Low Back Pain Relief Tips for Gamers
April 22, 2021
Not too long ago, computer games were considered nothing more than just a hobby. However, games have now started becoming more and more professionalized, thanks to the numerous conventions (such as E3), competitions (such as The International), and challenges that are being hosted nationally and internationally. Chances are that eSports might join the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris as well!
Unfortunately, online gaming is much like a sedentary job – only it’s more addictive. Among the myriad of different problems gamers can face (such as gamer’s thumb and repetitive strain injuries (RSI)), back pain is by far the worst one.
Lower back pain arises because of sitting in the same position for long periods, but that’s not all. Besides the lack of movement, there is also the posture to consider and the cushioning. In this article, we will take a deeper dive into low back pain relief tips for gamers, how to set up a gaming station, and how you can make your gaming experience better without the use of pills or rigorous exercise.
3 Primary Ways of Dealing with Lower Back Pain
The first thing you can do is to start taking breaks. This is particularly the case for online games that can potentially stretch for hours on end and can’t be paused. Your best bet here is to stretch a bit on your chair and walk around a little between every time you die or after every round. Try not to skip the queue immediately.
This is a rather broad topic that includes discussing ways to reduce lower back pain with an ergonomic chair using a standing desk, monitor mount, cushioning, and more. Maintaining posture is perhaps the most important part of finding low back pain relief in your daily routine. Maintain posture – The right desk setup can make a major difference. For example, monitors should always be at eye level.
Getting Some Exercise
Finally, you need to get some exercise while you play; otherwise, not only is your back going to stiffen up, but you will also start gaining weight over time. This, in turn, will lead to a large number of issues other than lower back pain as well. The two main exercises that can do you wonders include walking and swimming, but you can also go for an under-desk hammock and exercise on it.
Now, you have a broad overview of what needs to be done, let’s get into the specifics.
Taking Breaks From Time to Time
It isn’t easy to take breaks during an intense online gaming session regardless of whether you were playing exceptionally well or struggling to keep up. You need to consciously tell yourself about taking breaks and adjusting your posture. The best way to remind yourself is to post a note in front of you or on the table right next to your mouse.
Many gaming desks come with modesty panels made out of cork (for pin attachments) or absorbent cotton (for Velcro). You can attach reminders here and there to take a break while the next round loads up. During the break, you should consider;
Realigning your neck. A misaligned neck can lead directly to upper back and shoulder pain. Realign your neck by rotating it on its axis. While doing so, we recommend you also rotate your eyes.
Plant your feet on the floor. Move a bit while doing so.
Go on a short walk, if possible. Go drink water or simply look out the window.
Adjust your furniture a bit or do some heavy lifting. Anything ranging from moving the sofa a bit to lifting weights will do.
This is the bare minimum that you can do when giving yourself a break. Not only will this reduce stiffness from your neck and back and therefore reduce back pain, but your eyes will also thank you for the same.
Posture, Posture, Posture
As mentioned above, your posture is perhaps the most important element to consider when it comes to getting lower back pain relief. From how to set up a gaming station to get an ergonomic chair; everything comes into play here.
You can combine your posture corrections with the breaks you take as well as exercise. There are several gaming chairs that you can consider, such as the Ergonomic Gaming Chair DJ0032, Massage Gaming Chair 0029, or if you’re looking for something cost-effective yet comfortable and stylish, Gaming Chair GC01. If the goal is to lower back pain with ergonomic gaming chairs, you simply can’t find better than these!
It’s not just your chair that plays an important role in keeping you pain-free; the desk plays an important role as well. Cushions can help you reduce the stress of your weight on your back as well, effectively alleviating low back pain and assisting in the healing process!
FlexiSpot offers several cushions for gaming chair that can help you maintain the right posture. The cushions have a downward slope, which serves to angle increases the angle of your hips and knees, automatically making you sit in an upright position.
For those of you using a standing desk for gaming (which is rather beneficial for your back and knees), there are anti-fatigue mats as well that you go for such as the Standing Desk Anti-Fatigue Mat MT1 and Ergonomic Anti Fatigue Mat DM1.
From the chair, desk, mats, all the way to cushions, the goal is to ensure you maintain the proper posture for gaming. Here are some tips on how to do the same;
Start with your neck. Neck alignment is a major reason for back pain and as dire as the situation may become; all it requires is a simple adjustment.
Check the top edge of your monitor is at the eye level.
Don’t curl your neck up or tilt it one way or another while gaming. If you hunch, your neck will tilt upwards, leading to stress on your spine and hence, back pain.
Keep your head perpendicular to the floor.
You should consider investing in a monitor mount if you find that the monitor doesn’t sit at eye level without slouching. Some back-friendly options include, but aren’t limited to;
Make sure your feet are planted flat on the floor. The heel and toes must be touching the ground at all times. This way, you support your pelvis into such a position that it supports your lower back and core. You might need to keep on reminding yourself for the same at the start.
You might have to make some furniture adjustments at this point. There is no alternative as impactful as a standing desk for your back pain. A standing desk can help you relieve your low back pain much faster than ordinary desks since it keeps your back straights, promotes frequent breaks, and more. There are several options you have at your disposal; from dedicated standing desks all the way to convertibles. Options include but aren’t limited to;
Ergonomic Gaming Desk with Mouse Pad GD01, and more.
To check whether a cushion for your gaming chair will benefit you, we recommend rolling up a tower between your tailbone and the chair. It should be enough to remind you to keep your posture (and in turn, the back) straight.
Exercise Your Way Through The Game
As mentioned above, you can combine your postural correction ventures with exercise as well. A prime example is the Seated Good Morning or the use of a resistance band or under-desk hammocks. These hammocks suspend your feet in the air, helping you strengthen your mid and lower back muscles along with giving your thigh muscles something to do.
The Portable Under Desk Foot Hammock FH01 has helped many a gamer find relief from low back pain – not to mention how it lets you suspend your feet in the air and relax. We recommend assigning a specific number of uplifts or raises with the hammock every time you are victorious or get defeated. If it’s a shooter, for example, you can do two or three uplifts every time you die. The bigger your streak, the more uplifts you do.
There is also an option of going with under-desk cycles specific to standing desks. These are perhaps the best way to stay fit while you game – not to mention how you can actually experience RPGs better. For example, when your player is running, you can start cycling underneath the table. When fighting a boss, you can increase the resistance and then start cycling. The possibilities here are endless! Some under-desk cycles that you can keep in mind when wondering how to set up a gaming station and lower back pain include the Home Office Height Adjustable Cycle Desk Bike V9 Pro and Sit2Go 2-in-1 Fitness Chair.
With so many things you can do to alleviate your low back pain, avid PC gamers can spend hours on end perfecting their craft and stay healthy in the process. The tips above are geared towards making your gaming experience better all while eliminating the side-effects presented by the same.
These tips might sound silly to some at first but as you implement the same into your daily lives, you will find that they do make a difference. To find products specific to your needs, we recommend you visit our store today or simply get in touch for personalized recommendations!
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