Online gaming is exploding in popularity. It could even become an event at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and there are millions of talented and dedicated gamers in the community. Unfortunately, the long hours of practice and competing have left players with injuries like gamer’s thumb, repetitive strain injuries (RSI), and back pain.
Many gamers have lower back pain caused by sitting for long periods of time. Taking a holistic approach, by addressing lifestyle, ergonomics, and posture should be the first step to pain relief. Stretching exercises, cushions, and pain relieving topicals can provide relief. But the most important fix is correct posture. Always remember to keep your chest up, chin tucked, and shoulders back for the best posture while playing the esports game you love.
The Best Exercise for Back Pain Relief
If you’re experiencing back pain from long hours of play, try a postural correction exercise like the Seated Good Morning. Using a TheraBand Resistance Band, Seated Good Mornings can strengthen the mid and lower back muscles. These lightweight bands are great for travel. Simply pack one in your suitcase and take it with you to tournaments. It’s important to also improve your ergonomics for successful pain relief.
- Sit up straight at the edge of your chair with a slight curve forward in your lower back
- Hold the ends of the TheraBand resistance band in each hand
- Put your hands above your head, keeping your elbows aligned with your ears
- Bend forward 45 to 60 degrees or as far as you can while maintaining your posture
- Return to your starting position in step three
- Repeat for three sets of ten reps each
Posture and Cushions
Exercise can be combined with other solutions to keep you pain free. The chair you sit in while playing affects your posture and thus your back. Cushions can help situate you in the right position to reduce your back pain during long gaming sessions. Both back and seat cushions can help.
This seat cushion helps you maintain the right posture. The downward slope of the wedge increases the angle of your hips and knees. This causes you to sit in a more ergonomic, upright position.
Back pain makes it hard to concentrate on the game. This back cushion relieves muscle fatigue and keeps you in the correct position when sitting so you can keep your head, and your back, in the game.
Promote active sitting and engage your muscles with a ball chair. It has the same benefits of an exercise ball with the convenience of a rolling chair. Switch between this chair and a regular chair for strengthening and endurance while gaming. It helps improve your posture by strengthening the engaged muscle groups to help prevent exhaustion.
Topical Pain Relief Solutions
Kinesiology tape can be worn to encourage proper posture and support muscles and joints. The Xact Stretch Indicators on TheraBand Kinesiology Tape allow anyone to easily apply the tape correctly.
Hot and Cold Therapy
For the first 24 hours after an injury, cold therapy can be used to relieve back pain by numbing the nerve pain sensation. On the other hand, hot packs are better for longer-lasting, chronic pain. They relieve muscles spasms and increase blood flow and healing to the region.
Therapearl Hot and Cold Therapy Packs can be used for both therapies. Chill the pack in the freezer for cold therapy or heat it in the microwave for hot therapy. The back wrap comes with a strap to keep it in place.
Biofreeze is another effective way to relieve pain by blocking pain signals to the brain. The 360º spray allows you to spray at any angle, so it’s perfect for applying Biofreeze to your back.
A TheraBand Pro Foam Roller provides a deep tissue massage on your lower back muscles. It can relieve your soreness and discomfort after hours of playing. For an enhanced massage, use a TheraBand Foam Roller Wrap. The ridges knead your muscles for even more hands-free pain relief.
Your time spent sitting while competing in esports doesn’t need to cause back pain. If you exercise, practice proper posture, and use topical pain relievers, you can ease your lower back pain and get back to doing what you love. In the end, this will only make you a better gamer so your competition will be watching their backs.
Graham, B. A. (2017, August 09). ESports could be medal event at 2024 Olympics, Paris bid team says. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2uqHaWG
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