Do you experience pain after using your ipad or tablet? Do you get headaches or neck pain whilst using your device? Your physiotherapist can not only reduce your pain but ensure you prevent and address the likelihood of getting pain.
With school just around the corner, a number of schools have moved to using a range of tablet devices. You might even be about to read this article on and iPad or tablet device.
Whilst these devices are convenient and can be a great resource, when used excessively, it can cause pain from the result of poor posture and incorrect Tablet and Ipad use. When hunched over a tablet device, your head is in a forward position placing excessive stress and strain on the upper back and neck. Continuously looking downwards places excessive and extra strain through the upper shoulder and neck muscles, discs, joints and ligaments. The average weight of the head ranges from 6 – 8 kg. However, research shows that this weight increases exponentially the further forward your head is positioned. In some studies, the weight of the head has been shown to be up two or three times more when slouched totally forward.
Not only have tablets been shown to place excessive strain through the upper back, but tablets have also been been shown to increase the likelihood of hand and wrist injuries. Depending on table positioning, repetitive scrolling or holding the device excessively places strain through the ligaments around the wrist and base of the thumb.
How do you use your ipad?
Studies have identified four common positions for using a tablet.
- Placing your tablet flat on your lap.
- Holding your tablet.
- On a table either flat or with a shallow angle on the table.
- On a table with a steeper angle resulting in the tablet to be almost upright.
The best position for your tablet has been shown to be docked on a table with a steep angle. Whilst not at eye level, this position allows the user to be as close as possible to a neutral neck position.
How to prevent injuries from your ipad of tablet?
Setting up your tablet correctly is a great way to reduce and prevent the likelihood of injury.
- Use a good case or stand to increase the angle of the ipad and the desk.
- Where possible, an alternate wireless keyboard could be used when at home or using the tablet for a prolonged period of time.
- If holding your ipad, try holding your ipad with two hands. Avoid holding your device and scrolling with one hand. If this can’t be avoided, try alternating hands when typing or holding your device.
- Look away from your tablet every 15 – 20 minutes.
However, the good news is ipad and tablet users have have been shown to be more inclined to move and change position compared to laptop or desktop users.
Regular exercise is a great way to prevent injuries associated with postural stress or strain. Clinical pilates and strength training have been proven to be the optimal way to prevent and manage postural injuries. Malvern East Physiotherapy has a range of exercise programs for a range of age groups including Adolescent flexibility and core training through to Functional Fitness and Strength.
Three great postural exercises can be found here.