You spend hours texting on your smartphone, playing Candy Crush on your tablet, and working at your computer. It’s no wonder that your neck aches. You may have what’s called “tech neck.” And even though it’s a funny name, tech neck is no laughing matter to the medical professionals at Bodyworks Medical Center, who are eager to help you ease your pain.
What is tech neck?
Most people spend way too much time bending over electronic devices, often for two to four hours each day. Bending your head forward for many hours puts a strain on your spine, and the muscles and ligaments in your neck, shoulders, and upper back. The more you bend, the more pressure your 10- to 12-pound head puts on those areas.
Tech neck, also called “text neck,” is not a medical term. It’s the popular term applied to neck pain and upper body soreness that results when the pain in your neck radiates to your shoulders and upper back, specifically from improper posture while interacting with tech.
Dangers of tech neck
Tech neck may not be life-threatening, but it can create many conditions that make your life painful and more difficult.
Bad posture and balance
When you continually bend your head forward, the muscles in your neck, chest, and back become almost frozen in that position, giving you rounded shoulders and making it harder for you to stand up straight. Bad posture can lead to bad balance.
Bending your head forward for hours can make your neck muscles go into spasm. That neck pain can radiate up into your head, causing that to ache, too.
Soreness and pain in your neck and back can lead to a tight feeling in your upper body, which makes it harder to move.
Jaw pain and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain can result from a misalignment of your cervical spine and muscles. Jaw pain and TMJ can lead to headaches and lockjaw.
How to treat tech neck
Treating tech neck involves doing exercises and stretches that increase your neck’s strength and flexibility.
You’ll also have to change the way you interact with your electronic devices.
Move your phone
Move your smartphone and tablets closer to eye level so you don’t bend your head while working on those devices.
Set an alarm to remind you to take frequent breaks away from your devices. A good rule of thumb for computers is a five-minute break every 30 minutes or so.
Arch your neck and back backward periodically, which will reduce muscle strain and pain.
If you suffer from tech neck, contact Bodyworks Medical Center by booking an appointment online or calling our office at 630-517-5674.