Even a small tilt forward of your head creates an enormous amount of pressure on the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves in your neck and upper back. Think about doing this for several minutes, or a few hours, day after day after day. It’s not hard to imagine how damaging this would be over the long term.
This doesn’t just apply to smartphones, but tablets, iPads and laptops as well.
Commons symptoms of Tech Neck include:
- Neck, shoulder, back, arm and hand pain
- Headache, often at the base of the head
- Spasm in the neck, shoulder and upper back
- Numbness and tingling
- Constant slouching or the start of a “hump” at the base of the neck
- Tight shoulders and neck muscles
3 Ways to Avoid Tech Neck
1. Raise it up
Keep your phone at eye level as much as possible. Maintaining a good head position will help you avoid the painful symptoms of tech neck. It’s just as important to avoid looking down at tablets and laptops. Using devices on stands and lap desks will help raise them to an adequate level
2. Take a break
At least every 15 minutes, raise your head and take a break from your screen. Get up and take a short walk before you return to your screen. If you have stairs, take a few trips up and down to get your blood �owing also.
3. Move your body
Do a few stretches during your break. Arch your back and gently tilt your head side to side and up and down. Your chiropractor can teach you a few exercises that will help strengthen your neck and back muscles. Strengthening those muscles improves your posture and reduces your risk of muscle strain.
What are the long-time effects of tech neck?
- Disc Problems – your discs cushion the vertebrae in your spinal column. Although they are designed to be �exible, they are not meant to withstand the strong forces that occur when you constantly keep your head lowered. Over time, you may begin to experience cracked, slept or herniated discs.
- Pinched Nerves – Using bad posture when you text can also increase your risk of a pinched nerve. The problem occurs when bone or tissue presses on a nerve.
- Arthritis – Wear and tear on your vertebrae can lead to early arthritis.
- Bone Spurs – Bone spurs can develop due to the stress on your spinal column and can cause pinched nerves.
- Hunchback – Formally called kyphosis, the condition causes your back to become rounded due to a curvature in the spine.
Poor head position may also lead to other health problems. It’s harder for your lungs to expand completely when you sit in a harsh position. When you take in less air, your heart has to work harder to ensure that enough oxygen reaches every part of your body via your bloodstream.
If you have any questions about how to minimize tech neck, and how to take care of your spine better, please contact us.
Dr. Neil Brown
Ancaster Family Chiropractic
397 Wilson Street
East Ancaster, ON