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Arms hurting from tablet - what to do ?

Discussion in 'Other Symptoms' started by Dechi, May 20, 2018.

  1. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    552
    As many of you I’m sure, my activities are limited and I spend a lot of time feet up on the couch, in a semi-lying position. So I do a lot of stuff on my iPad : reading the newspaper, participating in forums and social media, playing easy games and so forth.

    I bought a stand so I would not hurt my neck from bending my head all the time (tablet resting on my knees). The stand brings the tablet at my eyes level, and I have to slightly lift my hands to type, turn pages and play. My arms are resting on a cushion.

    I’ve had this tablet stand since before Christmas. The last months my left arm started hurting and going numb when I lay in bed, in a certain position. When I realized what the problem was, I started using my right hand more to play and toggle. I am ambidextrous so this wasn’t an issue. But now both my arms hurt a lot and I am going to have to stop using the tablet soon if I don’t find a solution. I see a massage therapist and she does massage my forearms but it doesn’t last since I use the tablet so much.

    I am so bored already, I don’t know what I will do without my tablet... :-(

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Webdog

    Webdog Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    2,260
    Location:
    Holodeck #2
    Does your tablet have voice command features? So you can speak commands rather than using your arms all the time.
     
  3. Rosie

    Rosie Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,399
    @Dechi I had the same problem with my hands and arms when I used a stand for my laptop a few years ago. I had to stop using the stand. Laptop is back on my lap. This new laptop I now have doesn't seem to get as hot as the previous one which is a bonus. Still, I probably shouldn't be having it my lap.

    Sorry, I haven't a solution but hope you find something that helps.
     
  4. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    552
    I do. It would work for simple tasks like « open book » but probably not for playing with applications and games. I will try tomorrow, you never know.
     
  5. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    552
    Yeah, I might have to do that. But I’m afraid in 20 years I’ll end up with a very crooked neck. I could alternate though, maybe that would work. 2 weeks stand / 1 week on my lap for a break.

    Although I’ve heard about people who are bedbound who use those stands. Not for as long as me I suppose. There must be a way...
     
    alktipping, Invisible Woman and Rosie like this.
  6. Rosie

    Rosie Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,399
    Same here with the neck. I prefer to lay down rather than sit up but when I do sit up in bed my neck doesn't feel supported.

    Years ago when my ME was more moderate I tried doing about 3-4 minutes of exercises to strengthen the neck area. Just 3-4 repetitions. I was amazed how just those few helped with posture. I had to drop these exercises when I got very sick a few years ago.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
    alktipping, Dechi and Invisible Woman like this.
  7. Allele

    Allele Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,047
    Have you tried separate cushions for each arm? I cant use my computer at all unless I have a pillow under each arm.
     
    alktipping, Dechi and Invisible Woman like this.
  8. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Australia
    @Dechi

    I seem to have become more vulnerable to straining muscles since ME. Also RSI type pain and burning after very little use of muscles.

    I have to limit how much time I spend on devices so that I don't trigger these problems.

    And then there's the fatigue associated with ME. Sometimes I can't hold my phone at all and can't type on any device even if it's supported.

    Hoping you find a work around.

    Edited: Just want to add that in my experience using the other hand/arm when the first one has RSI or similar quickly leads to the good arm/hand developing the same problem.
     
  9. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,689
    Location:
    UK
    I have a similar problem if I use a touchscreen computer. For most activities I prefer a keyboard and mouse. I find these involve less movement than a touchscreen, and, providing I position myself so my forearms are supported, I am mostly just using my fingers. (I can touch type, so my hands don't move around the keyboard).

    I still get a lot of pain in my arms and shoulders, but choose to put up with that to enable me to blather on in here far too much ;)

    Listening to audiobooks has been a help for passing the time - I don't have to use my arms and hands to hold a book, and can rest my eyes too.

