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5 Must-knows about gamer’s thumb and how to treat it

  • 3 min read

Must-knows about gamer’s thumb and how to treat it

For those who like playing video games or doing a lot of work on their computer, you may be familiar with a few conditions resulting from overdoing these activities. The most common one is carpal tunnel syndrome which is mostly pain felt in the wrist. If you’re feeling some discomfort in the thumb area, you may have a gamer's thumb. 

For those who aren’t familiar with what gamer’s thumb is, it is a type of tendinitis that affects the tendons in the thumb. The condition is also known as "controller thumb" or "joystick thumb." It occurs when these tendons become irritated or inflamed from overuse.

Here are a few things you need to know about gamer’s thumb:

1. You can easily test if you have gamer’s thumb

Easily test if you have gamer’s thumb

To check if you have gamer's thumb, grasp your thumb in your palm. Next, bend your wrist towards your pinkie finger. If there’s pain from your thumb going to the wrist, you may be suffering from gamer’s thumb.

2. It is caused by overuse of thumb muscles and tendons

Even though it’s called gamer’s thumb, not everyone who suffers from this type of injury are gamers. If you have a job or hobby that involves repetitive motion in the hand and wrist, you may be at risk of this type of tendonitis.

3. Your thumb needs exercise too

Like any part of our body with muscles and joints, our thumbs need love and attention, too. To help prevent gamer’s thumb or help recover, as a rule of thumb, do any of these exercises in between your games or work:

  • Curl your thumb into your palm (like when you’re signaling the number four) and extend it back to form an open hand. Repeat 15 times. 
  • Extend an open hand and create small circles with your thumb. Repeat 15 times in each direction.
  • Alternate between making a fist and opening your hand. Repeat 15 times. 

4. It takes about 4-6 weeks to recover

Just like any injury, your thumb needs some time to heal. It’s best to avoid doing the activity that caused the injury. The best practice is also to consult a physiotherapist for a recovery and rehabilitation plan. 

5. Try kinesiology taping

Your physiotherapist may recommend taping your thumb together with doing some exercises to help with the healing process. Physiotherapists would recommend tapes that are hypoallergenic, waterproof, and sweatproof like Tape Geeks.

How to treat gamer's thumb

Rest and minimize extensive movement of the tendon. You may want to do the exercises gently. Make sure you don’t overextend the muscle as this may cause more damage. 

It's best to consult a physiotherapist for your injury since there may be underlying pain that needs to be addressed. Make sure to take note of the activities that may have caused this injury and approximately how long you do it daily. You may also want to ask your doctor several questions about what activities are you allowed to do during recovery.

Conclusion

Your thumb is probably the most-hardworking extremity while you’re playing or working. Don’t forget to give it some well-deserved attention during your stretch breaks. 

Prevent yourself from getting gamer’s thumb and keep yourself ahead of the game with Tape Geeks.

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