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Long-term physical risks of speedcubing?

Aerma

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Apr 1, 2017
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Aerma
Preface:
I started taking a ukulele class recently, and my teacher spends a lot of time with me on technique. Reason being that the way most people play the instrument when first picking it up is completely wrong, and can actually lead to really bad physical conditions down the road. He says that plucking the strings using the second knuckle, over time, is really bad for the hand, and it's much better to pluck using the strength of your first knuckle. The tendons and muscles of our fingers are very fragile, and it's much easier to injure them than bigger muscles like those in the arms.

In the past there's been the issue of "Rubik's Wrist", or pain/minor injury related to cubing. It seems that this was mainly due to the poorer hardware of the time, like cubes being stiff out-of-the-box and needing to be broken in before being viable for speedsolving. Nowadays that doesn't seem to be much of an issue, as the brand-new cubes of today are much better than even the most carefully set-up and broken-in cubes of 2011.

But back to the finger stuff: When we cube, we tend to push the layers with a single finger, with the strength of mostly the second knuckle. Some fingertricks use the strength of the first, like pulling the U layer from the front with your right index finger to do a U' turn or doing an F' with your right thumb, but most aren't like this. Speedcubing hasn't been around for that long; the vast majority of us in this forum have only started in the past ~5 years. I myself have been cubing for about six. So, there is really no data on the long-term side effects of cubing. If I do 200 solves a day on most days, I have no idea if it'll come back to haunt me in a number of years.

So my question is: are these problems and risks worth worrying about, or is there no big issue to be discussed? Can all cubing-related injuries be prevented by sitting with a proper posture while solving and maintaining a slight bend to the wrist, or is the strain on the second knuckle over time going to give me and others physical detriment?
 

shadowslice e

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Jun 16, 2015
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Shadowslice
There's probably a slightly increased risk of something like repetitive strain injury or tendonitis or similar. I wouldn't think it's much worse than something like typing a lot or maybe using a mouse a lot.

As long as you're not pushing yourself to practise when it hurts and you're using a well set up cube I wouldn't worry too much

Shadowsliceeisnotadoctornorhashadextensivemedicaltrainingsodonttakethisopinionasgospelifyourereallyworriedaboutsomethingorhavepainwhenyoucubebesuretoseetheadivseofamedicalprofessional
 

TomasH

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Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
7
I wouldn't worry too much. After cubing for 40 years, I am still ok. Well, my hands are at least! :)
 
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