How To Best Remedy Tech Neck

In the last few years, new conditions like “selfie wrist” and “tech neck” have become apparent. Technology enhances so many aspects of our lives, but there’s a cost -- especially if you aren’t aware of the risks of certain postures and movements.

Tech neck is actually an overuse injury, sustained by looking down too much. Think about how often you gaze downward to the phone in your hand, at your laptop, or at a tablet. That posture is unnatural; your neck is holding the whole weight of your head at an awkward angle.

The head-forward posture we all know so well can strain the muscles of your neck, leading to stiffness in your neck, headaches, pain between your shoulder blades and even numbness in your arms and hands. When you begin to feel soreness in your neck, heed it as a warning sign, and book an appointment to see Dr. Nelson and begin changing some of your tech habits.

Get ergonomic

Check your work space. Is your monitor at eye level or just slightly below? You shouldn’t need to tilt your head downward to see your screen. If you use a laptop, you may want to get a separate monitor or keyboard so that you can avoid looking down.

The same is true for your handheld devices, like your tablet or phone. If you struggle to hold them at eye level, consider investing in a holder of some kind.

Use a chair that has a headrest. Putting your head against a headrest while you work will help keep you from looking down and straining your neck.

A nice chair, a standing desk, and other options that make your workspace more comfortable won’t help with tech neck unless you make sure everything is positioned properly.

Take breaks

If you work at a computer for hours, set a timer to remind yourself to stand up and move around at least once an hour -- every 30 minutes is even better. Stretch your neck, and walk around.

Moving around makes you change your posture, which will help you loosen tight muscles. Part of the reason tech neck is such a widespread problem is that we tend to stay in the same position for long periods of time.

Stretch and strengthen

Talk to our staff about the best stretches to keep your neck from hurting, or consider taking a yoga or Pilates class. By strengthening the muscles in your neck, chest, and upper back, you’re helping to protect them against strain.

Increasing flexibility also helps to prevent injury because tight muscles are more prone to injury. Additionally, you may want to focus more on your core muscles because they help to support your upper body.

Seek help

If you’re experiencing pain, don’t brush it off. Tech neck can, in extreme cases, cause permanent damage, and it just isn’t worth the risk. When you feel pain in your neck, between your shoulder blades, or if you’re having frequent headaches or numbness and tingling in your arms and hands, book an appointment online or by phone at Root Medical.

Our staff is happy to work with you and help you adjust your habits so that your devices don’t leave you in pain!

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