Is Overuse of Your Tablet Harming Your Neck?

Tablets are becoming more advanced and convenient; so much so that we now use them for practically everything. While this technology provides many benefits, our increased reliance on them is leading to a new health concern for some known as tablet neck.

Browsing on tablet

Tablet neck is a trending medical term that describes the condition associated with people who spend a lot of time on tablets. When we use these devices, we often hang our heads in a downward position. Whether we are holding them in our hands or resting them in our laps, the position of our heads while using these devices can place a great deal of strain on our head, neck, shoulders and back. In addition, this hunched position can lead to poor posture, muscle spasms, headaches and restricted range of motion to our head and neck area.

Doctors are reporting an increase in the number of patients who are experiencing head and neck pain as a result of overuse of their tablets. This practice can affect anyone, but not surprisingly, the age group that has been impacted the most is teenagers and young adults as they spend the most time playing games on these devices.

To avoid developing head and neck issues from using your tablet, doctors recommend the following tips:

• Keep your tablet at eye level to reduce hanging your head in a downward position.
• Shift positions while using your tablet to prevent neck and shoulder muscles from tensing up.
• Purchase a standing case and place your device on a flat surface instead of holding it.
• Never use a tablet while lying in bed. Ergonomically, there is no way to do this without causing damage to your neck.
• Take breaks from using your tablet every 15 minutes.
• Most importantly, limit the use of time you spend on tablet devices.

If you are experiencing prolonged head, neck, shoulder or back pain, please consult your physician about treatment options. If you do not have a doctor, please call Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to make an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.