Carpel Tunnel from iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by GREEN4U, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. GREEN4U macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I was playing GT Racing on iPad 2 for 2 hours yesterday (GREAT deep game btw, best free game I've ever played) and now my knuckles hurt even from loosely gripping the thing. I'm trying to withhold myself from playing again or even using the iPad until it feels better but I'm wondering if this is common. Is this considered carpel tunnel? What should I do?
     
  2. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

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  3. thesiren macrumors 6502a

    thesiren

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    #3
    I get carpal from playing Modern Combat 2. The iPad 2 might be "thinner" than the first iPad, but it's still pretty heavy. Especially if you're a heavy gamer.
     
  4. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    #4
    I doubt it has much to do with the shape of the iPad, the weight, or the device per se. Laying down in bed holding the iPod or some other tiny device above you will produce similar results in many people.

    Rather, it is the result of holding something for long periods of time without rest, or performing repetitive movements. The mouse, a rubber stamp (office workers), or any other modern appliance that treats a person like a machine is going to have these horrible results. Your body has given you a warning. It is up to you to decide whether you want to heed it or continue damaging yourself!

    Do a bit of reading up on repetitive stress injuries (RSI) and you can find some really simple solutions to common problems.

    For example, I almost always use the iPad (and any other tablet or book) with a stand of some sort (I recommend BookGem or the Incase Origami case of the Apple Bluetooth keyboard). Obviously, this will probably not help much for many of the games out there.

    Take frequent breaks. An iPod or other device with a timer (ten minutes or so) will alert you so that you can get up, move about, get a drink, go to the bathroom, or do something else that will relieve the stress on your wrists.

    Unplug. After a half hour or so take a longer break. That will give your body time to recover.
     
  5. thesiren macrumors 6502a

    thesiren

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    #5
    Of course the weight and shape are factors. The heavier the device, the more likely a user is to become fatigued. The iPhone and iPod weigh significantly less than the iPad, but carpal tunnel can occur with any device with repetitive use.
     
  6. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    #6
    right. but that's not the point. the factors may exacerbate the problem, but they are only proximate causes, and the ultimate culprit is, as you noted:
    this is the point. the op said "carpal tunnel from the iPad," and i was trying to untangle his symptom from the ipad. you could redesign the ipad and any device to your heart's content, but as long as you are using it in a way that injures your body, it's a moot point.
     
  7. macingman macrumors 68020

    macingman

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    #7
    Shouldn't you be asking a doctor?
     
  8. bpaluzzi macrumors 6502a

    bpaluzzi

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    #8
    I don't think either of you is experiencing carpal tunnel. It sounds like just muscle fatigue, or at worst a bit of tendonitis.

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is very specific ailment, and not a catch-all term for RSI.
     
  9. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #9
    I thought carpel tunnel is caused by resting your wrists on a table for long periods of time. You end up restricting the blood flow and putting pressure on a nerve in your wrist. Think of an office working sitting at a workstation all day using a mouse, resting their arm on the edge of the table (edge is just behind the wrist joint). I never had carpel tunnel but whenever my wrist got sore I always moved it around and made a point of not resting it the same way for too long.
     
  10. bpaluzzi macrumors 6502a

    bpaluzzi

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    #10
    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is primarily indicated by numbness. Pain (if present at all) is significantly secondary to pain. The nerves involved in CTS are deep in your wrist (in the "carpal tunnel"), and wouldn't be affected by resting your wrist on an edge. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused when repetitive motions of your hand / wrist cause the soft tissue that make up the walls of the "tunnel" to become inflamed, which in turn impinges the nerve and causes numbness / loss of strength in the thumb, pointer and "thumb-side" of the middle finger.

    Ulnar nerve entrapment is similar, but is more often caused by the nerve getting impinged in the elbow, near the funny bone. That nerve getting impinged causes the numbness / loss of grip in the pinky and ring fingers.
     
  11. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    excellent advice everyone. i think it is a little quick to jump to a diagnosis of carpal tunnel, and i also recommend he see a doctor if the symptoms persist. as ai suggested earlier, modifying your behavior will likely alleviate the symptoms. the problem is that games are designed to be engrossing, and therefore you will likely have a difficult time implementing any plan without some kind of outside stimuli like an alarm clock. i have found the ipod's stopwatch feature to be especially useful in this regard, but whatever works to keep you from hurting yourself is great.

    at any rate, it's not the ipad at fault.
     
  12. thesiren, Jul 31, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2011

    thesiren macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    why are you trying to disassociate his symptoms from the iPad? Why does that matter? It's the device he's using after which he experiences pain. Pointing out that he could get the same pain from performing other repetitive tasks is not only redundant, it's pointless and unhelpful too. He wants to know if this is carpal tunnel, and what he should do to remedy the discomfort. It's already been pointed out that his discomfort is most likely just muscle fatigue, and not carpal tunnel, and that taking breaks from gameplay should alleviate the pain.

    Dismissing someone's pain by telling them they're "using it wrong" is really strange...
     
