Is Tech Neck Costing You More Than Just a Stiff Neck?
Do you suffer from Tech Neck aka Text Neck?
Maybe YES! Tech Neck is a real clinical syndrome of epidemic proportions. Who isn’t on a computer these days? What’s alarming to me is that people are unknowingly developing an ugly HUMP in their upper back and suffering a preventable chronic condition caused by poor posture. The neck pain and back tension of Tech Neck is a tell tale sign of this modern day ailment and is mostly related to extended computer and smartphone use. Of course poor texting habits day after day will also lead to the same nagging pain and tense results.
The root cause of your chronically stiff neck, back pain, and shoulder tension may be as close as your computer or digital device.
Headaches is another frequent office worker’s complaint often related to Tech Neck. Pain and lost productivity are also frequently associated with this modern day tech related problem. will it hit your bottom line? That depends on what you choose to do to prevent the pain of Tech Neck. Whether you spend hours doing computer work, geeking over games or staring down your social media Apps on your phone, Tech Neck is likely creeping up on you.
Even with ideal posture, the average mass effect of your head upon the pain sensitive structures of your spine is about 12 pounds. Any forward tilt of your head and neck, as commonly seen in forward head postures of today, poor postural habits and in texting, creates excessive mechanical forces that significantly cause neck pain and risks the possibility of permanent degeneration of the spine. In fact, biomechanics research has shown that 60 degrees of forward neck tilt (commonly seen in texting) translates up to a 500 percent increase in forces upon the structures of the neck and upper spine.
Day in and day out sitting in front of your computer plus texting adds a huge amount of added wear and tear to your neck. That additional stress and strain can lead to premature and permanent degenerative discs and joint disease of the spine.
Early warning signs that you may have degenerative disc and joint disease:
- Chronic pain or stiffness in the spine
- Recurring stiff neck, especially in the mornings
- Occasional or low grade neck pain, back pain or headaches
- Regular grinding sensation in the spine
- past history of significant spinal injury such as whiplash
Spinal Health Tips to Reduce the Harmful Effects of Tech Neck and You:
To reduce the pain and unsightly HUMP that Tech Neck can cause here’s what you can do:
- Straighten up your posture; keep your head upright and between your shoulders to avoid that harmful forward neck tilt
- Use ideal ergonomics and hold your phone closer to eye level by supporting your arms on your chest or rest them on a comfortable surface
- Avoid prolonged use of tech devices in static postures. move frequently
- Take mini rest breaks by standing up, stretching and moving safely about your work space to improve blood circulation and reduce fatigue
- Daily exercise, once again in ideal posture, can reduce the painful effects of Tech Neck
If you’re concerned about any of the signs and symptoms listed in the above article, contact us or seek the advice of a qualified spine expert.
Dr. Chong is a spine expert and a practicing chiropractor in Calgary, Alberta Canada.
He’s available for private consultation in his clinics at: www.centreforchiropractic.ca
and online discovery sessions and information at: www.thespinecoach.com
Your opinions are welcome in the comments section below.