As we are spending more time on our smart phones than ever before, a musculoskeletal issue has surfaced, commonly referred to as tech neck or text neck. When we hunch over our computers, tablets, and smartphones, we place undue strain on our neck and spine, which over time can lead to discomfort, neck pain, and more severe health concerns.
What Is Tech Neck?
Tech neck is what happens after you spend too much time staring at screens. Also known as forward head posture, it is the result of holding our heads in a forward-leaning position for extended periods.
Our heads are relatively heavy, weighing on average about 10-12 pounds. When we lean forward, even just a few inches, it can increase the effective weight our necks need to support several times over.
This added gravitational pull can result in muscle strain, disk herniations, pinched nerves, and other related health issues.
Symptoms Of Tech Neck
The symptoms of tech neck go beyond just neck pain. Many individuals report tension headaches, reduced mobility in the neck, soreness in the shoulders, and even tingling or numbness in the arms and hands.
Over time, if unchecked, tech neck can also impact your overall posture, potentially leading to further health problems down the road.
Causes Of Tech Neck
Your cervical spine contains vertebrae that connect your head to your shoulders. These vertebrae are connected by facet joints and surrounded by tendons, muscles, ligaments, and nerves. One function of the cervical spine is to hold up your head.
Babies need support to keep their head up as they strengthen their neck. Just like babies who can’t lift their heads, if we hunch forward for too many hours we will shorten the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in front of our neck. This will also cause misalignment in your spine.
How To Help Tech Neck
It’s worth investing in an ergonomic office setup to prevent pain:
Invest In A Better Office Chair: Try several at an office supply store until you find one that suits you and gives you support.
Use Bigger Screens: External monitors that connect to your laptop can be positioned at eye level to help you sit up straight instead of slouching over your laptop.
Stand Up: It’s worth investing in a standing desk so you change positions during the day. This will also remind you to take breaks.
Get Something New: Try an ergonomic keyboard, mouse, and wrist pad instead of typing on a laptop. These relieve pressure on your hands and wrists.
Chiropractic Treatment Can Offer Neck Pain Relief
For those struggling with the symptoms of tech neck, chiropractic treatment offers a holistic approach to relief and recovery. Your chiropractor is trained to understand the intricacies of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. Through gentle adjustments, your chiropractor can realign the spine and neck, thereby reducing tension and promoting natural healing.
Chiropractic treatment for tech neck can also include massage therapy to alleviate muscle tension, stretches and exercises to strengthen weak muscles, and ergonomic advice to optimize one’s workstation or daily routines. By addressing not only the symptoms but also the root causes of tech neck, chiropractic care provides both immediate relief and long-term strategies for preventing recurrence.
We’re Here To Help
It’s unlikely that our reliance on technology will diminish. But this doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our health and well-being. By being mindful of our posture, taking regular breaks from screen time, and working with your chiropractor, you can navigate the tech-centric world without compromising your musculoskeletal health.
If you’re suffering from headaches or neck pain from tech neck, we can help get your body back to normal. With our therapeutic massage therapy, electric muscle stimulation and spinal manipulation, we can help alleviate the pain and get your neck back to working the way it’s supposed to.
Call 417 Spine to schedule an appointment and start conquering your pain.