What the heck is ‘tech neck’?
Have you ever heard the term ‘tech neck’? In our modern world where we use phones, tablets, and computers 👨💻 daily, our neck and shoulder muscles become stressed, leading to pain and stiffness. Also known as ‘text neck’, this pain is caused by repetitive strain to the muscles and other tissue structures of our cervical spine.
What are the symptoms?
The average person in the UK spends over six hours a day looking at a screen 😱. That’s a lot of time spent hunched over a laptop or staring down at your phone! If you are concerned about tech neck, here are some symptoms to look out for:
- Aching and discomfort in the lower neck, shoulders, and upper back
- A sharp or stabbing pain that’s intense in one spot
- Regular headaches
- Reduced ability to move the neck, upper back, and shoulders
- Pain that worsens when looking down or tilting the head forward
- Jaw pain and tension
- Numbness or tingling in the fingers, arms, and hands
- Difficulty maintaining good posture
Can it cause serious problems?
Other than the symptoms described above, prolonged tech neck can actually cause more severe problems 🤦. These include:
- Additional pressure on the joints in the spine
- Increased pressure on our discs leading to an increased risk of disc bulges or .
- Pinched nerves causing pain, weakness, and numbness.
How can tech neck be prevented?
While it’s pretty much impossible to avoid screen time completely, there are some simple ways you can avoid getting tech neck;
- Take breaks to move at least every 30 minutes
- Get a chair that allows for reclining with good lumbar support. Leaning back slightly in your chair takes the pressure off your neck muscles, so they don’t become strained
- Try working standing up for a couple of hours a day, it does wonders for your spine and the rest of your body!
- Exercise regularly, particularly aerobic exercise
- Keep your phone at eye level as much as possible when texting
- Stretch your neck and shoulders regularly