A lot of gamers are very competitive, and that means that they are sitting for long periods of time. The problem is that sitting for long periods can affect the back and posture. Issues will start to arise when gamers ignore the pain for long periods of time.
Sitting for several hours a day can lead to bad posture, thus causing low back pain. Players will start to feel a dull ache on their lower backs after just a couple of hours of playing. The problem with this is that you can actually avoid sitting down for hours especially if you are a gamer who is competitive.
In this article, I will be discussing the most common causes of lower back pain. I will also talk about what you can do if you are already in pain since you can’t just stop playing especially during competitions. So continue reading below and help yourself understand its cause and preventions.
Causes Of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is very common, and a lot of people are going to the doctor to help them with this problem. 80% of Americans will be able to experience low back pain int heir overall lifetimes. Majority of these lower back pains are due to injuries, including strains and sprains.
But there are also some causes that are due to diseases, including sciatica, herniated disc, and even cancer of the spinal cord. Typically, the pain can last for a couple of days to weeks. But there is chronic lower back pain which can last for months.
Below are the different causes of lower back pain that you should know about. In this way, you can avoid them from happening to you, affecting your daily activities, including playing games.
1. Muscle Strains and Sprains
Muscle strains can happen very suddenly, or they can also slowly develop due to repetitive movements. Strains can occur when your muscle gets to stretched too far, which can cause tears and as well as damages to your muscles itself. Sprain, on the other hand, can also be caused by overstretching and when the ligaments tore.
If you are someone who lifts heavy objects or does very sudden movements, then straining your muscles will inevitably happen. Poor posture, including sitting for long periods of time can also cause strains.
2. Lumbar Herniated Disc
When the jelly like substance between your lumbar discs starts to break through its outer layer, it can irritate the nerve roots around it. This can cause lower back pain because the nerve roots are already inflamed. Also, since the disc wall has nerve fibers, the pain can become severe when it starts to tear through the walls.
Another top reason as to why lower back pain happens is because of sciatica. Sciatica is a long nerve that runs from your butt through your lower legs. Once the nerve gets compressed, it can cause pain on your lower back down to just one side of your legs. When the nerve gets pinched between the bone and disc, it can cause muscle weakness and numbness.
Prolong sitting can cause sciatica as the nerve can get inflamed. The best remedy for sciatica is alternating cold and warm compress. Massage can also help with sciatica if needed, though there are serious causes of sciatica as well as a cyst or a tumor.
4. Spinal Stenosis
Another cause of lower back pain is the spinal stenosis, wherein the column of the spine gets narrow. This will, in turn, put pressure on your spinal nerves and spinal cords. Typically, this occurs because of the disc’s degeneration which is located between the vertebrae. Some of the most common symptoms besides pain are weakness, cramping, and numbness.
5. Caring For Lower Back Pain
If your lower back pain is too severe, it would be best to stop any physical activities for a day or two. Apply warm and cold compress alternatively to the affected area. This will help relax the muscle while also sooth the inflammation on that area. You can also take over the counter pain medications if needed, including acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Now, if the pain persists, it would be best to visit your general practitioner so he can help address the pain that you’re feeling.
Invention Of Pause Buttons On Modern Games
Pause buttons are now available to some of the modern games today. This is to allow everyone to pause the game to stretch a little after sitting for long periods of time. Of course, pause buttons are also made to help others be able to eat or drink without having to ruin the entire game.
But, not all modern games have the pause buttons just yet. Majority of the games that do not have these features are computer games including, FortNite and PUBG. Both of these games do not have a pause button and may not be possible to include one because of the nature of the games.
Top 5 Solutions To Help Alleviate Lower Back Pain Due To Prolong Sitting
To help alleviate your lower back pain, it would be best to follow the top 5 solutions below. They will not only alleviate the pain but also prevent future more moderate back pain attack from happening again.
1. Proper Ergonomics
Incorporating proper ergonomics will not only help you be more comfortable while playing but as well as make you focus on your game more. Putting your back in an awkward position will affect your lower back, thus causing lower back pain and discomfort.
Ergonomics may be a little pricey, but if it makes you feel comfortable, then it won’t matter that much. Remember that it will be more expensive if you ignore the pain that you are feeling on your lower back.
2. Gaming Chair
As you all know, ergonomic gaming chairs are now available to help gamers feel comfortable while playing their favorite games for long periods of time. One of the reasons as to why having proper ergonomic gaming chair is essential is because it has the power to support the right posture. If you notice, these ergonomic chairs have a slightly forward curve which will help support the lumbar spine of a person, thus protecting it against strains and such.
They also have adjustable armrests to help support your forearms and elbow. The reason behind this is because it will help avoid muscle fatigue in the arms and shoulders while using the mouse and the keyboard.
You can check some of the top best ergonomic gaming chairs on this website today. It has detailed reviews on what each gaming chair has to offer so you can decide which one is the best for you and your back.
3. Stretching And Low Impact Exercise
Stretching and doing some low impact exercise will help you and your back to stay healthy in the long run. One of the most effective stretching activity that you can do is the Bridge. The bridge stretch will help your gluteus maximus, which is known as the most significant muscle in your buttocks.
You can also do a rotational back stretches, which is also known as a low impact exercise for the back. This kind of exercise will help release the tension in your lower back and as well as the trunk.
You can do these stretches and exercises every single day or every other day if needed. You can also try a combination of power and stretching exercises for lower back pain using TRX suspension trainer – check this article. Also, here’s a video on some of the different stretches and low impact exercises for your lower back:
4. Get Active Games
Active games are now available in different gaming consoles today. In fact, this kind of games is considered as an exercise for many. Dance games, for instance, are one of the active games that people love to do. It is not only for exercising purposes but as well as for entertainment.
There are even games where you can virtually play games, including tennis, golf, and bowling. These games will actually let you position yourself in the right way so you can hit the ball or the pins properly. With active games like this, you are not only making yourself physically active but as well as having a fun time with your family.
5. Wearable Sensors
With our technology today, everything is almost possible including wearable sensors. These wearable sensors will not only measure your steps but as well as your heart rate. Wearing one is a good thing because you can benefit a lot of health wise.
You can set the alarm when it is time for you to stand and walk around. Also, you can use it to measure your steps which can encourage you to walk more instead of sitting all day. Wearable sensors will be your reminder to move and take care of your health including your back at all times.
While sitting for prolonged periods of time when playing games are unavoidable, there are some things that you can do to alleviate the pain as mentioned above. Doing the above tips will not only help alleviate the pain but as well as help you to be more focused on your games. Playing games can be fun, but make sure that you are also taking care of your health along the way to avoid suffering from any lower back complications in the future.