One of the most common complaints we hear from patients is “tech neck ” This is the name given to the neck pain and stiffness caused by looking down at your electronic devices all day.
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Chances are, you’re reading this on a phone, tablet, or laptop. And chances are, you’re not sitting up straight. In fact, you’re probably hunched over, neck craned forward—which can lead to a condition called “tech neck.”
“The human head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds, and when you start leaning it forward even at a 15-degree angle, that’s like adding 27 pounds of additional weight on your neck and upper back,” says Scott Schaffer, DO, an osteopathic physician specializing in sports medicine at OhioHealth in Columbus.
That extra weight puts strain on the muscles and other tissues in your neck and upper back. It can also cause wear and tear on the vertebrae and discs in your spine. Over time, all that strain can lead to pain and stiffness—not to mention wrinkles (yes, really).
What is Tech Neck?
Tech neck is a condition caused by looking down at your electronic devices for long periods of time. It can lead to pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders, and in severe cases, it can even cause permanent damage to the spine.
There are several things you can do to avoid tech neck, including:
– Taking breaks from your electronic devices every 20 minutes or so to give your neck a rest.
– Making sure your devices are at eye level so you don’t have to strain your neck to see them.
– Exercising your neck and shoulders regularly to keep them strong and flexible.
If you already have tech neck, there are treatments available that can help relieve the pain and stiffness. These include chiropractic care, massage therapy, and physical therapy.
The Dangers of Tech Neck
We’re all guilty of it. You’re sitting at your desk, working on your computer, and you feel a twinge in your neck. You reach up to rub it, and suddenly you realize that you’ve been sitting in the same position for hours.
This is what’s known as “tech neck,” and it’s a very real problem that can cause serious pain and stiffness. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to avoid it.
1. Take breaks often. Get up and walk around every 20 minutes or so to keep your muscles from getting too tense.
2. Adjust your monitor. Your screen should be at eye level so you don’t have to strain your neck to see it.
3. Use a headset. If you spend a lot of time on the phone, invest in a good headset so you can free up your hands and avoid holding the phone to your ear for long periods of time.
4. Stretch regularly. Neck and shoulder stretches can help relieve tension and prevent pain.
If you start to experience pain or stiffness, don’t ignore it! These could be signs of tech neck or another serious condition. See a doctor right away so you can get the treatment you need before the problem gets worse.
How to Avoid Tech Neck
We’re all familiar with the term “tech neck,” but what is it, really? Tech neck is a condition that’s caused by poor posture and extended periods of time looking down at electronic devices, like smartphones, laptops, and tablets. When you look down at your devices, you put a lot of strain on your neck and shoulders, which can lead to pain, stiffness, and other symptoms.
There are a few things you can do to avoid or reduce tech neck pain:
-Make sure your devices are at eye level. This will help you keep a better posture and avoid strain on your neck.
-Take breaks often. Get up and move around every 20 minutes or so to stretch your muscles and give your body a break from being in the same position for too long.
-Exercise regularly. Strengthening the muscles in your back and shoulders can help reduce tech neck pain.
-Use good posture. When you’re sitting or standing, make sure you keep your shoulders back and down, your head up, and your chin level with the horizon.
There are a few things you can do to prevent or alleviate tech neck pain.
First, make sure your workstation is set up properly. Your computer monitor should be at eye level, and your keyboard and mouse should be within easy reach. You should also sit up straight with your shoulders back. If you can, prop your elbows up on a ledge or armrest to take the pressure off your neck and shoulders.
Secondly, take frequent breaks from staring at a screen. Get up and walk around for a few minutes every half hour or so. If possible, go outside and get some natural light. And when you’re not working, try to avoid looking at screens as much as possible. Give your eyes and neck a break by reading a book, taking a walk, or spending time with friends and family.
Finally, stretch your neck and shoulders regularly to keep them flexible and strong. There are many easy exercises you can do at home or at work to relieve tension and pain. Regular stretching will also help you avoid future injuries.
By following these simple tips, you can avoid the pain and discomfort of tech neck.