Category: Neck Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Tablets have become more popular in recent years, as they allow users to read any book they can download or help kids pass time in the car. The problem with tablets is that we tend to place them in our lap, which means we’re staining our necks forward in order to get the best view of the screen. This has led to a severe increase in what spine specialists are calling “tablet neck.”
According to a new study out of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 84.6 percent of tablet users reported symptoms of neck pain, stiffness or soreness, while 65.4 percent dealt with upper back and shoulder pain.
For the study, researchers surveyed more than 400 students about their tablet use. Here’s some more findings from the study:
- Women were more than twice as likely as men to suffer tablet neck.
- 70% of women reported discomfort when using their tablet, compared to 30% of men.
- Sitting without back support increased the odds of tablet neck by more than two-fold.
- Women in their study were more than three times more likely to use their tablet when sitting on the ground compared to men (77% vs. 23%), which may suggest poor back support.
- 55% reported moderate symptoms, 10% reported severe symptoms, and 15% said symptoms inhibited their ability to fall or stay asleep.
- 46% of users said they stopped using the tablet when they felt symptoms.
Lead researcher Szu-Ping Lee said the findings are concerning considering 53% of the adult population in the US reported owning a tablet at the beginning of 2018.
Preventing and Treating Tablet Neck
Here’s a look at some tips for preventing and treating tablet neck.
- Support Your Spine – Don’t just sit on the floor with your legs crossed and the tablet in your lap. Make sure your seat has a back support and that you’re actively leaning against it and not slouching forward.
- Invest in a Table Stand – Tablet stands are cheap tools that prop your tablet up so you can view the screen without being directly over the screen. Getting a tablet stand can allow you to view the ipad when it’s on a flat surface while you’re seated with your head above your shoulders.
- Give Yourself A Break – Try to take breaks from reading or watching a movie on your tablet every 15-30 minutes. If you notice that your neck or back hurts when you move onto another activity, take an extended break.
- Strengthen Your Neck and Spine – When you’re at the gym, make sure you are adding some exercises that strengthen your neck and cervical spine and the soft tissues that support these structures. This will help prevent these areas from becoming tired or prone to injury as easily.
- See a Specialist – If your spine pain is severe, it’s a good idea to have it examined by a spine specialist like Dr. Sinicropi. He’ll be able to assess your situation and provide you with a clear diagnosis and care plan. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can find relief.
For more information about tablet neck, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.