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Jimmy McKay and Caitlin McGee recorded this interview on 11/01/2022.
Esports Physical Therapy Topics:
- What are the most common esports injuries?
- How much does an esports physical therapist earn?
- Are there jobs available for esports physical therapists?
- Who else is on the esports athlete’s team?
What are the most common esports injuries?
A 2020 article suggested that out of 188 esports participants, 43% experienced low back pain. Doctor McGee indicated that many physical therapists assume the most common injury is carpal tunnel, yet, in her experience, she finds back pain, neck, and shoulder pathology to be among the most common esports injuries.
Esports Gaming Posture
Esports participants must sustain long-duration performance postures which may require significant amounts of muscular endurance in the trunk and lower body. Some physical therapists who specialize in ergonomics may help to improve equipment selection and gaming station design, but it is ultimately the gamer’s responsibility to seek out this expert advice and work on improving fitness levels to reduce the chances of developing overuse injuries.
How much does an esports physical therapist earn?
During the interview above, Dr. Caitlin McGee, PT, DPT indicated that a tier 1 esports team could pay $80,000 a year for a service contract. Dr. McGee did not mention the specific services included at that price point, but it gives us a basis for estimating salaries.
Esports Physical Therapy Job Openings
A search of Indeed.com for the keyword “esports physical therapy” revealed no posted job openings at this time. I also searched the APTA job boards with no results for “esports physical therapist.”
Dr. McGee stated that she is seeking to hire esports physical therapists to work for her company 1HP.
How to Become an Esports Physical Therapist in 2023
As of today, the APTA does not have any formal advanced specialist certifications for esports physical therapy services.
I searched some of the larger continuing education platforms for physical therapy and found no results for learning more about esports.
Originally published: 11/17/2020
Caitlin McGee, Elliot Smithson, and Matthew Hwu are physical therapists who work at 1HP, a company improving gaming performance and prolonging gaming careers for the esport athlete.
Caitlin was on the show with us previously talking about esports but with an evolving field, she continues to define esports as any competitive scene of a video game.
The panel discusses the physical skills required for the esport athlete – fast reaction time, fast processing, strong upper extremity strength, posture, and endurance. Matthew discusses APM (actions per minute) which is the amount of finger movement performed while gaming.
One difference between esports PT and sports PT is the lack of infrastructure and lack of expectation eport athletes are expected to be engaging outside of the game time.
Elliot dives into the concept of game sense which describes the esport athlete to not only be proficient in gaming performance but also to have quick decision making skills continually over time.
Check out APTA’s recent article In Esports, Gaming and Gamers Join the Big Leagues for more information about PT’s treating in this field.
1:13:45 “Don’t just get yourself pigeon holed into learning the traditional models of whatever it is you’re studying. If you’re not seeking out information from sources that don’t necessarily just fit into your traditional structure, you’re missing out on so much information.” – CAITLIN
1:14:19 “Show that you care. Listen and care for the people you work with.” – MATTHEW
1:14:49 “Don’t be afraid to break out of that 9-5 outpatient ortho model. Really explore what you’re into. Really explore what you can offer as a PT.” – ELLIOT