Are you feeling pain in your shoulders while you game? You’re not alone. Many people, including office workers, computer programmers, hobbyists and crafters also experience these pains.
Due to a lack of movement and constant use, the shoulders can feel an immense amount of pain.
Table of Contents
- 1 Gaming Shoulder Pain
- 2 Ways To Help Your Gaming Shoulder Pain
- 3 Conclusion
Gaming Shoulder Pain
The gaming shoulder pain that you feel is caused by a condition that is known as “mouse shoulder”.
This occurs when you use your mouse while using your computer, but without an appropriate arm support.
After weeks or months of use without this needed support, you can develop this kind of pain.
This is a kind of repetitive strain injury that is caused by repeating this constant movement in a limited space, which ends up leading to serious pains in your shoulder, neck and upper back regions.
What Causes Your Gaming Shoulder Pain?
Unlike what you might expect, we actually use our mouses three times as often as our keyboards. This can easily happen whenever gamers use the mouse to aim and shoot while gaming.
The repetitive usage and positioning causes major problems with your upper limb regions.
Additionally, while using a mouse, you make use of small and focused movements in your hands and fingers, which cause the small muscles in these areas very fatigued.
In turn, when these small muscles grow fatigued, other larger muscle groups come in and start getting very tense, in an effort to try and compensate for the smaller muscles.
More specifically, since the shoulder and shoulder blade are attached to the body by various muscles that are inserted into the spine, ribcage, neck and base of the skull, these areas end up contracting when you extend your arm, held away from your body.
The muscles contract this way to help support the weight of your outstretched arm.
However, when you game for several hours and maintain this sort of position, especially without any movements or relaxation, you can end up with painful and weak arms and shoulders.
Symptoms to Look Out For
When you are faced with gaming shoulder pain, there are certain telltale signs that it is caused by mouse shoulder.
If you feel pain on one shoulder, specifically the one you use for your mouse, that is a huge telltale sign. The pain can also be accompanied by tightness in your upper back and shoulder blade area, and may extend down to your arms, hands and/or wrists.
Your fingers may also feel numb or tingly. It’s also possible for the pain to be a burning sensation or a stiff feeling.
You may also experience muscle spasms, loss of strength in your hands, headaches and even painful nodules or cysts located around your joints and tendons in more severe cases.
Ways To Help Your Gaming Shoulder Pain
After you’ve identified your pain, there are several ways to help yourself relieve your tension.
– Change Up Your Workspace Setup
Your shoulder pain could actually be caused by the way you organize and set up your gaming space.
This means a few things. For one, you should be making sure that your mouse is in a location where you don’t have to particularly reach for it.
You should also make sure that your wrist is placed in a neutral or slightly flexed position when you are using your mouse and keyboard.
Your arms rests should also be positioned to support your arm appropriately.
When you game, you should also try your best to remind yourself to grasp your mouse lightly while gaming so that you can reduce the amount of tension you feel.
Overall too, you should make sure that your entire gaming space is set up in a way where your keyboard height, seat height and screen height are all in comfortable and ergonomic positions.
– Invest in Equipment to Help Yourself
Another solution you can consider is a mouse or arm rest. This arm rest will help support your arm weight while you game, reducing the stress on your arm.
These armrests are relatively affordable and should not be too hefty an investment.
Other items you may consider include adjustable computer armrests, arm or wrists supports or even a vertical mouse!
All of these items are designed to increase your comfort and help you feel less tension while you game.
-Perform Some Shoulder Stretches
When you feel pain, it is often because you spend long hours gaming without changing your position.
Hence, it can be important to take breaks during your gaming periods and stretch.
These stretches are simple and incredibly easy to do while you are at your desk, though you can do them anywhere you’d like since they will help you relieve some tension and pain, regardless.
For this stretch, you should raise one of your arms up at a time over your head, and try to reach as far as you can to the opposite direction of the arm you’re using.
This helps you stretch many of the muscles that are attached to your shoulder blade and upper arm.
For this stretch, you should roll your head and neck in a circle, slowly, once clockwise, and then do the same but in the anti-clockwise direction.
This stretch will help you release tension in your neck muscles which usually cause more pain and tension in the shoulders. Read up on nerd neck.
For this stretch, you should keep your arms at your sides and start by rolling your shoulder backwards slowly.
While you do so, be sure to only use your shoulder muscles and roll as far as you can comfortably go through with. This stretch will relieve tension in your shoulders.
For this stretch, begin by clasping and intertwining your fingers with your palms away from you.
In this position, raise your arms so that your palms are now facing towards the ceiling instead. You should feel a stretch in your arms.
Be sure to pull your arms up as far as you can comfortably do so without getting hurt. This exercise will help you stretch your upper arm and rotator cuff muscles.
These are both important since they both help your shoulders function well.
If you are feeling pain while gaming, just remember to take some breaks! Take some time to stretch and relieve the tension in your arms, shoulders and upper back.
It is important to evaluate your workspace as well to make sure that it is not the cause of your pain. Choose a good gaming chair – it will make all the difference.
In all, make sure you help yourself as soon as you can so as to avoid future injuries or more severe pains.