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Five Tips to Help Prevent Neck & Back Pain While Gaming

Gaming has grown from a hobby for kids to a $30 BILLION a year industry. Over 150 million Americans play video games and over 60% of households have someone who plays games regularly. 60% of Americans play video games every day and the average gamer is 34 years old.

Personally, I have been playing video games since the Atari days. Moon Patrol and Pitfall were my games of choice as a kid. A far cry (no pun intended) from today’s world of the Fortnite craze and kids all over America flossing and shoot dancing on their enemies.

But could our gaming be a cause of pain and discomfort for many? Not “solo Ornstein and Smough on Dark Souls” kind of pain. That is more of an exercise in masochism. No, I’m talking about neck and back pain. While gaming has many positive benefitis, such as improved dexterity, improved reaction time, improved decisiveness, stress reduction, and the social benefits of joining a positive gaming community (some do exist), the hobby still is a largely sedentary activity. Gamers can spend hours every week playing their games either on the couch or in a computer chair, and awareness of posture can take a back seat to grinding for a new weapon or set of armor. Your character may have climbed the 10,000 steps to High Hrothgar many times over, but that doesn’t mean you have. This amount of sitting can put gamers at an increased risk of developing neck and back pain.

To be able to continue gaming, and to ensure that your gaming habit doesn’t become a cause of acute, or even chronic pain, we need to be sure we are taking steps to undo the damage that can be done from the many hours on a couch or in a chair every week.  So today we are going to offer five tips that will help gamers minimize the stress that gaming puts on the body and prevent or relieve neck and back pain that can come from gaming.

  • Support your low back. Maintaining the normal curve of the low back (called a lordosis) is important when sitting for long periods of time. A lumbar support or even putting a small pillow behind your low back can help prevent low back pain from gaming.
  • Start a walking routine. Gaming is an extremely fun habit, but the health issues with sitting for extended periods, especially when most sit all day at work as well, cannot be ignored. Walking for as little as 30-60 minutes a day can help improve health. You can even use gaming as a reward for getting your walk or exercise in for the day.
  • Get evaluated by a chiropractor if you are having pain. As a gamer myself, I know how time can get away from you, and I know that good posture often suffers during a video gaming session. This is why I get adjusted regularly, exercise regularly, and stretch regularly. Keeping the joints of the spine moving well will help minimize your pain and decrease your risk of developing long-term spinal issues that can come as a result of a gaming habit.

Video games are a tremendous way to relieve stress and have fun with friends, and are capable of immersing you in some of the most incredible stories told in entertainment, but don’t forget to take care of yourself in the process. If you or someone you know is a gamer who deals with pain, please share this with them and have them contact us. We provide affordable, effective care to help our patients get out of pain and thrive at home, work, and play. If you would like to schedule an appointment, you may do so by CLICKING HERE.

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