Do You Have ‘Tech Neck’? Here’s What It is and Tips to Prevent It
Updated: Dec 1, 2022
Whether standing in line for coffee or waiting for the next flight, we see almost everyone during this digital age in the same posture: looking down at their smartphones. The result? Neck pain, stiffness, and strain while using digital devices, thus the nickname “tech neck.”
Did you know that the average American spends about eight hours on digital media every day? Without realizing it, people tilt their head down for long periods of time while using devices, creating pounds of force and tension on the neck and spine.
The world may be at our fingertips through technology, but it’s not without sacrificing our posture and spinal health. Read on to find out if you’ve been suffering from tech neck and what you can do to treat it.
Tech Neck Symptoms
Pain related to tech neck is generally mild, but can worsen over time and vary person to person. The most reported symptoms include:
Aches or discomfort in the neck and shoulders
Stiffness in the neck or between shoulder blades
Reduced mobility of the neck
Tingling or numbness in the arms and hands
If you notice any of the above symptoms, consider visiting your primary care provider or a physician who specializes in spine health, such as a licensed chiropractor for an analysis.
Tech Neck Exercises for Pain Relief
Now that you know what tech neck is and if you have it, there are a few easy exercises you can do to treat it. Your doctor or chiropractor may recommend the following:
This exercise is performed exactly how it sounds. Sitting in an upright position with your chin parallel to the floor, gently shrink your chin in towards your neck, as if tucking it to make a double chin.
The motion will help stretch the back of the neck. Do a chin tuck on a slow count to five seconds. Relax then repeat.
Side-to-side neck stretch
You can perform this exercise while standing or sitting upright in a chair. Starting with your feet flat and chin parallel to the floor, relax your shoulders and place your arms by your sides.
Next, place your left hand over your head and use it to gently pull your head towards your left shoulder. Apply a small amount of pressure for a good stretch. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, and repeat the motion on the other side using the right hand.
Starting on all fours (your hands and knees), begin to curl your spine up toward the ceiling and tuck your tailbone down toward the floor. This motion is the “cat” position.
Next, perform the exact opposition motion by curving your spine in an upright “U- shape,” lifting your chest and gaze up toward the ceiling. This motion is the “cow” position.
Do the cat-cow motion on a slow count to five seconds. Relax and repeat.
6 Chiropractor Tips to Prevent Tech Neck
Using smart devices is the norm for our generation, so it’s easy to slip back into the tech neck position if not cognizant. Below are our top tips to help maintain good posture and neck alignment.
1. Take breaks
Set a reminder to take breaks through the workday. This can be as simple as giving yourself three to five minutes every hour to walk around, stretch, and loosen up any tight muscles..
2. Improve your ergonomics
For those who work long hours at their computer desks, the setup may be the issue. Two important ergonomic recommendations for your workspace include elevating your laptop or monitor at eye-level, and having a sturdy computer chair with lumbar-support.
These easy yet vital improvements help prevent you from slouching your posture and straining your neck.
3. Reduce screentime
Since we naturally shift back into our “tech neck” posture, it’s best to create time away from the devices for a period of time (especially for the kids). For example, you can make it a household rule to read a book before bed instead of scrolling social media or playing phone games.
Performing any type of aerobic exercise at least 20 minutes a day, such as jogging, swimming, or bicycling can benefit your overall health. Exercise helps release tension in the muscles, increase your heart rate, and maintain flexibility.
5. Take up a mindfulness hobby
A hobby that calms a busy mind and reduces stress not only helps keep your body relaxed, but is also a great method of self-care. Mindful activities such as gardening or crafting keep you focused and calm, preventing muscle strain.
6. Regular Chiropractic Care
Many preventative benefits to chiropractic care, especially when it comes to neck pain and spinal problems. Chiropractors can apply non-invasive adjustments to help relieve neck and shoulder pain, keeping your spine and posture in their correct alignment.
From assisted stretches to therapeutic massages, our team here at Aviva can help keep neck pain and related injuries at bay. Interested in a quick tech neck evaluation? Schedule your next appointment today.
This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately. The opinions and views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, health practice or other institution.