They may be sat behind a desk instead of being out on a field or court smashing into other humans, but that doesn’t mean esports players are immune from career-threatening injuries.
Motherboard has a great interview up with Dr. Levi Harrison, a hand and arm surgeon based in Los Angeles. Harrison—who specialises in athlete injuries—tells the site that after MMA fighters, his most common customers are esports players, who fly in from all over the world to seek treatment for problems associated with repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and trigger finger.
It’s a career-ending threat facing all esports athletes, as we saw earlier this year when LoL star Hai Lam had to retire due to a “wrist injury...that I simply cannot ignore.”
Like any other injury facing any other athlete, Dr. Harrison says the worst thing gamers can do is to ignore the pain and try to play through it. “If you don’t rest the body doesn’t have a chance to heal itself, to go into a homeostatic state and say okay, now I can repair myself”, he says. “Whether it’s non-stop gaming or non-stop MMA training, the body doesn’t like that, and there’s a price.”
A price lots of people like Lam, are paying.
Harrison has a stretch and exercise routine to help avoid and limit injuries which you can check out below. Try ‘em out: if I have to stretch before football, you have to stretch before DOTA 2.