Many Americans suffer from repetitive strain disorders resulting from prolonged computer use. Similarly, with the rise in popularity of iPads and other tablets, owners of these devices are realizing the connection between pain and tablet use. In fact, because a tablet lies flat on a table, spinal alignment can become even more compromised than with a PC. An article in the Harvard Health Letter in 2012 suggested that making relatively minor adjustments to the angle of the screen can help to avoid or manage pain.
Minimizing back pain risk with iPads
Get it higher – Keep the tablet off the table and off your lap. That positioning forces the neck into an extended period of muscular flexion that can lead to strain. Poor posture may also generally increase the amount of force acting on the soft tissues of the neck. You want to elevate the tablet so that it is, ideally, just below eye level. If you need to set it on a low table, prop something behind it so that the screen is presented at a diagonal angle toward you rather than lying flat.
Pause for your spine – Harvard University professor Dr. Jack Dennerlein specializes in ergonomics topics such as the connection between pain and tablet use. He says that the best way to prevent neck pain is to take regular breaks for stretching. To avoid prolonged periods of rigidity, switch the way that you are sitting or standing every quarter hour.
Treat it like a PC – It’s one thing to use an iPad for a few minutes. If you are planning to use it or watch it for a few hours, position it similarly to the way you would a typical PC. You also want a chair with a strong back, along with a lumbar support, to safeguard your posture and maintain your spine’s natural curve.
Support when typing – You also may want to get wrist guards, which stabilize your wrists, so that you do not experience excessive strain when typing. Repetitive strain disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome can sometimes be avoided if you act quickly and with care when you feel a sensation of tingling or pain in your hands.
Solutions for back pain and neck pain
Taking precautions when using computers and tablets is always wise. Unfortunately, many of us don’t consider ergonomics, posture, and the potential for pain until our conditions have become chronic. Proper medical care can restore your quality of life. Our multidisciplinary treatment program incorporates the best of numerous modalities for your recovery.