When you hear “Tech Neck”, what comes to mind first? Tech Neck is a relatively new condition that is noticeable everywhere, affecting almost everyone. Tech Neck is described as the forward head posture caused by the use of modern technologies such as smart phones and computers, causing a variety of problems.
The average American spends just under 6 hours on their digital devices per day. The result? Stiff and sore shoulder and neck muscles. Headaches and eye strain are also common symptoms of this condition. By forcing the body to hold the same head position for an extended period of time, it causes the muscles and joints to get stuck in this position, meaning that the body’s baseline posture changes.
So, how do we address this issue? By changing our baseline posture. This can be done by a variety of means, but here, we discuss the most effective treatments.
Treatment 1: Postural Awareness
This solution is easier than is sounds. When using your digital devices, especially smart phones, notice where your head is hanging and how your shoulders are sitting. If you’re looking down when using your phone, you’re instilling that poor baseline posture. The proper way that orthopedists recommend using your phone is to hold it up parallel to the ground at eye level. By doing this, it is much easier to roll your shoulders back and to keep your head upright. When not using your mobile devices, it is important to maintain this proper postural alignment. Try practicing it while walking around, especially in public. You will not only feel better physically, but also mentally. Good posture boosts confidence, which is never a bad thing to have!
Treatment 2: Ergonomics
If you are using a computer for a majority of your day at work, it is important to use as many ergonomic products as possible since they can reduce the negative side effects of prolong technology use. When the word ergonomic sis mentioned, many people think about chairs and keyboards. While these are both great, a key factor to reduce Tech Neck is to use a sit-stand workstation in the standing position if you have access to one. Like mentioned before with postural awareness, it is key to maintain the computer screen at eye level and to keep both shoulder blades rolled back. If you don’t have access to this kind of station, using an exercise ball with the desk raised up can help.
Treatment 3: Massage Therapy
This is almost everyone’s favorite solution since it feels great and requires little effort on your part. Massage is proven to help relax muscles and reduce stiffness and pain. Massage will allow your body to loosen up and make those postural changes that much easier while reduce the symptoms of tech neck. Think of massage therapy as a reset button for your musculoskeletal system. It allows you to have a fresh start with whatever posture you want to instill. You still have to be aware of good posture habits though, otherwise all that work is for nothing.
Overall, Tech Neck is a common postural condition that affects a majority of Americans. By trying the treatments above, you can tackle Tech Neck and the aggravating symptoms that is causes.