Shiny New Gadgets for Shiny New Neck Pain

Look, I get it. New things are fun. New phones and tablets are faster and flashier than ever these days, boasting CPU speeds that put desktops from ten years ago to shame. And the new capabilities these phones possess are impossible to resist, from sleek 60fps gaming to live video calling.

But just because our devices are getting thinner and lighter doesn’t mean they’re getting any easier on our bodies. On the contrary, the time and posture we use when engaging with our devices can exact a toll, even for something as small as a phone.

That’s because ergonomics isn’t about force per se; it’s about proper positioning, something no phone manufacturer ever bothers to design for. As a result, most of the people you see out and about spends hours every day staring downward into their phones, at an angle that can cause neck pain over the long term. One article described the problem succinctly:

The natural posture when using a smartphone or tablet is with the device situated at a level far below our eyes, which leads to leaning our heads downwards and extending our necks. Research has shown that by leaning our heads downwards at a 60-degree angle, the strain put on our neck is equivalent to the weight of a 7-year-old child. This can result in neck pain and stiffness, headaches and even migraine attacks.

The solution, as with all things in orthopedics, is rest. Take breaks; mix it up; look away sometimes. And if that strain is causing a chronic condition such as neck pain, shoulder pain, or elbow pain, then contact Dr. William Holland for expert orthopedic care in San Diego.

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