Whether you’re at work or play, it’s tough to avoid using technology these days. In fact, most Americans spend around five and a half hours a day on their smartphone, which includes checking it every 10 minutes or 96 times daily.
And that doesn’t even include computer use and tablets. What it often equals, however, is a big pain in the neck.
In recent years, the Glaser Pain Relief Center team in Encino, California, has seen an increasing number of people coming in with neck pain that’s referred to as “tech neck.” But there are ways to correct the problem and avoid it altogether — and you don’t have to ditch your device.
Here’s what you should know about this painful problem.
As you might expect, this type of neck pain is directly associated with technology use because of the amount of time you spend with your neck bent at a forward angle so you can see your favorite device. It develops because of the poor posture and altered body alignment that comes with using tech.
It’s usually fairly easy to spot tech neck because it causes the neck to extend, the head to move forward, and the chin to tuck. At the same time, the upper back begins to slump and shoulders grow round. You can often see this posture in action whenever someone checks their phone.
Unfortunately, staying in this unnatural position for extended periods can lead to numerous issues, such as:
It’s also common for people with tech neck to develop rounded shoulders with overly tight back muscles and weak chest muscles.
But there are ways to avoid these problems, even in your tech-heavy world.
The first step to correcting this issue involves awareness.
On average, an adult head weighs 10-12 pounds. Your neck can support this weight with little issue when you practice good posture. However, as your head begins tilting forward, it creates added strain on your cervical spine — and it doesn’t take much.
Even bending your neck at a 15-degree angle puts 27 pounds of extra pressure on the tendons, ligaments, and muscles in your neck. And if you increase that angle to 45 degrees — the most common angle for screen time — you’re adding a whopping 50 pounds of strain to this delicate structure.
Our team recommends a multitiered approach to managing tech neck and keeping your symptoms at bay. It often begins with incorporating simple changes you can make at home or on the job, such as:
At Glaser Pain Relief Center, we also offer a wide range of treatments for severe tech neck symptoms, ranging from physical therapy and nonsurgical procedures to surgical interventions.
You can have a healthy, pain-free life and still keep up with technology. Whether you have mild symptoms or those that have become pervasive, we offer personalized solutions to help you feel your best again.
Could you have tech neck? Learn more about your treatment options by scheduling an appointment with our expert team at Glaser Pain Relief Center today.