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  • October 10, 2021

What Is “Tech Neck,” and How Can I Avoid It?

The year 2020 will perhaps go down as one of the most challenging years of the century. In addition to losing loved ones, facing financial insecurity, and struggling to keep their mental health on track, millions of people watched their health deteriorate. If you noticed an increase in neck stiffness, soreness, and pain, you may have developed “tech neck”—a condition caused by bad posture while spending too much time with technology.

a man developing the right posture to avoid tech nec
Part of preventing “tech neck” is holding proper posture throughout your work day.

As the lifestyle changes made in 2020 continue in 2021, many people are still battling tech neck, which is a condition that causes damage to the tissue structures and muscles of the cervical spine. If you’ve been overusing your phone, computer, laptop, tablet, or any other technological device without using the right posture, you may have fallen victim to this newly labeled condition.

Fortunately, you can avoid and alleviate the symptoms of tech neck. With the right measures, you can regain neck strength, flexibility, range of motion, and optimal functioning.

1. Work on Your Posture

Improving your posture is a great way to undo the damage done by tech neck. The condition is caused by unnaturally slouching the head. As people continue to look downward, the delicate neck muscles have to work extra hard to contract and keep the head in an upright position. This triggers mild neck and shoulder pain, which is exacerbated over time.

Start by correcting your posture. Hold or set your devices high to ensure you don’t have to bend your neck. If you’re working on a computer, the screen should be at eye level. If you’re using your phone, make sure you don’t hold it too low, or use your Bluetooth headset to answer calls. As you stay upright and avoid unnecessarily overworking your neck muscles, you’ll notice an improvement in neck pain, stiffness, and soreness.

2. Track Your Interaction with Technological Devices

Excessive tech use causes people to slouch their necks. No matter how careful you are, you may find yourself unnaturally bending your neck. To avoid this, track your interaction with your mobile devices, tablets, games, and computers.

While you can’t limit tech use for work, you can limit tech use for leisure. Reduce the amount of time you spend on social media and gaming apps. We also recommend setting posture correction reminders to avoid slipping back into old habits.

3. Consult Your Local Neck Pain Center

If tech neck pain is keeping you from resuming normal activities, see your doctor to get a referral to an orthopedic spine specialist. You can also find one at TOPS Surgical Specialty Hospital in Houston. The physicians at TOPS provide patients with expert diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of neck conditions, including tech neck.

They also perform lower back surgery for patients with sciatica, a herniated disc, and a bulging disc. Visit their website to find a specialist who can help and to make your appointment directly with their office.

 

 

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