  13. palpatine, Jul 31, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2011

    palpatine macrumors 68040

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    #13
    wow. really? now you are namecalling to make your point, which is what exactly?

    i stand by what i said. the title implies a causal link between the ipad and his symptoms, and i am saying it is not the ipad, but the method of use. you can call it whatever you want, but it is supported by medical evidence. we could have a debate without facts, but i am not sure what the point is. are you trying to say that the ipad causes carpal tunnel? do you have any evidence to support such a claim?

    i suppose i could cite mounds of medical evidence to demonstrate that even the most ergonomically designed devices require proper use to avoid rsi with repetitive tasks. but, you basically said the EXACT SAME THING, except you insist on trying to link the device to the symptom, as if touching an ipad will give you cooties. so, i guess you are just trolling :(

    @op

    lest you think i am trying to dismiss your pain, please understand that was not my intention. your problem is a real one. i am not criticizing you for making it, and i hope your post has drawn attention to a serious medical issue.

    when i first experienced similar symptoms years ago, i didn't know what was happening, and i wish someone would have clarified what was going on and how to fix the problem. i hope that my post has done this, and i recommend following some of the suggestions i offered, or at least looking around at rsi sites to get some ideas. hopefully, you can enjoy years of gaming :)
     
  14. thesiren, Jul 31, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2011

    thesiren macrumors 6502a

    thesiren

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    #14
    wow. I don't even know where to begin. First of all, in order to name call, there'd have to be some sort of name called.
    Second of all, you're being overly defensive of the iPad, unnecessarily going to bat for it by repeatedly saying it's "not to blame" when no one is saying it is. The OP quite clearly explained that he played a game for two hours straight and afterwards experienced knuckle pain. He's not attacking the iPad, nor is he outright blaming it for his discomfort. He's merely asking if his prolongued usage is causing what he thinks is carpal tunnel, and what he can do to remedy it. No ulterior motives. No heinous accusations. No hidden agenda to label the iPad as a big bad carpal tunnel-inducing monster tablet.

    Lastly, cooties? How old are you? No one says cooties anymore. Not since the early 90's at least.
     
  15. GREEN4U thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Hi all,

    Didn't mean for any of you to be arguing. After some more research and your help I figured out I don't have carpel tunnel syndrome, my left hand is just uncomfortably sore. Today, I must say it feels worse. Now there's a warm pain in my knuckles, rather than just sore muscles.

    I should've noted that I also have an iPhone that I typically use at night while laying in bed, as one member said. My left hand never felt this bad though. I think the iPad pushed it over the edge.

    No plans to see a doctor at this point. I am taking it easier though (using my right hand to hold iPhone/iPad or not holding it at all) so I expect it to get better. Thanks again.
     
  16. spiderman0616 macrumors 68030

    spiderman0616

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    #16
    When I first got my iPhone 4 I had this problem. It was my first smartphone and my first phone with a full keyboard input. Of course I was on it constantly for the first few days I had it, and my fingers and thumbs were killing me. It went away after getting used to the form factor and input method, but it can definitely be a problem.

    I sometimes wonder if we're all going to be blind and arthritic someday from staring at screens and typing all day long.
     
  17. AAPLaday Guest

    AAPLaday

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    #17
    On the blind thing the best thing to do if you work at a computer all day is the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes look out of a window or at something in the distance (20 feet away) for 20 seconds. This will help stop eye strain. Obviously those figures are just there to help people get an idea. The longer you can look away and more frequently, the better :)
     
  18. spiderman0616 macrumors 68030

    spiderman0616

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    #18
    I have heard that before, and I do try to do it. I think it helps just in the fatigue department.

    Oddly enough, I'm in front of an LCD screen, an iPhone, or my iPad a good part of the day and my contact lens prescription actually improved last time I was in for an exam. I find that weird, as my lifestyle cannot possibly be very good for my eyes.
     
  19. darngooddesign macrumors G3

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    #19
    Perhaps you could point out the name calling. :rolleyes:
     
  20. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    #20
    he edited his post to take out the original passage, and then he edited his later post where he explained that it wasn't name calling, but actually just an adjective to describe my behavior. whatever the grammatical usage, it's not worth repeating. the person who posted it appears to have retracted it, so there isn't anything else to say on that.

    carry on with the suggestions about how to take better care of ourselves while using apple's cool gadgets :)
     
  21. bossxii macrumors 68000

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    #21
    Any repetitive action that requires you to hold your hands in an un-natural position will cause some "stress" that results in anything from soreness to real pain that can last a few days.

    Moderation is always best, all these new tablets are never going to be "ergonomically" correct. It's best to take lots of breaks and give the hands/wrists a rest from the repetitive actions.

    Or in short... use common sense! :)
     
  22. darngooddesign macrumors G3

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    #22
    Another reason why the SmartCover is great. I fold it intot he triangle, hold the iPad between my palms, and put my index finger in the triangle. The iPad hangs a little on my finger distributing its weight over more parts of my finger.
     
  23. thesiren macrumors 6502a

    thesiren

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    #23
    Jesus Christ, does no one here read signatures??
     

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