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Online poker as a pain reliever: truth or myth?

Poker is a magical game. It can have a positive effect on our mood, our self-esteem, and our executive functions. But can it actually affect our health? And specifically, can it change the way our brain processes chronic pain?

Over the years, multiple studies strived to determine whether playing video games can be beneficial to dealing with health issues such as managing pain. What were the results of those studies? And does that mean that you can play poker online with real money and enjoy the same benefits? Those are the questions we will try to answer today.

The Connection Between Gaming, Gambling, and Chronic Pain

The way our body processes pain is still not completely clear, even to scientists. However, studies have shown that chronic pain has a lot to do with your perception of reality.

Pain is a natural response designed to keep us from harm's way when we find ourselves exposed to dangerous elements. For example, if your hand touches an open flame, your body will automatically send painful signals to your brain, thus eliciting a quick response that will get you to move your hand.

But in some cases, when pain becomes a chronic issue, there is no immediate danger for your brain to distance you from. And when the brain doesn't have a solution to the pain, it focuses on it tenfold. But if you can distract yourself from said pain by playing video games or enjoying a real money poker session, you might be able to reduce the pain you're feeling for a while.

However, distraction is not the only thing video games are good for, scientists say. According to studies, when people are immersed in a virtual world, they experience lower stress and anxiety levels. Brain scans showed there is a significant decrease in pain-related brain activity when video game therapy is involved.

Surveys conducted in hospitals showed that among all kinds of patients – those in oncology, burn units, neurology, and more – there was an 84% effectiveness rate when using video games to distract patients from their pain.

And when you think about it, the best online poker games for real money are quite similar to the video games used in those studies. They are fun, engaging, and you can completely lose yourself in an intense poker battle.

Heather Chapman, a Clinical Psychologist who worked in a Veteran's Addiction Recovery Center said: “Clearly, gambling can be an analgesic,” she says. “I have seen people who cannot sit in a therapy session for more than 30 minutes without extreme discomfort, report that they can sit at a blackjack table for hours, no problem. This is a physical and psychological hijack.”

So, while gambling can certainly be a useful tool to manage chronic pain, it can also lead to extreme codependency. Being careful when you place bets is crucial at all times, so as to avoid the negative outcomes that accompany excessive online betting.

Gamble Responsibly and Enjoy the Benefits of Online Poker!

There is no denying the fact that poker is an exhilarating game that you can play for hours without getting bored. But did you know it could help you become healthier in the process? As long as you always keep yourself in check and make sure you're in complete control when you place bets, online poker can truly become an asset!