What Smartphone & Tablet Injuries are and What You can do about them
General Information about Smartphone & Tablet Injuries:
- Using a smartphone or tablet can lead to repetitive strain injuries of the hands, neck, and shoulders. This can affect children, adolescents, and adults.
- The average head weighs 10-12 pounds in a neutral position, but as you bend forward, more weight and stress is placed on the neck. When the spine is flexed forward 60 degrees, 60 pounds of stress is on the neck. Over time and with repetition, this can cause major problems.
- Signs and symptoms include: stiffness or pain in the neck, upper back, and/or shoulder which may be dull, sharp or burning. Pain may also radiate down arm and into hand.
Physical Therapy Can Help You By:
- Recognizing impairments in posture, body mechanics, flexibility, and strength that may be contributing to pain, and teaching you how to correct these issues.
- Reducing pain with the use of manual techniques and modalities.
- Developing an individualized plan for stretching and strengthening postural and core muscles.
What you can try:
- Hold the phone or tablet at eye level as much as possible and make sure that your ears are directly over your shoulders; do your best to avoid having your device down at lap level. Take frequent breaks and avoid staying in one position for a long period of time. Switch hand/arm when holding device and if needed, glance down at device with your eyes instead of moving your head.
- Use an external keyboard for your tablet and setting the screen at a comfortable height at eye level.
- Try dictating/speaking your messages instead of typing.
Click here for the downloadable version.