicep tendon, or knee tendons. People snap or get hurt when something is too weak or too tight.


    With a keyboard, your hands are palm down, which is terrible for high speed hand/finger movement

    With a controller, your hands are in a more natural position to move your fingers and grab things.

    Most PC games can adjusted for customized controller usage.

  13. I'm studying Animation and I love gaming and drawing, but CT makes it so hard. At its best, the pain is minor and there's only numbness and subtle tingly pain. But at its worst, the pain goes from my ring finger down to my forearm, with extreme pain around my wrist and numbness a little further down, and so much weakness in my hand I can barely close it into a fist. I can barely draw for thirty minutes before I stop because the pain becomes almost unbearable, sometimes I can't sleep and I can't play certain games the way I used to even though I'm learning how to aim with my arm and not wrist. It's a pretty shitty pain.

  14. I feel a little nerve movement in my arm when I press w with my middle finger. It's almost like a tingle but I'm not sure. Do I have early carpal tunnel and what can I do to fix it?

  15. My arm just Feels Weird and annoyed, it is like this all the time, but i can feel it more when playing, what is it?

  16. I don't get that why 85% of your videos is from NA region and you use only NA suckers to explain everything when NA is the BIGGEST LOOOOSERRRSSS of all MAJOR REGION'S? I don't see EU no where show to the people what is the TRUE WEST REGION not the LOSER REGION…..

  17. If I play very less relative to most people – like my friends for example, I play 1.5 hours a day, or 2h occasionally (if I even have time to in the first place), while a few of my friends play into the night for 3 or even 4 hours a day.

    Back to the question, if I play less than my friends, and my wrist tends to feel pain ocassionally (but more often than my friends), what precautions should I take?

    Should I change the equipment I'm using (currently using G102)? Because I have the other part of ergonomic pretty much down.

    Please help, I don't know what to do and I really would like to avoid getting repetitive strain injury in my wrist area

  18. hey I have a problem im in physical therapy and have been training to try to improve this for a long time but im having ring and pinky discomfort in the mouse hand I got tests done saying no nerve damage so far but then I got acupuncture and the guy enflamed the hell out of my nerve and now im struggling to do anything at the computer what should any suggestions? io have been doing the wrist exercise videos thanks

  19. I havent been able to play properly in years, after 10 mins my hands start to feel dead/weak and then it feels like they are cramping and feel stiff , i cant stop constant fidgeting trying to adjust my grip due to the aches, i find resting my hands im warm soapy water helps but after 10 mins the problems arise again,
    I've been gaming almost every day for 10 years , problems started a couple years ago

    Is any of these systems or not?

  20. 1:54 Gamers shrug off pain in their wrist, which is a contributing issue. 3:14 we immediately think that pain in our wrist is carpal tunnel. Contradiction in only a minute and 20 seconds.

  21. played fortnite yesterday for 13 hours and my wrist started hurting and now im here. at least I learned how to build battle decently 😅👌🏽

  22. I played destiny 2 last night and started to get tingling shooting sensation in my left thumb (keyboard side) is this just because of a long gaming session or more serious?

  23. i broke my radius and my ulna in my wrist 2 weeks ago and I'm experiencing all of these symptoms now I'm shook

  24. Grea Vid Avoid the pain

  25. I play 2 hours every day and 3-4 hours weekends and my palm hurts because i play with tilted keyboard

  26. If you feel a sharp pain in your shoulders and elbow when u move ur hand too fast or too much is that a symptol

  27. If I had to say one thing about this video, it is to take his and mine advice to listen to your body. That is where I failed

  28. I wanted to get some info after my osu! Sessions, my left wrist hurted like hell, it was almost like someone stabbed me with a knife in the wrist and made it impossible to keep playing.

    Thanks for this video, i will try to tale more care of my wrist now.

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