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'Tis The Season For Gaming

You know the winter holidays are near when every other television commercial announces the next new video game on the market. With school out and more time to play, video game units are being dusted off and fired up. As fun as they are, it's important to remember to always play safe and stay healthy. To assist all you gamers this holiday season, we're sharing tips provided by our friends at the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) in order to help you avoid back, shoulder and other musculoskeletal pain:

  • Neck Rolls: With your shoulders relaxed, drop one ear to your shoulder and gently roll your neck forward and back, holding each position about five seconds. Repeat five times.
  • Shoulder Stretch: With shoulders down and relaxed, bring right arm across the chest, parallel to the floor. Place the left hand on the upper arm and apply gentle pressure toward the body. Repeat on the left side.
  • Climb the Rope: While standing, look up slightly. Reach up and over your head with your right hand. Then reach even higher with your left hand. Continue by crossing your right hand over your left as if you were climbing a rope. When done correctly, you should feel the stretch in your shoulders and upper back. Do three repetitions on each side.
  • Upward Stretch: While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch three times.
In addition, plan to take frequent breaks - at least once every 45 minutes for most people. Those with less stamina may need to take a break every 20-30 minutes. As always, if you experience pain or discomfort as a result of an extended gaming session, consider a visit to a chiropractor. Doctors of Chiropractic practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. They are trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.

Source: American Chiropractic Association; November 30, 2006.