Limiting Video Game Injuries

While going through childhood and adolescence, injuries from sports and physical activity are common. However, with the rising popularity of video games, children are now experiencing aches and pain more commonly associated with their adult counterparts who sit at desks all day. Parents can take an active role in ensuring their children stake steps to prevent pain and long-term damage associated with video gaming.

The primary health issue with video gaming that concerns chiropractors is the sedentary nature of sitting in front of a screen for hours at a time. While there are games that encourage movement (which can create injuries of their own), many games require minimal activity beyond clicking a mouse or button on a controller. Lack of movement can have damaging effects to the musculoskeletal system as joints essentially get much of their nutrition through movement. Gamers will often complain about strains of the eye, wrist, hand, arm, elbow, thumb, neck, back, and carpal tunnel syndrome after long gaming sessions. Poor posture during extended periods of gameplay can also physically alter the curvature of the spine leading to chronic, lifelong problems or pain.

Given that video gaming is only increasing in popularity, parents need to take steps to ensure their child does not suffer any ill effects. Fortunately, there are several options available to parents to combat any health-related issues from gaming. First, is moderation. Like most things in life, gaming in moderation is perfectly healthy and can be a healthy social outlet for children. Parents putting limitations on screen time will help establish good boundaries early on in childhood that will become understood once the child is a teenager. Gaming should be viewed a supplement to other activities, particularly physical, in order to offset the solitary, sedentary nature.

Another option to prevent video gaming related injury is to have the gaming environment as ergonomic as possible. Screens should be adjusted to eye-level so that necks are not strained up or down in order to see the picture. Chairs should be cushioned, have back support, and put the child in a neutral body position that does not place undue stress on muscles; strive to keep the body in alignment.

A third option is to encourage movement during gaming sessions. Simply taking periodic breaks to roll wrists, stretch legs, and rest eyes, are great ways to combat some of the sedentary effects of gaming. By encouraging frequent game breaks where the child takes their eyes off the screen, stands, stretches, moves around the room, etc. parents can help prevent injury. Movement can also be encouraged by incorporating games that require players to stand or actively move in order to play.

The final option for parents is to educate their child about the dangers of overdoing video gaming. Having an honest conversation with kids about the possible long-term effects of gaming can have a tremendous impact on helping them to adopt proper precautions. If possible, have this conversation and adopt these steps prior to introducing the game as it is much less likely that the child will moderate themselves.

Non-Surgical Alternatives to Alleviate Knee Pain

There are numerous causes for chronic or degenerative knee pain be it an injury, arthritis, or old age. Patients may believe that surgery is their only option when it comes to finding long-term relief. While many patients find surgery beneficial, there are things that should be taken under advisement when deciding whether to undergo a surgical procedure. One important consideration is the recovery time involved with surgery as it will vary for each patient and could impact daily life and work activities. While infrequent in nature, infections can also occur with any surgical procedure which could lead to further necessary treatment and recovery. Additionally, surgery may not be able to fully alleviate an issue and patients can still experience underlying pain. Lastly, as healthcare premiums continue to increase, cost must be considered as surgery can be expensive.

Given all that must be considered with surgery, patients are often left looking for other non-surgical options to treat their knee pain. One option is working with a chiropractic acupuncturist. These practitioners use safe, natural treatments to alleviate pain and focus on therapies and lifestyle changes that will allow the patient to return to normal life without having to endure surgery. A chiropractor can help alleviate pain by manipulating, pressing on, or realigning surrounding painful joints whereas an acupuncturist inserts tiny needles into the skin around various pressure points or nerve centers. Some patients may find the reduced physical stress associated with acupuncture to be a good alternative to chiropractic treatments. Patients should note that for both acupuncture and chiropractic therapy, several treatment sessions may be needed before results are seen.

With the myriad reasons for knee pain, patients need a practitioner that is committed to understanding the full body system in order to identify the underlying cause of their pain and recommend treatment. Because our body systems are interconnected in nature, a chiropractic acupuncturist will use a complete physical evaluation and comprehensive laboratory testing to get a full picture of the patient’s overall health. With this whole-body focus, the practitioner can determine the underlying causes of pain rather than solely focusing on treating symptoms.

Beyond simply treating conditions, a chiropractic acupuncturist will also work to educate their patients on their health condition so that the patient is best equipped to make informed decisions regarding their health goals. Any lifestyle changes that could be beneficial to the patient, will also be communicated by the practitioner. These practitioners are a great option for patients seeking natural remedies to treat their pain rather than relying on the expensive medications and surgeries associated with traditional medicine.

For any patient that has been told they need surgery, injections, or medications to alleviate their knee pain, getting a second opinion from a chiropractic acupuncturist could be beneficial. While surgery may ultimately be the best course of treatment, the chiropractic acupuncturist will help you evaluate your health needs and provide the treatment and education needed to get you back to a pain free life.

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