Watching Your Health for Card Players
By Alex J. Coyne © 2018 Great Bridge Links
Players should be as mindful of their health as they should of their game; the same is true for footballers, cricketers and, of course, card players. We took a closer look at some common afflictions, ailments and conditions that might affect card players and what they could do to take the edge off.
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition which can affect any part of the body, and is commonly known for affecting the joints of the hands and fingers, knees and hips and, in some cases, spine. Players suffering with arthritis of the hands and fingers might find it easier to make use of automatic card shufflers instead of doing it by hand, and card holders become more than a flashy accessory. Anti-inflammatory medication and analgesic painkillers can also be prescribed by your doctor for some relief.
Carpal tunnel is more often than not a workplace injury that arises from long, repetitive movements of the hands and wrists: turning a screwdriver, playing the guitar, typing away at a keyboard – or handling a deck of cards. Sometimes this leads to a growth in the wrist that’s called a ganglion; sometimes it leads to surgery. If you suspect you have this, you’re best off seeing your doctor asap!
Heart conditions can be life-threatening – heart palpitations, aortic dissection, some at risk of a heart attack. Regular exercise (when away from the card table) can keep your heart in tip-top shape. The excitement and stress of a game, paired with the heat of the environment with a heart condition mixed in could be asking for trouble. Remember to go for a check-up at least twice a year.
Back pain is a wide definition and can include pain in the lower back, the sides of the body or further up towards the shoulders; its causes can be just as varied, from scoliosis – a curvature of the spine – to inflammation from a prior car or motorcycle injury that flares up when temperatures drop. Stretch regularly and see a doctor, especially if you aren’t sure of the cause of your pain just yet.
Anxiety often goes hand-in-hand with other conditions, be it clinical or manic depression. Their consequences can be debilitating to sufferers – imagine stage fright on overdrive that can hit at any time. They can be managed with the help of medication and the regular application of relaxation exercises, meditation and stretching, so they don’t hit mid-tournament.
Problems with eyesight
Problems with eyesight can range from being sight-impaired or completely blind. Many bridge clubs and even tournament-play will make allowances here – verbal calls and larger-print or braille playing cards to name a few. Consider downloading text-to-speech applications for your phone and computer – they can be a huge help, too.
Thrombosis is a condition of the veins that occurs when the body remains stagnant for too long – thus, it is often seen on long bus-rides and plane-trips where one literally doesn’t get up to stretch the legs every so often. You don’t want to sit in the same position for too long: it hurts, it does damage. Stretch and relax at least every fifteen to twenty minutes to avoid problems.
Are you suffering from any of these? Be sure to stay on top of it with your health care team. With proper care and maintenance of healthy habits around the card table, in most cases it won’t get in the way of your game. Stay healthy players!