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Carpal Tunnel in Esports, explained in 5 minutes

February 22, 2020


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.

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100 Comments

  • Reply Blitz Esports LoL May 16, 2017 at 6:00 pm

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  • Reply Pitchoo973 April 16, 2018 at 6:31 am

    I had carpal tunnel from jacking off to much, need a physicist

  • Reply Live Doom April 17, 2018 at 6:02 am

    I work at a rent a center delivering busted ass broken beds. You lucky fuckers playing for money wtf…?

  • Reply Jerez911 April 20, 2018 at 4:24 am

    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.

  • Reply johns fantastical music and remixes April 23, 2018 at 5:54 am

    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.

  • Reply beibei and qiqi Zhu April 24, 2018 at 9:33 am

    This video made my wrist hurt, thx reversed placebo

  • Reply yeah dude April 25, 2018 at 8:49 am

    pro tip: use an anime tiddy mouse pad

  • Reply Arkady April 25, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    LoL players arent really prone to this since controls and mechanics are very simple.

  • Reply Daniel Yoon April 25, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    starcraft 2 + osu! = dead fingers

  • Reply DesModeKid April 25, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    BOIIII…. 👌🏼👌🏼😂😂😂😂💯💯💯

  • Reply MagicCreeper8 April 25, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    I’ll just stick to console

  • Reply lekkek April 26, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    1:14 who tf plays league of legends with wasd?

  • Reply Trydodis April 27, 2018 at 5:03 am

    Well I’m fine then because I play dota

  • Reply Wolf7Husky April 27, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    lmao im feeling pain after watching this video…before I was training mouse accuracy xD

  • Reply Lunar April 27, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    I came from MetamanZ LOL

  • Reply eyelash Z April 28, 2018 at 5:03 am

    I'm 14. Last year I was playing a liszt piece. I developed carpal tunnel.

    Fuck you Liszt.

  • Reply Isaiah Brooks April 28, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Bruh this whole time I thought it was just hand cramps

  • Reply Oppai God April 28, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Where have i been all this time the best way to play league is W A S D now im in challenger

  • Reply hugepanicbuilder May 1, 2018 at 1:47 am

    Geometry Dash Riot

  • Reply Roman Mellado May 1, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    so do wristrests help or not?

  • Reply Mighty Wizard cat May 2, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    I have sometimes in my left hand burning sensation. Fuck it

  • Reply Devetite May 4, 2018 at 6:00 am

    0:00 got nae naed

  • Reply Broni Birdreni May 4, 2018 at 7:00 am

    I misread the title as Carpal Tunnel in Escorts……from doing, y'know. To men.

  • Reply KTM Trooper May 4, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    i got carpel tunnel watching this…

  • Reply Friedrich May 4, 2018 at 11:16 pm

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

  • Reply Hero X500 May 5, 2018 at 2:18 am

    I’m a 13 yo with carpal tunnel.
    How did I get it?

    Gaming…

  • Reply Jonric Dy May 5, 2018 at 11:33 am

    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 :'(

  • Reply Harry Pairatesticles May 10, 2018 at 3:56 am

    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

  • Reply RemRam May 18, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    1:35 WHO DAFUQ PLAYS LEAGUE W/ WASD KEYS? SMH

  • Reply Random Name May 22, 2018 at 8:37 am

    1:20 waitwaitwaitwait bruhhhh that hand position tho……

  • Reply RedEyeJedi May 24, 2018 at 3:18 am

    I had to get surgery that's how sever my carpal tunnel was.

  • Reply Ian coram May 24, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    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.

  • Reply Captain Crash May 24, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    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

  • Reply Crash S May 25, 2018 at 6:59 am

    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.

  • Reply Natan May 25, 2018 at 8:04 am

    LoL forever!

  • Reply Fran Rod May 26, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Bunch of fucking pussyes. Weak ass wrists.

  • Reply Gabriel Carpio May 27, 2018 at 3:43 am

    Anybody knows which braces are ok for prevention?

  • Reply linux750 May 28, 2018 at 3:04 am

    GET A CONTROLLER

    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.

  • Reply TreeMobile. May 30, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    should I rest every weekends after I play?

  • Reply A.M. Arteaga June 24, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    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.

  • Reply MisterOptimous July 5, 2018 at 1:38 am

    It hurts af lol

  • Reply Grzychu July 7, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Why does he have his fingers over wsad instead of qwer

  • Reply Nikolaos Anastasopoulos July 9, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Shoutout to Hax$

  • Reply Charles Li July 24, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    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?

  • Reply Kairocymbic August 3, 2018 at 8:31 am

    Super smash bros melee is one of them.

  • Reply ACaMr August 9, 2018 at 3:14 am

    If I have a burn on my like wrist and like a bit burn pain do I have the syndrome?

  • Reply Carpal Tunnel Gadgets August 10, 2018 at 9:36 am

    We got cool gadgets on the website that can help with this condition.

  • Reply JonteTheCoreGaming August 19, 2018 at 8:00 am

    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?

  • Reply Maximilian Kirk September 3, 2018 at 4:44 am

    I had this problem, because my wrist was dislocated

  • Reply CrystalEmbrace September 12, 2018 at 11:06 am

    been suffering for the last month its at a point where i can no longer feel my fingers

  • Reply Kristian Topaldzhov September 19, 2018 at 8:44 am

    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…..

