Ways to prevent or relieve finger stress?


#1

I’m on a stick (TE). Sometimes I get a pain in my pointer finger. Not sure what causes it exactly, because some times I get it, and some times I don’t, but I’m guessing it is probably from over using the finger. (Although why it happens some times, and not others, is a mystery to me, because I play for hours and hours. And the pain just started this year, and I have been playing on a stick for a long, long time.)

Anyway, posting this in Tech Talk hoping to hear about some sort of hack or related idea to prevent the issue. Open to non-tech responses though or any ways people with similar experiences have dealt with it.


#2

See a physician.


#3

Doctor… Nobody here is qualified to tell you what to do, and armi’s still in residence training. (I don’t even know what his specialty is to be honest.)

Sounds like you will have to cut down on playing. You’re stressing your finger(s). You might be past a certain point and have carpal on that finger. Only a doctor will be able to say for sure.

I generally play games for an hour or less, sometimes only 15 minutes. It’s a combination of interest – I lose interest fast and just don’t want to spend my entire day doing one thing – and also avoiding stressing parts of my anatomy that I hear other people do all the time. Carpal tunnel syndrome is very common among artists, office workers, and computer operators in general. I wouldn’t be surprised to here more game players are developing carpal. When you perform certain repetitious tasks all day without taking breaks and do that on less than ergonomic (comfortable, healthy) circumstances, it’s not uncommon. That’s part of why there’s a huge industry for comfortable office chairs and ergonomic keyboards and mice.

The big reason I NEVER picked up a serious arcade-playing was because of the quality of the parts and configuration of the buttons used for American arcades. They’re the Happ parts with the button layouts for BigFoot! My hands just aren’t that big and the joysticks always felt funky to me. It wasn’t until I picked up a Mad Catz Rd 1 TE – among the first shipments (and long since modded for personal wants) – and experienced Sanwa parts that I felt comfortable playing with joysticks most of the time.

I’ve never played games enough consistently to really get into trouble. I’ve always quit when I started hurting or well before that. When you feel worn out or hurt, you shouldn’t keep playing… It’s asking for injury just like continuing to exercise with a very sore back or running with a strained tendon or ligament. You have to stop and let yourself recover from injuries. That means stop exercising or at least take it down 75-85% until you fully recover.

You might be more comfortable in the future with an Astro City button layout for your fingers. It follows the curvature of the hand more naturally than the Viewlix layout common with the first and second generation Mad Catz TE joysticks. Many people think it’s a far more comfortable button layout and it seems to be the one people comment on the most or put on a “want list.” It’s the preferred Hori configuration for their HRAP 2 and 3 joysticks as well as the newer HRAP A (the Soul Calibur V and later joysticks with the new case design).


#4

Remember that recommendation/warring on all game consoles saying you should take regular breaks, at least 15 min every hour or so.
There is a reason for that, 1 it cuts down on eye strain, 2 it cuts down on risks of carpal tunnel, 3 it is to reduce fatigue, 4 you should eventually power down your system so it do not overheat


#5

not from a hardcore gamer point of view, but I draw something like 8 hours or more per day, both manual and with mouse/ tablet digitally
just a short breaks in between, and since your fingers also moved by muscles, strengthening those muscles will give you more stamina in your fingers, there are stuff either that donuts like rubber thing, or coiled spring, or that gardening scissor like think with spring in between to train your hand/ fingers muscle with.


#6

not from a hardcore gamer point of view, but I draw something like 8 hours or more per day, both manual and with mouse/ tablet digitally
just a short breaks in between, and since your fingers also moved by muscles, strengthening those muscles will give you more stamina in your fingers, there are stuff either that donuts like rubber thing, a pair of metal balls, or coiled spring, or that gardening scissor like think with spring in between to train your hand/ fingers muscle with.


#7

I sometimes warm up before long sessions of beatmania IIDX, where my hands are doing this the whole time I’m playing (only need to watch for 30 sec or so to get an idea of it):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqMTr0hmrLA

I use one of these sometimes before playing, if I know I’ll be playing high-difficulty songs a lot, or playing for a long time: http://www.amazon.com/Gripmaster-Hand-Exerciser/dp/B0085MX3SG (the red one)

5-10 min of warmup exercises on this, followed by a short cooldown, does seem to fend off aching hands and fingers. There are lots of finger stretching exercises you can do without this of course, look into guitar finger stretches/warmups and so forth.


#8

Thanks for the responses, all.

I’ll try some sort of warm up and see if that helps, along with longer breaks.

I was thinking about attaching a foam pad or stint to end of my finger and seeing if that helped, but that would be a pain the execution department. Still thinking about the best way to do that without just haphazardly taping it up.