Santa Cruz de Tenerife, June 15, 2021- eSport players dedicate hours to this discipline, and there are numerous cases of young professionals withdrawing from competition due to back, hand and elbow injuries. Preventing these injuries is possible being aware of the associated medical conditions and taking into account a series of habits as confirmed by Dr. Antonio Hernandez Lecuona, head of the Traumatology and Orthopedics Surgery Service at Hospiten Rambla University Hospital.
"The most common injuries are those affecting the back and are a result of the extended periods of time players spend sitting in front of the computer, whilst holding the controls of consoles for long periods of time causes even more serious injuries".
Professional eSport player, of Tenerife Sports Club, Andres Rodriguez ‘Andyelmessy’, is aware of this and that is why he goes to Hospiten Rambla University Hospital for a check-up every year, “to be able to compete at my highest level of fitness”, explains the player.
Taking care of thumbs, wrists and elbows
The thumbs suffer from De Quervain tendonitis (inflammation of the lining of the abductor longus and extensor digiti minimi tendons) and trigger finger tendonitis, which affects the tendons that flex the thumb.
The famous carpal tunnel syndrome is another of the conditions eSport players suffer from due to the position their hands are in for long periods of time during games and especially in games played on a keyboard.
In the elbow, the most serious injury is lateral epicondylitis, better known as tennis elbow, which causes inflammation of the tendons connecting the muscles of the forearm to the outside of the elbow.
The importance of rest
"Rest periods are essential," says Dr. Hernandez Lecuona, because it is a sport that puts stress on the hands and requires holding a static posture for a long time. For that reason, the doctor recommends that, in games involving longer periods of activity (more than 20 minutes), “there be pauses of at least five minutes between games”. For short games, establishing a 10-minute break every 40 minutes is sufficient.
To prevent back injuries, the specialist advises adopting the correct posture - avoid leaning forward and try to keep the lumbar area supported by the back of the chair, whose position must be personalized, taking into account the physical characteristics of each individual player.
The right equipment - essential to preventing injuries
Regarding the equipment used during games, it is recommended that the computer monitor be at the level of the player's eyes and at a distance of approximately one outstretched arm. The keyboard must be propped up at an angle of about 15 degrees, to be able to hold the wrists in a neutral position and for the elbows to be flexed at a degree of about 30 degrees. The mouse must be located far enough from the keyboard to allow it to be handled comfortably.
"When holding the console controls, players tend to rest their forearms on their thighs and lean forward, which, over time, can lead to back injuries," says the doctor, advising players to support their arms on a table to avoid lesions.
Warm up and stretching
Dr. Hernandez also points out that "it is essential to warm-up correctly to play without injury, warming the muscles and joints with a variety of exercises". After playing, he explains that "the most appropriate thing is to develop a stretching routine which includes exercises to stretch the hands, finger by finger, as well as the wrists and elbows".
About the Hospiten Group
The Hospiten Group is an international healthcare network with 50 years of experience committed to providing the highest quality service, which has twenty private medical-hospital centers in Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica and Panama. The group is chaired by Dr. Pedro Luis Cobiella and attends more than 1,900,000 patients from all over the world every year with a workforce of more than 5,000 people.