Tech neck, or text neck, is not a new phenomenon but something people are definitely suffering more from in recent years.
The issue of tech neck, which is caused by straining muscles when using phones, tablets, and laptops and causes discomfort, stiffness, and pain in the neck and shoulders, is getting worse.
It can have serious consequences in the long run if left untreated, too.
In this blog we’re going to give you the run down on all things tech neck; how to treat it, identify it and prevent it in the future!
Sounds like a pain…or sorry, plan!
Can tech neck be corrected?
A survey by Deloitte, found that over a third of people check their phones at least 50 times a day!
Not to mention that very high level of digital access people now have to screens.
The rise in remote working has also contributed to this.
SO basically, people are holding their neck still and/or in an uncomfortable crouched position, leading to pains, stiffness and injury.
Tech neck, or forward head posture.
The risk of abnormal wear and tear of the cervical discs, reduced blood flow, strain on the tendons and ligaments, and inflammation and exhaustion of the shoulder, neck, and upper back muscles can all be increased by holding these positions for extended periods of time and by repetitive movements between mobile devices.
However, as painful as it can be, tech neck is treatable and quite easily too.
What are the symptoms of tech neck?
Pain is the most obvious symptom.
The curvature or bending of the spine at the base of the neck, which she defines as a sure symptom of a chronic misalignment, may be noticed by people in their forties or fifties.
Other signs of tech neck include:
- Upper back stiffness
- issues with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) discomfort or dysfunction in the jaw muscles and joints
- Numbness or tingling in the hands
- Instability in the hands
- A rotator cuff injury
As soon as indications and symptoms occur, it is advicsed to see a doctor, starting with your primary care physician and possibly a specialized physician and physical therapist who are skilled in posture and spine health.
The sooner the issue is resolved, the less likely it is that more significant issues will develop.
Tech neck may cause permanent health issues including disc damage or arthritis if it is not corrected.
How can I get rid of tech neck?
You’ll be happy to hear that it can be quite easy to ease the pain and get rid of tech neck.
The best and most proven method is to get up, pain the phone or tablet down and do some stretching or movement exercises.
It’s recommended every 30 minutes or so if you’re sitting down at an office desk for prolonged periods.
Our other Top Tips include:
1. Put your laptop, screen or phone to eye level
Instead of lowering your head to the level of the phone, raise it closer to eye level.
Use a height-adjustable phone stand if you’re at your desk to avoid constantly moving your head between your phone and monitors.
2. Try a standing desk
This can be expensive but think about it as a long-term investment in your health!
A standing desk, or one with a walking treadmill underneath, will ensure you are moving and looking at a screen at eye level during those long hours at work. It may be much cheaper in the long run.
3. Chin Tucks
Start by sitting or standing up straight. Draw your head back straight, creating the appearance of a double chin.
By maintaining this posture, you counteract the negative effects of always staring forward (as you may do while looking at a screen).
He cautions against leaning back when doing this; maintain a parallel line between your chin and the floor. Release after five seconds of holding.
4. Try a Recliner
Get a chair that reclines and has excellent lumbar support, and when working, lean back as much as is comfortable.
The neck muscles won’t be under as much strain as a result of that. By performing the following, you can determine if you are leaning back sufficiently: First, your neck should incline backward if you were to nod off in that position. In contrast, if you place your hand behind your neck and lean forward, you’ll notice that your neck muscles tighten up.
They’ll soften and relax as you lean back.
5. The Cobra Pose
With your head pointing downward, begin by lying on your stomach on the ground. With only a bare minimum of assistance from your hands, raise your head and upper torso off the ground.
For 15 to 30 seconds, hold. In contrast to the position that results in “tech neck,” it expands the back and neck and works as a counterbalance.
6. Keep it cool
Applying ice for the first 48 to 72 hours will help ease discomfort and reduce swelling when your neck is uncomfortable and stiff.
After that, turn to warmth to aid in the healing and stretching of your muscles and tendons by using a heating pad, hot compresses, or a warm bath.
7. See a specialist
Seeing a doctor or physio is always a good idea and they can provide you with medicines and pain relief if it’s needed.
8. Check Spine Alignment
Stand with your back to a wall and in a natural state without forcing anything.
If your head is natural upright and close to the wall, then you are ok.
However, if you’re finding that your head is leaning forward, then it’s a sure sign of tech neck.
Checking regularly can make sure you don’t find yourself in a bad posture.
9. Keep Rolling
If you’re feeling tight or stiff, there’s nothing a good roll of the shoulder won’t hep you with.
Don’t overdo it, of course, but a regular movement of your shoulders in a backward motion and up towards your ears is a great stretch and can be done in seconds.
This blog is part of an upcoming series that we will be creating on getting back to basics with your fitness and movement in 2023.
We hope you enjoyed it and keep and eye out for more.
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