Tech neck – you may not have heard of it, but chances are you (or someone you know) has it. Tech neck is the term we use for the condition created after looking at your devices (hunched over). Given that some people are spending upwards of five hours a day on their devices, we’re seeing more cases of Tech Neck. Here’s what you need to know to prevent and treat it.
Tech Neck will result in the loss of the normal lordotic curve in your neck, increased disc joint pressure of the spine, rounding of the shoulders, muscle imbalance, and poor posture.
The long-term implications of Tech Neck will be osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease. This will put damaging pressure on the spinal cord as well as the nerves that travel into the arms and hands. This will cause excruciating neck pain, numbness, tingling, and loss of sensation in the arms and hands, as well as decreased muscle strength of your arms and hand.
To prevent Tech Neck simply hold your cell phone at eye level rather than holding it down. Adjust your workstation so you’re not flexing your head forward for long periods of time. You can also see if your employer will accommodate you with a stand-up desk so you can adjust the level of the workstation to suit your needs.
Another prevention tip is to consult with a chiropractor to learn how we can help. Becoming more self-aware of your posture and learning the proper exercises to stretch and strengthen certain muscle groups will help keep your muscles balanced. The use of a spinal orthotic can also be used at home to help maintain the natural curve to your neck. There are also biofeedback devices that you can wear which will alert you if you’re flexing your head too far forward.
Treatment for Tech Neck includes chiropractic adjustments, mechanical traction, spinal orthotic, and posture exercises that will restore balance to the muscles of your neck.
The sooner a person starts treatment with a chiropractor for Tech Neck, the better. It takes time to remodel the proper curve of your neck and retrain muscle memory to correct posture. Don’t wait until you have pain or symptoms to seek treatment with a chiropractor. Once osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease start to occur, there is no getting rid of it, and when disease becomes advanced, surgery and drugs become your last option.