Posted by: ugleepen | August 16, 2012

Poker Playing and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

There are so many ways in our modern world in which Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) can cause problems leading to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).  Even when we’re relaxing, having fun, and playing games. The big news out of “PokerNews” is that RSI and CTS are becoming major problems for online poker players as that entertainment genre becomes more and more popular.

This is due to the hours spent at the computer, especially when tournaments get hot and heavy.  The dominate hand endures an extreme amount of repetitive tasks as the game is manipulated for many hours on the computer screen. This puts undue stress on the tendons of the wrist, leading to CTS when the median nerve is compressed at the wrist from swelling of the irritated tendons.

As PokerNews put it, “We’re sure you would agree that poker players take repetitive mouse movements to an entirely new level.”

Two areas need to be addressed:

1. The Computer Mouse. It’s a cinch that the common computer mouse is not ideal for long hours of use. The motion of applying force with the index finger as the mouse is moved and clicked applies pressure to the hand and wrist. When this movement is performed for hours on end, RSI is the first thing that occurs, leading to CTS.

See Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and the Computer Mouse

2. Stretches. Besides finding a more ergonomic mouse, there are a number of stretches and exercises that can be performed that will strengthen the wrist and help alleviate the tension on the muscles and tendons.  There are a number of videos on YouTube that can instruct you on the best types of stretches and exercises.

Also see An Easy Exercise to Help Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Since an online poker player is already putting extra stress on fingers and wrists, it’s a good idea to eliminate other stress to those areas whenever possible. One easy way of doing that is to use an ergonomic pen. Writing with the UGLee Pen is the best way to keep fingers, hands and wrists in a comfortable and relaxing position during that activity.

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