Power Up: How to Stay Pain Free While Gaming

With fall approaching, it’s a big time of year for highly anticipated games to be released. Gaming has become a major source of entertainment for millions of people, and though it’s not exactly a sport in the conventional sense, gamers still need to pay attention to their bodies.

Gaming, while fun and engrossing, can hurt you if you don’t pay attention. With that in mind, we wanted to suggest some simple precautions before embarking on your next gaming marathon.

Gaming is a fun activity. However, like anything else, you have to pay attention to your body.

Gaming Thumb

One of the most prominent conditions that a long gaming session can cause is carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused when the major nerve that runs through your wrist is aggravated, causing symptoms like pain and numbness around the affected hand.

When gaming, this can be caused by extended use of controllers or computer keyboards that sometimes force the user to hold their wrist at odd angles without noticing. This causes muscles in the wrist to swell up, constricting the nerve and causing pain.

Like any physical activity, your body benefits by stretching beforehand. Taking some time to properly stretch out your hands and wrists can make a big difference when your gaming sessions run long. With that said, some of the best advice you can get when it comes to preventing carpal tunnel is just getting up and taking a break every once in a while. Again, it’s easy to forget this since gaming can be a relatively low-impact activity, but it can still tax your body if you don’t pay attention.

Stand Tall

Posture is another thing that can escape you while playing your favorite game. It’s easy to understand; when things get intense in-game, you may slouch forward and perch your elbows on your legs in an effort to concentrate. Or, it can be the complete opposite; when relaxed, you simply drape yourself over the couch like an old jacket. Both positions wreak havoc on your posture and the muscles holding you up.

If you know you’re not going to move for a while, an ergonomically designed gaming chair is a good investment to provide the proper body support while playing. If one isn’t available, then simply making an effort to maintain proper posture can help alleviate aches and pains that arise. Again, simply taking breaks to walk around and stretch works best for treating and preventing any discomfort that comes up.

Helping You Overcome Pain

Pain is a tricky thing to treat, but at Total Pain Care, we specialize in bringing you the best care possible for whatever is bothering you. We work with our patients to develop effective treatment plans that both address and prevent pain anywhere in the body. If you want to fight back against pain and learn more about how we can help, contact us online or give us a call at 973.754.2499.

Change in Weather: Dealing with Cooler Days and Muscle Pain

Summertime has been long and pleasant, but soon the cool and crisp days of fall will begin to knock at our doors. While this change in weather can be a relief to many, it can be a dreaded time for others. Cooler weather can often accentuate muscle and joint pain for people with arthritis, fibromyalgia and other similar conditions. The crisp days of fall might be some weeks away, but your early preparedness is the key to properly dealing with the muscle and joint pain they can eventually bring.

Pain can strike when you least expect it, no matter the time of year. Take evasive action today by completing our FREE pain assessment.

Simple Tips to Avoid Cool Weather Aches

While there isn’t much scientific data that supports the correlation between cooler weather and pain, many people often argue that their muscle and joint pains flare up during the cooler months of the year. The following tips will help you beat the cold and keep your aches and pains at bay:

  • Enjoy warm water – A dip in a heated pool or a warm bath can have a therapeutic effect on your muscles and joints. The hot water can relieve you of a cold chill while soothing your aching areas.
  • Dress appropriately – If you’ll be heading out into a cool day, it’s important to dress warm. Cover up your hands with gloves and throw a necessary layer of clothing on to stay free of pain.
  • Steer clear of alcohol – Experts in the medical field suggest that alcohol can dilate the blood vessels, which can subsequently lead to heat loss.
  • Watch your sweat – If you find yourself sweating when out in the cool weather, try to change into dry clothes as soon as possible. Keeping your damp clothes on can lead to chills and accentuated pain.
  • Get your vitamin D – A deficiency of vitamin D may worsen conditions such as osteoarthritis. To prevent this, make sure you’re supplementing your vitamin D or enrich your diet with foods that are high in the vitamin.

Year-Round Pain Management

Whether you’re suffering from pain due to arthritis, a sports injury or any other condition, know that the experts at Total Pain Care in New Jersey are here to help. Our team of pain-management specialists is ready to evaluate your condition to ensure that you receive the personalized care you require. Contact our location in New Jersey to schedule an appointment or for more information about our wide array of pain-management services.

Pain on Ice: The Advantages of Cold Therapy

When treating chronic or situational pain, there are plenty of tactics for approach.  The most prominent and usually effective method is the strategic placement of heat or cold to the problem area.

 

Cold therapy entails using ice or other sources of cold to manage pain anywhere on the body. Sounds simple, right? Well it is and the simplicity is the main reason for its prominence. So, why does cold therapy work and how else can you use it while managing pain?

 

Pain management is full of tools for every situation. Let us help keep your pain cool.

On Ice

The proper application of ice to an injured area will decrease swelling, tissue damage, muscle damage and pain. How this works is a simple matter of how your body reacts to targeted cold.

