‘Tech neck’ is a new term used to describe neck pain or injuries caused from looking at computer screens, smart phones or tablets for too long. With the structure of our days now involving so much time spent on screens this is becoming very common.
Looking down at screens for too long puts pressure on the joints of the spine and trigger points can develop in muscles in the back of the neck, shoulders and pecs. The normal structure and curves in the spine can start to change which can lead to rounded shoulders and a forward head position as the muscles and ligaments in the front of the neck start to adapt to this new head and neck position. When this continues for long enough neck and shoulder pain can develop and headaches are also a common symptom of ‘tech neck’.
How do you treat tech neck?
In my chiropractic practice I see a lot of people suffering from the effects of too much screen time. My key piece of advice is that prevention is better than cure. I instruct people to make sure all of their screens are at eye level and when using smartphones these too must be held at eye level. With tablets put a couple of books under them to prop them up or use a tablet holder.
Awareness is half of the battle so trying to be very conscious of your neck position when you are on your computer or phone and making small adjustments through out the day is the best way to prevent the symptoms of ‘tech neck’ developing!