“Tech neck” is a term used to describe neck, shoulder, and back discomfort associated with the long-term use of technology such as computers, laptops, cellphones, or tablets. Many may also suffer from headaches, a reduction in mobility, or a hunched appearance in the shoulders.
These side-effects may stem from overuse of the neck, as most people in today’s job market find that large portions of time are spent on a computer or similar device for the majority of the workday. Modern-day society is, as a whole, often using cell phones and tablets for long periods of time. Most people are still using these technologies even after the work or school day is finished. While technology can be fantastic, it is commonplace for many to feel this discomfort of being on these devices all day.
This can come from poor posture at the work station, or by not taking enough breaks from looking at the monitor. Many will also deal with spinal discomfort by having to look down at phone screens or tablet screens. Posture is vitally important for the discomfort many people feel. It is easy to hunch over a phone or tablet screen or to have the head in a constant downward position while looking at these devices. In an upright position, the head has an average weight of 10 to 12 pounds. In a tilted or downward position, the head can have an average weight of up to 60 pounds.
One must remember to keep shoulders pulled back, which will allow the body’s muscles and bones to stay in an aligned position. It is also easy to adjust a monitor or phone screen so that it is at eye level, allowing the neck to stay in a more natural position. Some of this discomfort may also be relieved by taking breaks to stretch and arch the back, or simply walking away from the work station for a moment to relax the muscles that have been locked in place for a period of time.
Exercise can also be a valuable resource to reduce some of this discomfort. Research shows that strong neck and back muscles can reduce bodily stress from long term screen time. There are many options for daily, at-home exercises, such as neck, back, chest, chin, and core exercises. These should be performed multiple times throughout the day.
However, not everyone has the free time to do these exercises daily with consistency, so there is also the option to consult with a physical therapist or chiropractor. This will involve a therapeutic approach to relieve the discomfort, instead of having to turn to pain medications. These physicians and doctors can help in identifying the source of the discomfort and giving advice on what to do throughout daily life, in order to reduce the frequency of these side effects. The best part is that great relief can come in a physician’s ability to reduce patients’ current pain, increase mobility, strengthen neck muscles and aid in stopping future pain.
For a consultation and to schedule an appointment contact us today at 954-742-7882