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.

A Good Primer on Biceps Tendon Pain

The humble biceps tendon is generally only discussed when something goes wrong. Although this tendon is an essential anchor in the musculature of the arm, it can experience strain and injury when biceps and shoulders are pushed past their comfortable range of motion.

This article explains exactly what is happening when biceps tendon injuries occur, and what’s coming up as medical professionals develop better ways to treat these injuries without the use of anti-inflammatories or steroids:

These advances are on the way. They include the integration of new matrices, such as collagen sheets, pre-loaded with the patient’s stem cells and growth factors and surgically wrapped around the injured tendons or injected into their sheaths. Another novel approach is to provide a self-assembling, injectable collagen material, which is then melded with UV light stimulation. A third approach will use a resorbable artificial material that will stimulate tendon regeneration.

Until we can accelerate the body’s natural healing processes through such minimally invasive techniques, rest and therapy remain the most effective stand-by’s for biceps and arm pain. And if those measures don’t work, it may be time to speak with a San Diego orthopedic surgeon about a more permanent repair.

Find Orthopedic Surgeons in San Diego

There are a few reliable ways to find orthopedic surgeons in San Diego. By far the most common is the referral: your primary care doctor, or another caregiver, recommends a San Diego orthopedic surgeon whose credentials and experience suit your needs.

But there are some other ways as well. The Web is an extraordinarily powerful research tool, and many of our patients at AOSM reach out because of what they have learned about us on the web. So how can you be sure you are using vetted information and not just marketing copy? Start with…


The quickest way to size up any orthopedic surgeon is to check his or her credentials. Look first for threshold qualifications such as a medical degree and residency, of course. Then you’ll want to check out where that physician completed a fellowship in orthopedic surgery/sports medicine, as well as any advanced training he or she has pursued. All these milestones can be signposts, indicating how much expertise a given surgeon truly has.


The best orthopedic surgeons tend to earn top billing in hospitals wherever they land. Look for surgeons who have earned department head or group chairman positions, especially at well-regarded institutions considered leaders in the field.


The field of orthopedic surgery is regulated by some important governing bodies. Seek out doctors who are members of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, as well as the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, and look in particular for those doctors who have presented major papers and findings for both organizations.

The X Factor

So now you have done your due diligence and researched all the options: what’s next? This is where the persona of your doctor becomes important. Make a few calls to set up meetings, and ask plenty of questions. You may find that the best orthopedic surgeon on paper rubs you the wrong way in person; trust this feeling! It’s important to stick with doctors who make you feel comfortable and respected.

The Final Word

If you want to find the best orthopedic surgeons in San Diego, feel free to reach out and ask us questions today. I am proud to be widely regarded as one of the leaders in San Diego sports medicine, and I take pride in answering your questions right away. To learn more, contact Dr. William Holland’s practice here.

Orthopedic Knee Surgery: How Much is Too Much?

Knee replacement surgery is one of the more involved procedures in any orthopedic surgeon’s schedule. It is neither minimally invasive nor easily recoverable, and is typically reserved for cases when wear or damage proves insurmountable.

But as intense as the procedure is, some proponents have begun calling for double knee replacements on occasion, a procedure known as simultaneous bilateral knee replacement. It is the subject of much disagreement:

A study in May in the Journal of Arthroplasty compared cases matched for risks in simultaneous bilateral and unilateral knee surgeries in a database of nearly 44,000 patients. It found no significant difference in the rate of complications including infection, hospital re-admission, or death. But bilateral procedures were associated with increased overall complications and risk of subsequent surgery within 30 days.

Each side has a point, of course. If a patient is likely to replace the second knee anyway and endure many months of rehab, there is no question that it’s more efficient to combine both procedures into a single hospital stay. On the other hand, a second, separate surgery doubles all the risks we associate with orthopedic surgery, inducing the chance of infection, blood clots, and other complications.

The only sure way to determine which approach is right for you is to speak with the best orthopedic surgeons in San Diego. Contact my offices to set up your appointment today.