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November 13, 2020 3 min read

In 2011, a 20-year-old UK gamer died from a blood clot after sitting and playing Xbox 360 for up to 12 hours a day. Sadly, the young man was relatively healthy with no underlying medical condition but tragically ended his life with a fatal clot. Just recently in June and while on COVID-19 lockdown, a 24-year-old, healthy football coach from Hertfordshire has died similarly after spending most of the lockdown period playing video games. Both of these incidents were confirmed cases of DVT or deep vein thrombosis.

DVT is a blood clot that forms in one of the deep veins in the body usually occurring in the leg. It causes pain and swelling which can lead to serious complications when it breaks off into the bloodstream and cause blockage to the heart, lungs, or brain — a condition known as embolism.

DVT results in extended periods of inactivity, such as sitting on a long plane ride, car journey or playing video games.

Why are Gamers More at Risk of Developing DVT?

Gamers spend considerable amount of time just sitting and not moving their legs more often. Blood flow through the lower limbs slows down, thickens, and accumulates over time to form a clot. Since gaming is a stationary activity and players can spend long hours, and even days, immersed in a gaming session, the risk for developing a Gamer's Thrombosis is high.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of DVT?

DVT can occur without noticeable symptoms and can be difficult to spot, but if you experience the following, immediately seek a doctor’s advice:

  • Pain in the leg, which usually starts in the calf
  • Swelling in the affected leg
  • Skin redness or discoloration
  • A feeling of warmth in the affected leg

While DVT restricts blood flow and prevents delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the body, the real danger comes when a formed clot dislodges and travels to different parts of the body and causes a blockage. The warning signs and symptoms of an embolism include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or discomfort that worsens with deep breaths or coughing
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Coughing up blood

Ways to Prevent Gamer's thrombosis While Gaming

  • Take Time Out and Move:Make sure to take frequent rest breaks and move. Spend a few minutes to walk around and do a bit of stretching to keep the blood flow going and    prevent clot formation.
  • Move Your Legs More: If you can't resist to stick your butt on the chair and you can't tear away from a game, try to move your legs as often as you could. Frequent toe taps and knee lifts can do the trick. Don’t sit with your leg in a restricted spot and make way for more leg room.
  •  Wear Tight Socks or Pressure Garments:Use compressive socks and stockings if you have to sit for a long time. These can squeeze your calf muscles and encourage blood flow.
  •  Keep Yourself Hydrated:Dehydration is one cause of DVT because it may thicken your blood and form a clot. Always have a water bottle on the side to keep yourself hydrated. Water is responsible for many important bodily functions, including blood circulation and transport of nutrients throughout the          
  •  Keep Yourself Off From Smoking: Smoking can cause the narrowing of your blood vessels, which restricts a good flow of blood and makes you prone to DVT.
  •  Use Recovapro Massage Gun: Recovapro massage gun can be a handy tool to massage your leg muscles during game breaks. It delivers a series of rapid blows to your muscles to   increase circulation in the area, preventing the formation of blood clots.

For instruction on how to target your calf muscles, an area where blood clots usually form, check here.

Precaution:Deep tissue percussive vibration therapy may not be safe if you’ve already developed a blood clot due to the risk of embolism. Always make sure to ask a doctor’s advice before using a deep tissue percussive massager.

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