Are Tablets and Smartphones a Pain in the Neck?
Tablets, such as the iPad and Kindle, are rapidly gaining popularity. However, Tony Kochhar, also known as the "UK's leading shoulder doctor" says that these devices are causing a rise in shoulder injuries.
Kochhar says that he has been treating up to 20 patients a week for shoulder problems caused by using iPads, also known as "iPad Shoulder": "Holding the tablet lower down means users have to gaze downwards more sharply. This is increasing the pressure on their joints."
These problems affect not only tablet users, but also smartphone owners, according to Kochhar. This is due in part to mobiles' being held between the ear and shoulder, and in part to frequent texting and browsing.
Doctor Kochhar advises iPad and iPhone users to try not to hunch over their device--the ideal screen position is level with the user's face. He also recommends that users take regular breaks from using their devices, and do some gentle neck and shoulder stretches during these breaks.
Kochhar reminds users to switch the iPad between their right and left arms, and to look out for tell-tale signs of "iPad Shoulder," which include aches all over one side of the back of the shoulder blade, or pain down the upper arm.