Do you spend hours sitting in front of a computer? Do you spend hours looking down at your phone answering texts/emails, playing games, scrolling social media, or anything that grabs your attention and makes you forget to look up? Research shows that the average human spends upwards of 1,400 hours a year on their devices.
These hours tend to add up and place undue stress on the neck. The average human head weighs about 8lbs, which is the size of some bowling balls! Now imagine that sitting on the back of your neck for hours…sounds painful, right? This is what we tend to do every day while enjoying the convenience of technology. Our heads tend to drop down and forward, the shoulders become rounded, and even the upper back will become rounded. We see this so much in society nowadays that it has been medically termed: Tech Neck or Text Neck.
What is Tech Neck?
Tech neck is neck pain caused by repetitive strain and injury to the muscles and other structures of the cervical spine, which can even cause changes in a person’s posture. People tend to have symptoms in the back of the head, neck, and even down into the thoracic spine (mid-back). These symptoms tend to worsen with time and can even cause pain when doing activities not involving technology. X-rays can show an abnormal “S” shaped neck, which can happen with sustained flexion. Symptoms can include:
- Neck stiffness and pain
- Shoulder stiffness and pain
- Numbness and tingling down the arm
I Think I Have Tech Neck. How Do I fix it?!
- Bring your phone/laptop up to eye level
- Stack your laptop on books if you have to!
- Take breaks!
- You should get up and take a short walk at least every hour on a device.
- Use good posture when you are sitting at the computer
- Your feet should be flat on the ground in front of you
- Use a stool or boxes as a footrest if your legs don’t reach the ground
- The computer is at eye level
- Lumbar spine (back) supported
Beneficial Tech Neck Exercises
- Resistance exercises targeting the back and posterior shoulders can help combat poor posture
- Practice upright postures – Example: standing against the wall
Cure Your Tech Neck Pain with Physical Therapy
If you have been dealing with this Tech Neck for too long and cannot find relief, schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists at Moriarty PT today. They can help you on your journey to enjoying your technology and life without pain! Call us at 919-364-4000.