Tech Neck Introduction:
Adults are spending up to 3 hours a day looking down at screens and kids are spending up to 8 hours a day looking down at screens. So it’s no surprise why we are seeing so many adult and teen patients at Motion Physical Therapy for neck pain.
In this post we’re going to address tech neck in a frequently asked questions format. So let’s dive right in…
What is tech neck?
“Tech neck” is a term used to describe the bent down head position when someone holds a cell phone or tablet at the chest or waist level. This neck position puts extra stress on the muscles, ligaments and discs of your neck. This can become a serious problem for people who look down at the cell phones for hours a day.
What are tech neck symptoms?
Pain in the back of the neck, headaches, stiffness in the neck, muscle spasms, burning in the back of the neck, pain between the shoulder blades, pain shooting down to the shoulders, numbness and tingling in the arms,
Can tech neck be reversed?
Yes it can. Use proper posture when looking at screens and taking breaks is the easiest way to fix tech neck.
– Keep your devices just below eye level.
– Look up from the screen and straighten your neck every 5 minutes
– Put the device away for 10 mins every hour
– Perform neck and shoulder blade exercises and stretches (see below)
What causes tech neck?
This looking down neck position puts extra stress on the muscles, ligaments and discs of your neck. This can become a serious problem for people who look down at the cell phones for hours a day.
The human head weighs 10-12 pounds. Even a slight bend forward to look down at cell phone can increase the stress at the neck up to 27 lbs. Looking down all the way can increase the stress at the neck up to 60 lbs. This extra weight has to be then supported by your neck muscles, ligaments and discs. This extra work can slowly wear these structures down over time and permanently damage them.
Why do I have a hump in the back of my neck?
The bump is called a kyphosis. This bump is caused by your mid back rounding out because of bad posture (slumping when looking down at a screen).
What is a tech neck headache?
The bent down neck position and rounded shoulders can cause the muscles at the base of your skull to tighten and/or spasm from the extra stresses. These muscles can then put pressure on the nerves in the area causing headaches.
Can a chiropractor fix tech neck?
A neck manipulation from a chiropractor will help reduce the symptoms for tech neck. The “neck crack” causes a reflex to occur in the nerves and muscles of your neck causing them to relax. This is a temporary solution. If you don’t change the bad posture of looking down at screens for long periods your symptoms will return.
Can physical therapy fix tech neck?
Yes, physical therapists can teach you exercises and stretches that will reduce your symptoms from tech neck. The exercises are meant to strengthen your posture muscles and the stretches are meant to lengthen muscles and tissues that tighten up over time from bad posture.
What are some exercises to fix tech neck?
Here are some exercises we use in physical therapy to strengthen the neck and postural muscles of the neck.