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Simple Methods to Ease your Gaming Pains

This article provides a brief guide on how to use Cold, Heat and Medication to manage pain.

We use different supplemental methods we use to manage pain. While there is an extensive list of therapeutic agents we can use, we gamer’s only need to focus on three.

  1. Cold Therapy: PRICE Method
  2. Heat Therapy
  3. Supplements/Medications: NSAIDs

Pain is not black and white. It behaves in different patterns and based on the type of pain you feel, we use different treatment approaches. A majority of the causes of pain when it comes to gaming are related to soft-tissue inflammation.

Swelling and warmth are typical with inflammation during these initial phases of healing.  But what happens when pain persists pasts these 3 weeks and even into the 2+ month mark? It typically behaves differently as it has likely progressed to more of a compressive type of injury (blood flow is reduced that prevents healing). So! I’ve come up with a table that I want you guys to follow in order to identify the main mode of treatment.

Pain Characteristics Inflammatory Compressive (Lack of Blood Flow)
Age of Injury < 3 weeks > 3 weeks or 1 month
Peak of Symptoms End of Day Middle of the Night, First in the AM
Symptoms Aching, Throbbing, Stab that Lingers Sharpness, Immediately Subsides with Rest
Treatment Approach PRICE, NSAIDs Heat, Stretching, Exercise Program 

Cold therapy or “Cryotherapy” is a commonly used method in sports medicine to manage pain, inflammation, swelling and degeneration. There have been many studies that have supported and argued against the use of ice/cold with injuries.  In my experience, discussions with leading practitioners and reading of countless research articles on the matter, Cryotherapy is absolutely an effective and easy way to reduce inflammation, minimize extent of injury and decrease pain.

Okay enough about research and my thoughts, how do we do it? We use the PRICE method.

Instead of the very well-known RICE principle, I believe in PRICE. A modified version that includes P, which stands for protection

Protection: This means preventing further damage to the injury. Typically this involves the use of a brace or splint to prevent motion that may further stress the tissues. It is directly related to Rest

Rest: This is crucial to the recovery process and allows for the damage down to our tissues to heal.

For us gamers, it means that we avoid the positions, activities, and movements that cause or reproduce our pain. This way, we can provide the tissues with the best environment to heal. A day or two off from gaming can be beneficial not only physically, but also mentally.

I get it though, its not easy for gamers to do that, especially if you are a professional and you have a schedule to stick to. If it comes down to that then it’s a matter of addressing your behavior so that you aren’t playing for 4-5 hours straight and instead are resting every competitive game (30-40 minutes depending on what game you play). This will reduce your tissues are under tension!

Ice:  So the actual icing part. Nice. To ice, we utilize either a cold pack (something you can get on amazon) or an ice pack (this is less convenient and the colpacs you can get on amazon are super convenient!)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 when you FIRST NOTICE swelling, pain, discomfort – Use one of these cold packs within the first 72 hours for about 20-25 minutes at a time. This can be done up to three times a day.

Compression: Compression limits the amount of inflammation and swelling to develop and is a nice additive measure to facilitate the healing process. The easiest way to do this is to utilizing a Compression Bandage like an ACE wrap.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When wrapping, it is best to make it the tightest at the beginning point furthest down the limb and as you wrap moving up the limb, slowly ease up on the tension.

Elevation:  This means to elevate the injured area above your heart (as long as the position does not cause pain) For the forearm and hands, you can prop it up with a couple of pillows or on the arm of your couch.Heat Therapy means the use of various agents to increase the temperature of the tissues in a specific area. It has been shown to improve blood flow, improve the conduction of nerves, reduce muscle spasms, facilitates tissue healing and is also great in management of pain.

Wow that’s a lot of things right. But there is an optimal time to use it. It is typically not used immediately after an injury because of its ability to increase metabolic activity of the tissue (destroying more tissue in the initial phases of healing, which we don’t’ want).

Just another caveat about when to use it. You can begin to use heat along with ice after 1 week. This can help with the healing process. My suggestion is to contrast the two:

20 Minutes Ice / 20 Minutes Heat / Rest / Up to 3 times a day.

So anyways, how do we use it?

We typically use a moist heating pad because of its ability to stay hot for longer periods of time. You can again, easily get one from amazon! It’s extra convenient because you can heat it up in under 2 minutes in a microwave.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 use the heating pad, cover area affected for 15-20 Minutes every hour. You may leave it on longer or until it cools down.

Always talk to your pharmacist or MD to make sure you are able to take NSAIDs without any complications.

NSAIDs are drugs like Bayer (Aspirin), Advil/Motrin (Ibuprofen), Aleve (Naproxen Sodium).  They are always intended for short-term use. Never use it continuously for more than 10 days without consulting your doctor. Always take with food and water, better in the afternoon/evening. Make sure that if you take it does not have interactions with other drugs that you may be concurrently taking. For Muscle Injuries, they can work quickly and can be taken as often as every 4-6 hours as needed. Again, remember to not take more than 10 Days continuously without consulting your physician!

The Cleveland Clinic is a great resource to understand the full details of NSAIDsThat’s all folks. Be sure to always refer to the table so you know what to use and when 🙂

Till my next post,Signature2

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