    I hope you can find a way around your problem. :hug:
     
  10. MarcNotMark

    MarcNotMark Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    325
    I just googled "tablet with touchpad" and one of the first hits was this one:
    http://www.ergonomictouchpad.com/eu/tablettouchpads.com/

    With this you can keep your arms down while clicking and scrolling etc. so you just have to move your hand up if you want to type something.

    ETA:
    Apple trackpad might also work (over bluetooth):
     
  11. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    552
    Thank you, lots of great ideas !

    @Allele I will definitely try 2 cushions for my arms, or even a thicker one. The one I use has had a rough life...

    @MarcNotMark I’m trying to look for a Bluetooth keypad with trackpad for my iPad Air 2. If I can find something at a reasonable price, I think this would be a very good arrangement.

    @AndyPandy I think you’re right, now both my arms hurt...

    @Trish I know what you mean. I’ll try to find someth8ng that works, but I will have to endure a little pain if need be. When internet is your only companion, you don’t give up easily, lol !
     
  12. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    5,190
    Location:
    UK
    Have you considered fudge? (similar to tablet but less sugar and softer)

    I use a TV for browsing etc., the room is set up so I can lie on the sofa, using the TV as a monitor with a mouse on a side table, in front of the sofa, by my left arm (keyboard is on a shelf in the side table so it can be picked up if necessary). Obviously a certain amount of care has to be used in picking sofa and table heights, and relative positioning, so as to reduce strain.

    I've got several tablets, of several sizes, and find them all too heavy/cumbersome/tiring for anything more than ebooks or ordering a takeaway (i.e generally short specific tasks, or ones that involve almost no interaction), for more or less everything else I use the above sofa/tv combo (the only things it's no good for is organising/renaming files, mainly because I have the resolution of the TV too low for that, so as to make the internet bigger)
     
  13. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    552
    Ha Ha Ha ! @Wonko you’re very « pince sans rire »... I love fudge, I could eat one pound and still want more !

    This is the stand I use, so it’s very convenient, as long as you’re not using your hands. I had not anticipated that it would put so much tension on my hands, arms and shoulders.

    https://levostore.com/products/levo-g2-deluxe
     
  14. Sbag

    Sbag Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    344
    Use tubigrip bandages on your arms down to knuckles and cut a hole for thumb. Use when doing more arm things and it helps lessen the pain later.
     
    Dechi and alktipping like this.
  15. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    3,309
    Are there air mice out there?
     
    Dechi likes this.
  16. Revel

    Revel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    248
    @Dechi, I use an ibeani:
    thZQAAZDVK.jpg
    Cheaper versions are available on Ebay, but I wanted the one with the George Stubbs print, so went for the original version (I also like this one in the image above, with the dachshunds).

    I wasn't sure that I would make that much use of it at first, but it has been worth the investment. It doesn't matter what position I'm lying in, the bean bag adjusts to suit. The support is firm enough to allow typing, but I mainly use it to watch movies. There's also a nifty little pocket on the side to put your phone, glasses, pens, etc.
     
    Gingergrrl, andypants, Alvin and 3 others like this.
  17. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,462
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    I use my laptop in a recliner and this type of laptop desk works well:

    Ikea-laptop-desk.JPG

    It has a "bean bag" like base that molds itself to your legs. It also insulates your legs from the heat of the laptop. I got mine from Ikea (https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70403507/) but there are other brands out there that are similar.

    I don't have a tablet so I don't have any suggestions for @Dechi (sorry!) but thought I'd pass on this laptop desk. Hope it's not too much of a derail.
     
  18. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    552
    What are « air mice « ?
     
  19. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    5,190
    Location:
    UK
    A simple remote control that you can wave about (generally in 6 axises no less, which surprises me as I thought were were in a universe with 3 physical dimensions) to control a mouse pointer. You would generally need a usb port to plug a receiver into your device to use one.

    A lot also come with built in keyboard, a tiny tiny, tiny keyboard.

    Just an example(s), so you can see a typical air mouse, not a recommendation.




    ETA - it appears bluetooth ones are also available.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  20. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    3,309
    [​IMG]
     

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