Gaming injuries are an integral part of gaming life. Esport, as we also call it today, is no longer just a hobby. For many it has become a great financial resource in life. Professional gamers can even earn up to 10 million dollars on a single gaming tournament.
The gaming industry is booming
The figures show that the esport the fastest growing market and the best way to use the title of the most profitable sport. The gaming industry is estimated to be worth more than 1 trillion dollars and has 443 million active participants.
Some predict that gaming would be included in the list of sports participating in the Olympic Games by 2024.
With the extremely rapid growth of active participants in esport, gaming injuries are also emerging. Sedentary work for up to more than 12 hours a day and constant focus on the computer screen deprive a person of daily physical activity. The latter is necessary to maintain good psycho-physical condition.
Following the advice of a regular activity and an adequate number of breaks in combination with a healthy diet is crucial. What about when it’s too late for all of this and you’re facing pain?
Physiotherapy guidelines and the right approaches are very important for a speedy recovery.
When talking about gaming injuries, back pain is probably the first thing we think of. Due to prolonged sitting and the problems that come with it, it is certainly one of the most written and read topic online.
The most important fact in ergonomic sitting is the one, where we do not sit. In opposite, when we have an active break.
The playing posture is just a sitting static position in which the body maintains a specific posture. Such posture creates extreme tension and imbalance in the functioning of the muscles.
The sitting position affects the hips and shoulder girdle and most of all the abdominal wall. The hip flexors become shortened and rigid, the same happens to the pectoral muscles. In addition, the abdominal wall, which is like a strong pillar to our spine, also weakens.
Such posture pulls the body forward into a hunched position. At the same time it also weakening the back muscles, which are overstretched and weak. To make it easier to understand, you can also read an article about the proper movement of the spine and possible spinal injuries due to external factors.
Eliminate back pain (due to prolonged sitting)
Pain in the lower back and neck is prevented in the long run only by regular physical cardio activity and strengthened muscles with the help of selected active exercises.
Certainly, a physiotherapist can help you relieve pain, with the help of manual therapy and other physiotherapy methods. However, each individual must maintain an optimal, pain-free condition himself.
The most frequently asked question is: “What exercises should I do”?
Do those exercises that strengthen the muscles from the problems listed above. The most important thing is to open the chest in a way that strengthens the upper back muscles and brings the shoulder blades closer to the spine.
Do not forget to stabilize the abdominal wall and strengthen the glutes with the lower extremities.
You can perform therapeutic exercises suitable for those with severe back pain or slightly more advanced exercises for those with occasional milder problems.
In case of serious problems, seek the help of a doctor. He will give you an accurate diagnosis and further instructions for rehabilitation.
Gaming injuries – back pain prevention
Don’t stop exercising when you feel better. Let this become a way of life. Occasionally, treat yourself with a therapeutic massage focused on relaxing trigger points of the lumbar and neck area.
Some people regularly stretch the spine with the help of a traction table or inversion table. That way they keep the intervertebral discs hydrated and the longitudinal ligaments along the spine flexible. The possibility of irregularities or too rapid settlement of the vertebrae is therefore reduced.
Regular use of a foam roller (massage roller) is a great choice for relaxing muscle fascia. The massage roller is one of the accessories that is affordable and accessible to many people to perform self-massage.
When exercising with the foam roller, an individual uses his or her own weight to press on soft tissue.
The roller can be used to massage any part of the body. However, it is most recommended for massaging the legs (calves, front and back thigh muscles, gluteal muscles), back and chest.
Include the right choice of chair and consciously aligned body position in your gaming lifestyle.
Tips for proper sitting and greater concentration
Head and neck – gaming injuries
To prevent pressure on the discs in the cervical spine and maintain relaxed neck muscles and the shoulder girdle, it is recommended to follow the following recommendations:
- pull the shoulder blades slightly together and back, shoulders should be relaxed, elbows resting on the armrests and leaning relaxed with the upper back against the backrest
- rest your head completely on the supported headrest in such way that you bring your chin slightly closer to your throat or as if you wanted to raise your head a little
Lumbar spine and position of the legs
If you have an adjustable chair, then set the back of the chair to 90 – 120 degrees of inclination compared to the seat. Lean your lumbar spine as much as possible against the backrest.
Built-in lumbar support
Some chairs already have a built-in lumbar support (a bulging part on the chair) that offers a properly curved spine while sitting. If a chair does not have this, there is absolutely nothing wrong, as we can create the correct position of the lumbar curve with a towel roll.
Some sitting posture tips:
- relax your legs at a 90 degree angle
- back thigh muscles should touch the chair over the entire surface up to the knee joint
- the seat should be slightly bent near the knees and filled with quality padding
Do not keep your legs crossed or bent under your buttocks, as any lateral deviation or other tilt of the spine can cause sacroiliac joint dysfunction, low back pain, or piriformis syndrome.
The computer screen should not be about 19 inches (50 cm) away from the eyes, and the upper third of the computer screen should be at eye level.