Relieving the Strain and Pain of “Tech Neck”

neck pain - tech neck

Ah, the Information Age!  We love our little screens, don’t we?

Those little screens are ever near, lighting up our lives with all kinds of vital information, like what Kim K word to the Grammys.  We don’t want to miss a minute!

And while we’re gathering all that vital information, our heads are bent over as we cradle our little friends in our hands.  We text in this position, too.  Sometimes we spend hours every day with our heads bent over those little screens.

And that’s a problem.

Maybe you don’t think so, but your neck sure does.  Even if it’s not bothering you now (a little stiff maybe?), it will eventually and you will be one of the legions of tech addict’s second work nightmare – “tech neck” (the first being internet outages).

So, I’m going to share some thoughts with you about relieving the strain and pain of tech neck.

Change Positions

Instead of having your device in your hand, supported on your thighs, hold it up to your face.  There.  Feel any strain on your neck and shoulders?  No.  That’s because you’re now in a position which is more neutral, place less strain on the structures of your upper body.  Your head is centered over your shoulders and not bowed before your device.

Remember – your head can weight as much as 13 pounds.  That’s a lot of weight to be dangling over a phone and not very comfortable or healthy for your neck, especially.

Make Some Rules

Constant contact is a 21st Century disease which is costing us a lot of our overall wellness.  That’s about more than tech neck.  It’s also about anxiety, eating disorders and isolation, especially in young people.  For our purposes, though, it’s important that you take breaks from technology to do other things.

Your mobile device can be a useful tool but it’s also a rabbit hole.  Stay on the sane side of the rabbit hole and protect your neck from strain, while you’re doing it.

Supportive Exercises

People who use technology extensively at work as well as in their personal lives need a little extra help, so I’m including some movement therapy ideas to keep your neck healthy.

While sitting up straight, gently tuck your chin down, slowly, deliberately and repeatedly.  Don’t force the movement.  It should seem as though you’re doing a slow nod (and people could take that the wrong way, so close the office door).  This stretches the small muscles which support your posture in the neck. Do this throughout the day as often as you can.

Tilt your head right and allow it to fall as far as it can, then hold.  Repeat on the other side.  This gentle stretch should be down with the shoulders relaxed.  Repeat often, throughout the day.

Simple, quick fixes like these can keep your cervical spine mobilized and your supporting tissue warm, preventing it from become stiff, which can hurt.

Need help with tech neck?  Back & Body Medical New York is your multi-disciplinarian pain relief source.

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