iPad Neck

Today I awoke with a very stiff neck, I can remember getting this some time ago when I relied heavily on using the laptop, now though it is from excessively looking down and possibly playing far to many games on the iPad.
Maybe now it is not called a stiff neck anymore but rather iPad neck.
While the first murmurs of so called iPad neck pain originated in the circles of massage therapists, the condition has been now been verified by scientists. The millions of people who use the devices, hailed as a bridge between laptops and mobile phones, are also at risk of neck injuries, claims a new study.


Researchers found that the flexibility and convenience tablet computers are hailed for could actually be harming users, especially if held on their laps.
They are at risk of "iPad shoulder" or "iPad neck" because holding a tablet low down means that the user has to gaze downwards more sharply, increasing the pressure on their joints.
So it turns out that computing on your lap is a major strain, but is that not also how we usually read books? Yes, we like to have books at angles to optimise viewing angles, but tablets are harder to hold than books because of the active screen. You have to hold them on the edge so as you do not activate the screen with your touch, unlike books. This constraint limits how we can hold them, and if we read for too long, some postures get a bit too much too. While a steep viewing angle can work for watching movies or reading, it makes for uncomfortable typing.
My advice is to keep moving, do not get stuck in the same position for too long and following these few simple steps should help.
1. Shift positions frequently. Keep moving and changing your postures every few minutes. This will keep your neck, shoulders, and arms from tensing up or getting fatigued.
2. Invest in a case. If you are using an iPad for long bouts of reading or movie viewing, you will want to keep it propped on a table at about a 60 to 70 degree angle to prevent neck strain. Tilting the tablet in your hands for extended periods will be tough on your arms and wrists.
3. Set fonts to a large type size. This will enable you to read material more easily in a neutral posture with back and neck in a straight vertical line. If you cannot read the type, you will be inclined to round your back and thrust your neck forward, in a poor posture that is associated with shoulder and neck pain.
Other than just keep moving there are exercises you can do If you do let it slip and your body has got to a stage where aches and pains are already present.
1. Neck rolls are helpful for releasing a stiff neck. They can be done frequently to help keep your neck loose during the day. Just do half neck rolls by rolling from one ear to the other and dropping the head forward, To avoid compressing nerves in the neck and do not drop the head to the back. Aim for eight to 12 neck rolls each side. Then, hold the ear to the shoulder for a few deep breaths, just once to each side. It is important to keep the shoulders down and relaxed during these exercises. Take deep breaths and relax as you stretch. Neck rolls can be done several times each day.
2. Head Turns are simple ways to also help. Turn the head and look right to left. Try to gently look a little bit further behind you with each turn. Keep the shoulders down. Neck rolls and head turns are helpful if you work at a computer or other job where you tend to round the shoulders and neck forward as you work.
3. Across the body stretches help to, don not think that it is all about stretching just your neck. Bring your arm across your body and hold the elbow. Gently press your elbow towards your chest. Keep the shoulders down and relaxed. Hold for five to 10 deep breaths and focus on relaxing into the stretch. Repeat other side. This exercise provides a gentle stretch for the shoulder. Combining shoulder and neck stretches with using good posture and body mechanics, can help to ease stiffness and prevent pain.
4. It is not just neck and arms, think about your head to, that can also link the pain points. You can also bring your hands behind your head. As you squeeze the shoulder blades together, open your elbows as far as possible without hurting your shoulders. To involve the neck, gently press the back of your head into your hands. This not only stretches the neck and shoulders, but also helps to correct posture as well. Lifting the arms behind the head will help you to sit up straight. Pressing the head back into the hands will bring your neck in alignment over the shoulders.