avoid numb hands when using steam deck

My hands were numb using Steam Deck

I just bought my Steam Deck OLED a month ago and I love it, but even though it’s a little bit lighter than Steam Deck LCD – I still get hand numbness, especially when lying in bed and in fingers. How to prevent that? You definitely don’t want to develop a carpal tunnel syndrome from using a Steam Deck.

Why my hands go numb when using Deck?

Let’s explore the potential causes of hand numbness. In my experience with the Steam Deck, I noticed that the problem could be linked to ulnar nerve entrapment. This nerve, responsible for the tingling sensation when hitting the funny bone, can be affected when the elbows are flexed and pressed into a surface for an extended period.

Can Steam Deck give you carpal tunnel syndrome?

The Steam Deck itself doesn’t directly cause carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), but the way you use it and the conditions in which you play could potentially contribute to the development of CTS or exacerbate existing symptoms. Carpal tunnel syndrome is typically associated with repetitive motion and prolonged, awkward hand positions that can compress the median nerve in the wrist.

How to prevent numb hands while gaming on Steam Deck?

Taking Regular Breaks

One piece of advice that made a significant difference for me was taking regular breaks during gaming sessions. Prolonged gameplay without breaks can contribute to hand numbness. I integrated carpal tunnel exercises and stretching routines into my breaks, which helped alleviate the discomfort.

Adjusting My Posture

I realized that how I held the Steam Deck and my overall posture played a crucial role. Holding the device in a way that strained specific muscles contributed to hand numbness. I started changing my posture frequently during gaming sessions to relieve stress on my hands and wrists.

Doing Carpal Tunnel Stretches

Experiencing numbness in specific fingers, such as the pinky and ring fingers, led me to believe it could be related to carpal tunnel issues. I incorporated carpal tunnel stretches into my routine to maintain hand flexibility and reduce the risk of developing more severe symptoms.

Exploring External Devices

I tried using external controllers or accessories, such as the Steam Deck kickstand and an external controller. An adjustable kickstand like ModCase lets me take a gaming break, facing the screen towards me during non-interactive cutscenes, and it can move up to 120 degrees. Also, switching to a traditional controller allowed for a more natural hand position, reducing the likelihood of numbness.

Ensuring Arm Support

Investing in good support for my arms and back made a noticeable difference. Using a comfortable chair or cushion while gaming helped prevent strain on my muscles and nerves, ultimately reducing the chances of hand numbness.

Gaming Environment

Taking a closer look at my gaming environment was crucial, especially when gaming in bed or on a couch. Making sure that my elbows were not pressed into the mattress or a hard surface for extended periods significantly reduced hand numbness.

Ergonomic Accessories

I searched for ergonomic accessories, such as reading chair pillows or tablet pillows, to support my arms and provide a more comfortable gaming experience. These accessories played a vital role in maintaining a more neutral wrist position.

My experience with hand numbness while using the Steam Deck taught me the importance of awareness and making adjustments. By taking breaks, maintaining good posture, and considering ergonomic accessories, I managed to significantly reduce the risk of hand numbness during my gaming sessions. Keep in mind that everyone’s body is different, so it’s essential to find the solutions that work best for you. If the problem persists, seeking advice from a medical professional is always a good option. Happy gaming!