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Tech Neck: No One Wants A Pain In The Neck

What is tech neck & how do you prevent it?

Tech Neck: Avoiding Technology Driven Neck Pain

What is tech neck & how do you prevent it?

Tech Neck: Avoiding Technology Driven Neck Pain

 

Have you ever looked around the room to find everyone looking down at their cell phone or tablet?

As technology continues to become a bigger part of our lives in everything we do, we feel it more and more in our necks and upper backs. Computers and hand held tech devices inherently cause repetitive stress to these areas, leaving us at risk for injury, or what is referred to now as a condition called “tech neck.”

We all know that technology is not going away, so how do we avoid Neck Pain? 

The delicate structures of the neck and upper back were not designed for us to be head down for long periods of time. Many of us these days are looking down for long periods of time before shifting our head away from the phone or tablet. Therefore, we are seeing far greater frequency of this repetitive stress injury than ever before.

Consider that your head is like bowling ball, which can weigh 11 pounds or more. Your muscles, ligaments and bones work constantly to keep it upright, so the more time a person spends head down, the amount stress put on the upper back and neck increases. This results in tightness and fatigue in the spine which can then cause headaches, tingling and numbness in the upper back or arm, and overall dysfunction of the region.

Whereas keeping the bowling ball in close to the body instead of out in front of the body causes far less fatigue, better performance and productivity, and avoidance of greater wear and tear. 

How To Correct & Avoid Tech Neck:

It starts with being posture conscious and posture aware.

  • Try to avoid sitting with your phone or tablet all the way down in your lap. Rather, keep the object you are holding out in front of you so that you can look out, rather than down. If possible, keep the arms supported as well to keep them from fatiguing.
  • Take regular breaks from the device.
  • In the office or home office, be sure to have a properly set up, ergonomic workspace to avoid overuse in looking down or over the shoulder.
  • Get adjusted! People who receive regular chiropractic care and keep the flexibility and proper alignment of their spine, function better over time and when encountering repetitive stressors.
  • Finally, get into the daily routine of stretching the muscles in the chest wall, the upper trapezius and the muscles that run up either side of the neck. In addition, strengthening the muscles on the front side of the neck and lower trapezius and serratus anterior will allow this region of our bodies to better tolerate the weight and stress of the head on the neck and upper back. Following these guidelines will help alleviate ‘tech neck’ and keep it from forming or returning.

– Jennifer Paul, D.C. is on staff at Etheredge Chiropractic in Lake Sumter Landing. She is a graduate of the University of Florida and Palmer College of Chiropractic-FL. She is a Certified Posture Exercise Professional. She is accepting new patients that suffer from many musculoskeletal conditions including “tech neck.”