The information age has its own pressures and its own posture. Rather than carrying heavy physical burdens, we work under the weight of technology and adapt our habits and posture to the needs of our equipment. The vertebrae of our necks and spines are in one pose for so long that a subluxation develops.
Whenever joints lose their ability to move freely, then stiffness, muscle tension, and pain become our daily experience. This slow progression might go unnoticed or we might pass it off as stress, but, in fact, this chronic pain is the body’s signal that our daily posture is causing a repetitive stress injury.
How can we stop the progression of this condition without giving up our connection to information? Let’s start by understanding what causes “tech neck.”
What Is “Tech Neck?”
This term refers to the joint, muscle, and nerve pain in the neck or upper body that results from the head-down posture most of us adopt when using a laptop or handheld device. It is also called “text neck” or “phone neck pain.”
Holding the head in this bowed position puts as much as 60 pounds of additional pressure on the spine.1 Blurred vision from staring at a screen can cause us to lean in even closer to compensate.
The symptoms of tech neck include:
How Technology Is Changing Our Posture
Especially for children and adolescents, this habitual posture causes muscle imbalances due to the head being held forward. Exercise will strengthen the chest and back muscles while stretching connective tissues to help prevent this imbalance. Establishing this healthy habit of moving and stretching frequently will help prevent pinched nerve pain and the stiffening effect using a phone has on the spine.
Some helpful tips to counteract technology posture:
Removing the Cause and Releasing the Tension
Establishing a habit of regular chiropractic care can improve posture and provide effective tech neck treatment. As we perform complex maneuvers and twisted postures to hold phones and devices, we need our spine and neck to be functioning perfectly in order to handle the daily stresses of technology.
Some of the direct healing effects of chiropractic care include:
Reducing Technology Exposure
It may seem intuitive, but one great way to reduce tech neck is to reduce the technology you are using. Of course, many of us need technology for work or school, but reducing our usage where possible has many positive effects. In addition to reducing the pain and discomfort from tech neck, you may reduce mental stress and fatigue, improve relationships, and find renewed enjoyment in many other aspects of life. These areas might include reading, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with family or friends
Pain Is a Warning Sign
Technology neck pain is a sign that we are not maintaining a healthy posture in our daily life. If your use of technology is causing pain, numbness, tingling in the extremities, or frequent headaches, call us for an appointment right away.
Dr. Matt McCann understands the causes and effects of technology on the body and will help restore your balance, flexibility, and strength with gentle chiropractic treatments. He can recommend the right exercises and therapies for your family to heal and prevent this technological pain in the neck!
11605 State Avenue, Suite 111
Marysville, WA 98271
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