  • Reply II PANDA IIV September 25, 2018 at 6:11 am

    I use an xbox controller and the botom of my thumbs hurt someone help is it bad?

  • Reply RAY.S 3523 October 3, 2018 at 8:33 am

    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

  • Reply Sakamata October 25, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    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

  • Reply Nourios November 6, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    League has many actions per minute?

    Ha, tell that to osu! players

  • Reply WaRaJoKeR November 11, 2018 at 4:43 am

    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?

  • Reply VGD November 12, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    There is no such thing as "casual" LOL

  • Reply Andrei PH November 16, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Thank You for this Video.

  • Reply Rage Rawke November 19, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    Try Starcraft 2 … [ Broodwar actually ]

  • Reply DysonSphere75 November 25, 2018 at 7:57 am

    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.

  • Reply Nyzana Alexander November 27, 2018 at 2:48 pm

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

  • Reply Ben Weigel November 30, 2018 at 3:58 am

    Well i have carpel tunnel and can’t play anymore. I was playing only an hour or 2 a day, so guess I’m just unlucky.

  • Reply Jecko Galvez December 23, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    WASD on league

  • Reply VividPsychosis January 5, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    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?

  • Reply Special Ops Pepe February 25, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Just get a new wrist 4HEad

  • Reply PlayMaker February 25, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    Ok so how do we prevent this

  • Reply BKDDY March 2, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    It's mostly genetic on if you have issues

  • Reply Ajju March 8, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    A big reason I quit pc gaming :/

  • Reply Jameszeboss March 12, 2019 at 8:57 am

    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

  • Reply Mark .MacRae March 12, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Grea Vid Avoid the pain https://www.facebook.com/commerce/products/2151064781618574/?notif_id=1552402424702142&notif_t=commerce_product_review

  • Reply The Earls Renegade April 21, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    PC gaming has never being so dangerous…. it has never been on such an edge.

  • Reply Osu nut April 30, 2019 at 3:21 am

    nah i'm just here for osu!

  • Reply Rachel Schofield April 30, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    just evolve bro

  • Reply joulupukkix May 4, 2019 at 3:25 pm

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

  • Reply Jammie May 6, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    F

  • Reply E X I S T E N C E ## May 10, 2019 at 5:14 am

    I feel my ring and pinky fingers a lil numb in my left hand. Is it bad ?

  • Reply bruwv May 15, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    I play 2 hours a day and now not a lot but now people play 10 hours a day and they don’t get it

  • Reply bruwv May 15, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    How can I lose it with playing please respond I’ve had this crap for 4 months

  • Reply fallentoxic June 8, 2019 at 5:46 am

    I’m only 13 and I can barely play my games.

  • Reply Cheetahplaysmc eee June 10, 2019 at 3:19 am

    Got some tingly feeling in my wrist while in a league game searched it up and this popped up.

  • Reply Wacawaca June 25, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    I’m 12….

  • Reply MrSmasher69420 July 9, 2019 at 8:22 am

    I think i might have it.

  • Reply KevinX July 18, 2019 at 3:11 am

    My hands feel weird when I think in my head and say "what If my hands feel weird again"

  • Reply Micheal This is micheal July 21, 2019 at 9:10 am

    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

  • Reply Michael Soares July 27, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    And that's why you do hand mouse movements, not wrist.

  • Reply Jeremy Thornburg July 30, 2019 at 4:42 am

    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

  • Reply AlphaApex August 8, 2019 at 7:37 am

    At least i can get help while its not that bad

  • Reply Party Tomorrow August 11, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    Sorry my fellow teammates

  • Reply Retroke August 15, 2019 at 12:02 am

    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.

  • Reply Imminent2K August 25, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Can i get carpal tunnel from hitting the woah?

  • Reply Museeb Ali September 7, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    I play Only saturday and sunday for 6hours each

  • Reply MLG TURTLE September 20, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    Lol players getting rsi how they dont even need move the mouse too much they can use a high sense. High dpi really helps with rsi.

  • Reply l Omerta l September 24, 2019 at 3:16 am

    this is why red dead redemption 2 is horrible. you literally spam the A button a million times to run lol. terrible idea, and terrible for the thumb and wrist.

  • Reply Wow Pow October 13, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Injuries? HAHAH PATHETIC

  • Reply HellishPumpkin October 20, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    As an osu! player, I’m now scared that my fingers and wrist will die.

  • Reply meme machine November 6, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    I have weird hard thing in my hand that my left hand doesn't have don't know how to say it… and sometimes when I play very rarely I get pain on my right vein like its gonna fucking explode and I see how the vein is pumping the blood at the same beat as my heart. Do I need to worry?

  • Reply Survilian December 12, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Who else got a bit of pain in there arm and just immediately came here

  • Reply Isabella Erika December 30, 2019 at 11:04 am

    I just wanted to play Minecraft with my crush and now my fingers feel tingly 😔I can’t sleeep bro

  • Reply Aspix January 3, 2020 at 10:32 am

    yep i typed for like 15 hours in 1 day.

    now i have carpal tunnel

  • Reply Sovyattl January 31, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    I probably have it.

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