Inflammation isn’t always bad, but it can be painful. When you get a gaming injury your body may send out inflammatory cells to attack bacteria or heal damaged tissue. When inflammatory cells are released as a response to injury, that’s called acute inflammation. It’s temporary – it usually only lasts for a few days – and effective. That’s great, but that immune reaction can also lead to swelling and biochemical processes that affect nerves and cause pain.
How much pain can acute inflammation cause?
Acute inflammation can vary from painless to severe. Painless symptoms may include redness or being warm to the touch. More severe pain can be constant, throbbing, pulsating, or pinching. Acute inflammation pain isn’t likely to send you to an emergency room but it can certainly affect your game. The pain can make it difficult to grip a controller, sit for extended periods, rotate your thumbs, extend your fingers, and more.
Staying in the game
The best way to stay in the game is to prevent injuries in the first place by taking breaks and stretching. However, if you find yourself with pain from acute inflammation, there are some ways to relieve the pain.
Unlike chronic inflammation which poses serious health risks and warrants long-term solutions, acute inflammation can be addressed with icing – also known as cryotherapy – and topical analgesics.
Topicals have fewer side effects and penetrate the skin to deliver relief directly to affected areas. They work similar to ingestable anti-inflammation solutions by reducing the body’s production of a chemical that causes inflammation and pain.
Anti-inflammatory topical options
Topical NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs work on pain in small areas near the surface of the skin and require a prescription.
NSAIDs offer effective pain relief but may have adverse secondary effects. Natural, herbal pain relief can be similarly effective and safer for use over a longer period of time.
The best of both worlds
CBD topicals don’t just mask pain, they’re able to turn down the production of inflammatory markers. They also often include other natural pain reducing and calming ingredients such as arnica, camphor, and eucalyptus.
If you’re 21+, CBD topicals may be the right choice to address your acute inflammation with natural ingredients and without a prescription.