With prolonged use of technology, also comes complications related to it. One of it is "tech neck" (also known as text neck), which describes the neck pain caused by repetitive strain and possible injury to the cervical spine, which occurs when the neck is tilted too long in the wrong position when using computers, smart phone or other technology.
Here is a rundown on tech neck, its symptoms, and ways to address the problem:
What is tech neck?
Studies how that about 27 percent to 48 percent of workers from all industries worldwide suffer from neck problems each year.
The human head weighs 10 to 12 pounds, and for every inch the head is tilted forward to view a device screen, the weight the neck has to carry doubles, experts have warned.Tech neck compresses and tightens the muscle, tendon, and ligament structures in front of the beck, while lengthening the muscles, tendon, and ligament structures behind the neck.
Signs and symptoms
Tech neck can show up in many ways. One of it is headache, which happens when the nerves in your neck get pinched due to strain. One can also experience stiffness in the neck and shoulders due to slouching, as well as numbness in the arms and hands in more severe cases.
Ways to address it
For every problem, there is a (or a number of) solution (s). The below are some of the ways you can address tech neck issues:
1) Raise your screen higher
This means you don't have to slouch or tilt your head down to look at the screen. Hold your phone or tablet up close to eye level, or buy a holder to elevate your device. If you work on a laptop, get a second monitor and adjust the height.
2) Take breaks
Taking breaks between a prolonged period of time is useful to keep tech neck bay. For example, take two or three minutes of break for every half-an-hour of staring at the screen, or set an alarm to remind you to take a breather if you are too engrossed with work. The small breaks give you a chance to move around, change your posture, keep your muscles loose, and spine aligned.
3) Sit in a chair with headrest
Sitting on a chair with a headrest can help you maintain the correct posture by keeping your head flush against the headrest while you use your screen. Holding your head in this position will prevent you from looking down with your neck flexed forward, and prevent tech neck.
4) Do neck stretching exercises
One more thing you can do while taking a brief break is perform simple neck stretching and strengthening exercises, while being seated. One such exercise is sitting up straight with feet flat on the floor, and arms on the side. Place your right hand on your head, and tilt your head towards the right arm, while applying a small amount of pressure for about 30 students. Repeat the steps with the left side.
5) If all fails, seek expert help
So you have tried all these steps, but still experience nagging pain on your neck, head, shoulder blades or even tingling in your arms. Do not wait any further and seek medical attention immediately, as unattended tech neck can cause pinched nerves, damage to the disks, or even osteoarthritis.
Source: premierespineinstitute.com, spinehealth.com, goodpath.com, healthline.com
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