 

When applied to the body, the cold will decrease the tissue’s temperature and constrict blood vessels in that area. The diminished blood flow then reduces swelling. After about 20 minutes of constant contact, the blood vessels slowly open back up. The controlled dilation decreases pain and discomfort and facilitates faster healing.

Take a Dunk

Sure, a handy ice pack can alleviate pain after a home accident or a more strenuous than usual run, but what about highly active people looking to treat and prevent chronic pain?

 

You’ve probably seen it before; your favorite athlete taking an extended dunk in a tub full of ice. Sound like fun? While it may seem daring, and a little uncomfortable, ice baths can be beneficial.

 

The benefit for athletes is that a good 20-minute soak prevents next-day soreness after strenuous actions and game activities. It’s the same concept of applying ice to constrict and slowly dilate blood vessels in order to let muscles recover better.

 

The ice bath, however, covers your entire body instead of a targeted muscle. It should be noted that ice baths should be done only with the supervision of an athletic trainer. An improper ice bath can lead to an increased heart rate or shock if it’s too cold.

Freeze

Whether using icepacks or an ice bath, be careful during cold therapy. Though easy to control, extended cold exposure can numb and damage tissue if left too long. Avoid using the cold when dealing with ailments like rheumatoid arthritis, Raynaud’s Syndrome, paralysis or on areas with already impaired sensation.

 

It is also important to note that cold therapy and ice should only be used after workouts rather than before. Though the cold is extremely useful in post-workout treatments, using it before can actually increase chances of injury by not allowing the proper blood flow needed during exercise.

The Treatment You Need

Managing pain is a process that requires many different approaches. At Total Pain Care, we understand this and work to find the way that provides the best comfort possible. Whether you’re an athlete or are suffering from a chronic condition, our team will do its best to help you. If you would like to learn more, please contact us online or give us a call at 973.754.2499.

Knee Popping: What is Your Body Trying to Tell You? – Part 2

In the first part of our knee pain series, we explored information about some of the most common conditions that can plague knees. While the knee can sometimes be affected by age and natural wear-and-tear, in many cases, pain can be prevented. What can you do to keep your knees healthy and as far from injury as possible? Part two of our Knee Popping series has all the tips you need.

Don’t let your life be hindered by your pain. Complete our FREE pain assessment today.

Simple Tips for Healthy Knees

As with most forms of injury/disease prevention, a healthy lifestyle is a must. This means proper and frequent exercise along with a balanced diet. The following are just a few tips to follow to keep your knees healthy and pain-free:

  • Exercise – Regular (twice a week) workouts, such as lunges and squats with resistance bands or weights, help keep your legs and knees strong. You can give your knee the muscle support it needs simply by walking up stairs or riding on a stationary bike.
  • Warm up – Working out with cold muscles and joints is a recipe for injuries. You should additionally make sure to stretch your quadriceps and hamstrings before and after a workout to stay flexible.
  • Adapt to your workouts – Slowly building up your workouts to more difficult exercises can be a great way to stay strong and healthy. Remember, wearing the right shoes during your workouts is a must.
  • Watch your weight – Maintaining a healthy weight will help keep excess pressure off your knees. Obesity is one of the major factors in the development of arthritis in knees.

Keep the Pain at Bay

Your mobility is the most important factor in helping you lead a healthy and active life. Let Total Pain Care keep you on your feet to enjoy everything you love to do. Our pain-management specialists are ready to evaluate the source of your pain and provide custom treatment to help you take the first step toward normality. Contact our location in New Jersey for more information today.

Knee Popping: What is Your Body Trying to Tell You? – Part 1

Chances are you’ve heard your knees let out a symphony of pops when squatting down or standing up, but what are they really trying to tell you? In most cases, the popping you hear is no cause for concern.

As we age, knee cartilage can develop uneven surfaces that create cracking sounds as they slide against each other. Popping can also be caused by the tightening of your knee’s ligaments or the joint lining adjusting to bones. However, if the pops and cracks in your knees are accompanied by pain, there may be a reason for worry.

Don’t let your pain become a burden. Complete our FREE pain assessment today and return to the life you once had.

Listen to Your Body

In many cases, painful popping in the knees can be the result of two conditions:

  • Meniscus tears – The meniscus, a c-shaped disc cushion in the knee, helps absorb impact to the knee while spreading the weight of the body evenly to prevent any bones from rubbing together. A meniscus tear can occur due to an abrupt twisting movement of the knee in a sport. It’s important to understand that this injury can become more prevalent with age.
  • Cartilage lesion or wear – The cartilage surrounding our bones can sometimes be injured as a result of advanced age or arthritis. When this happens, a piece of the cartilage can break off and lodge itself in the joints, leading to inflammation. Keep in mind that normal wear-and-tear of the cartilage is common in older people.

No More Pain

At Total Pain Care, we understand how hard leading an active life can be when you’re suffering knee pain. Our pain-management specialists are determined to help you take the first step toward a pain-free life.

Don’t hesitate to contact us in New Jersey for more information, and stay tuned for part 2 of our series where we’ll discuss tips to help keep your knees strong and healthy.