What is tech neck? Why do we get it?

Image shows a woman with tech neck holding a smartphone causing neck pain

Tech neck is the term used to indicate the damage or posture disability of the neck which often leads to pain and chronic discomfort. This discomfort in the neck is due to continuous neck usage in a flexed position or always looking down like mobile phone usage or tablets or any other pocket digital devices. 

It’s a musculoskeletal disorder in which neck muscles become disoriented gradually and change the overall shape of neck muscles or posture. Continuous strain on 2 major extension and flexion muscles trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles respectively affect neck posture.  

Disadvantages of tech neck 

Tech neck can cause severe manifestations by long-term use of electric devices for more than several hours per day like neck pain, stiffness in neck muscles, and natural posture disorientation. It also affects the muscles of the upper back by involving thoracic vertebrates in the backbone and straining to shoulder muscles causing real morning muscles stiffness and soreness. the severity of the discomfort varies from person to person according to their general health and age group. In severe cases, tingling sensations and numbness in the arms and neck can be felt. 

How to prevent neck pain from happening in the first place 

While working in regular sitting jobs in front of computers with the neck falling downwards one should get up every 30 minutes or at least an hour for some aerobic exercises stretching the neck muscles and having some stretch of the upper back, shoulder, and neck muscles. Everyone should add up some high-intensity workouts 3-4 days a week to increase cardiac health and muscle strengthening. 

On the other hand, while using such electronic devices you should hold them up at the level of eyes or at least much higher so that you should not need to adjust your posture but the device while using mobile phones raise them much closer to the level of eyes rather than bending your neck.

What does tech neck look like?

What Tech Neck looks like

The use of a bent neck for more than several hours a day can cause not only the cervical vertebrae to be disoriented but also the remaining back column to be disoriented. To compensate for the angle of a bent neck remaining vertebral column also need to be in such a position that affects general normal posture.

How do you know if you have a tech neck? 

If someone is having a stiff neck, feels spasms around the neck muscles or shoulder area, or sometimes pain while using the neck or on upholding the head he or she might have tech neck symptoms. You need to visit your doctor or stop using electronic gadgets for a very long time during your daily routine. 

Office equipment that can help improve your posture 

Some of the office equipment can help you with neck pain or postural discomfort. Such as office chairs, ergonomic keyboards and mouse, standing desks, and adjustable monitor. office chair helps you with neck strain and avoids extra strain on the shoulder muscles and keeps shoulders in a good position. Standing the desk an arm’s distance away and keeping the monitor at the level of eyes help you with avoiding forward neck bending. Ergonomic keyboards and mouse keep your wrist extended and relax your upper arms. Adjustable monitors are very reliable to adjust according to your height and good postural shape and condition as needed.

Exercises you can do to strengthen your neck muscles

Yeses: while in the supine position or by lying down on a table or bench with a free neck in the air. Flex your neck slowly and repeat 2-3 sets by doing yeses 

Nos: in a supine position like yeses flex your neck and make the NO sign in the air and release the neck make sure doing yeses and nos keep your neck in steady movement. 

Maybes: neck flexed while in a supine position towards shoulders and move in an oblique pattern.  

Such exercises help you with strong neck muscles and provide a stable neck to hold your head for a longer period of time. 

Reverse yeses and nos: doing the above exercise in a reverse pattern while in the prone position. 

Tips for working from home if you suffer from neck pain 

As more people are working from home, your working set-up may not be suited for long term computer use. There are a few things you can do throughout the day to help with tech neck. 

  • Prefer standing desk 
  • Get an ergonomic chair 
  • Keeping moving 
  • Take short breaks 
  • Try to join exercise and fitness programs for better core strength 
  • Air neck tractor(inflatable) can assist.

Can tech neck be reversed? 

Yes, but with your care and exercise physiotherapist may help you efficiently. On regular workouts and keep moving to make a huge difference. Even while working, getting a visit to the kitchen for a water refill or getting coffee can also have a big impact on posture. Above mentioned exercises are also very helpful to gain strength in neck muscles.




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