Does using your tablet give you shoulder pain?
Hand in hand with the increase of the use of tablet devices over the past few years is the rise in head and neck pain and posture issues according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health.
How can using a tablet lead to problems?
A spokesperson for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Sammy Margo tells us why: “tablets were designed to be used for people on the go, for small episodes of fast interaction, not for lengthy periods of social networking or hours of writing.”
Professor Philip Conaghan, Professor of Musculoskeletal Medicine at the University of Leeds adds “in the past, bad posture with resulting neck and shoulder problems was commonly attributed to those using computers at work but these days people using a tablet for hours of an evening slouched on a sofa or slumped in bed are also affected.”
“As more and more of us find ourselves absorbed by our tablets or smartphones with our heads down, tapping away we may be compounding the problem by adding tension pressure” says Janet Wakely, Pain Nurse Specialist.
Is it RSI or altogether different?
Traditionally, common RSI problems are tendonitis in the back of the wrist and elbow, and the biomechanical spread causes too much strain in the shoulders and neck, which in turn leads to pain. But these days physiotherapists are seeing increasing problems in the fingers, shoulder, neck and upper arm which are linked directly to the use of smaller devices such as tablets.
Sammy Margo tells us “headaches and neck pain also commonly occur after prolonged periods in the wrong position.”
Is it really a major problem?
Professor Conaghan tells us that to date, not enough studies have been undertaken to evaluate the true effect of using tablets but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to show that sitting in an unnatural position for any length of time such as with a tablet on your lap, has led to new types of problems.
“Soft tissue pain is not nice,” says Professor Conaghan, “and can affect anyone through poor posture but the fitter, stronger and healthier you are the less likely you are to suffer.” “Those people who use their limbs in activities, such as swimming, will have fewer problems.”
There is however, a light at the end of the tunnel. RSI issues may potentially be avoided in the future with the increasing ways of using our devices differently, such as voice recognition and sliding as opposed to tapping.
Ways to avoid pain
- Good posture is key – sit as tall as you can, slide your shoulders down and engage your core muscles
- The best way to use your table is placed on a table, propped at an angle. Make sure you are also sitting with your back supported (you can achieve this by placing a cushion at the small of your back) and avoid using your table in bed, especially if you are lying on your side!
- Take regular breaks, every 15 minutes and stretch the muscles in the shoulders and chest. Get your circulation going by moving around.
- If you would like to avoid typing then try installing a voice recognition app.
- If you find you are doing lots of typing then try and use both hands – touch typing is best if you can but try to tap lightly on the keyboard.
Click here for some healthy back exercises which you may like to include into your day.
All content on Silversurfers.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated at all as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Silversurfers will not be responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content on www.silversurfers.com and we are also not liable for the content of any external websites or links from or to Silversurfers to any other websites. Please always consult your own doctor if you’re in any way concerned about any aspect of your health.
Have you got a health question?
We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a health related question of your own - about your or your family's health, medication or upcoming procedures, for example - you can also access their, "Ask the Expert" service. Available around the clock, 365 days a year this free resource allows you to ask the team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives and pharmacists about any health concerns you may have - whenever you need them, 24 hours a day, every day. Please get in touch now.
Click below to submit your question online.
AXA PPP healthcare
Latest posts by AXA PPP healthcare (see all)
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!