Consequences of Playing Using a Claw Grip

[Disclaimer: Not medical advice]

We are in an age where gaming has become a massive part of our culture and with that comes an evolution to how we play and interact with our consoles and mobile phones. 

As gamers, we all want to be the best in the game and there is no enjoyment coming second. Gaming has become an exceedingly fast paced sport where button combinations to attack, defend, aim, shoot, reload, move and many more require fast decision making skills to outwit your enemy. A split second too late and you're out of the game. With that goal in mind, we tend to look for ways to improve our performance and one of the areas to help us react faster to our decisions is to change the way we hold our controllers/devices. Thus the claw grip was born. 


Here is a definition taken directly from one of our references:

'The claw grip is a technique used by console gamers that allows them to press the controller buttons while keeping their thumb on the right stick and the middle finger on the trigger(s). This technique prevents the need to sacrifice even a split second of aim in order to tap a button for an attack, defense, or other game mechanic.'


While there are supposedly benefits to playing using a claw grip, the negative impact it has on you outweigh them and are extremely costly in the future.

1. Muscle Fatigue

Using a claw grip would constantly have your hand and forearm muscles activated and contracting. This leads to lactic acid built up over time due to the static and repetitive contractions of your actions while using a claw grip. As a result, hand reactions will decrease over time and an overuse of those muscles can lead to constant muscle pain and potential tendon injury in the long run.

2. Bent Fingers

Many gamers have expressed their concern over the health implications of using a claw style grip. In a video by youtuber Ears, he demonstrated that an over excessive use of the claw grip had detrimentally affected the structure and shape of his fingers for life.

3. Constant Discomfort 

Although switching away from a claw grip, gamers still expressed discomfort even after playing with a more natural grip. Take it from NICKMERCS who has 2.3M subscribers who personally know gamers who have been inflicted with these health concerns for life. 

4. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

There has been much debate as to whether the claw grip contributes to the progression of carpal tunnel syndrome. Although there are varying views, acknowledging the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome will help us understand whether the claw grip can be a health risk. 

According to NINDS, the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is a combination of factors from pressure and trauma to the wrist. The wrist is home to the nerve that passes into the hand to provide sensation to your fingers. A claw grip does in fact place pressure of your wrist and therefore could lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.



While there is still an ongoing debate about the health implications imposed by a claw grip, it is always better to be prepared and take precautions to prevent these dire consequences. Although these health risk may not be inflicted on everyone, you just never know if you're the unlucky one. 


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