What is Tech Neck?
Tech neck happens when people spend too much time with their head and neck extended too far forward over their body while looking at their phone or computer screen. It can also occur when people repeatedly tuck their head down over their chin and hunch their shoulders forward while looking down at their electronic device in their hands.
At 0 degrees of head tilt (neutral neck), your head weighs about 12 pounds. As you can imagine, the further forward the head tilts and the neck bends, the heavier the head becomes. By 30 degrees of head tilt, your head weighs 40 pounds. By the time your head is at 60 degrees, it weighs about 60 pounds. It’s just like holding a small child on your shoulders.
The condition of tech neck can have a profound impact on the whole body, not just the neck. The more you look down, the more your head moves forward, which results in shifting the center of gravity. Then the upper spine shifts backward to counteract the forward head shift. Furthermore, the hips then tilt forward to compensate for the upper spine. You can see how one area of the body under stress affects adjacent areas.
Signs of Tech Neck
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Tingling in the thumbs or hands
- Blurry vision
Ways to Reduce Tech Neck
- Hold the device at eye level as this negates the need to crane your neck.
- Look down with your eyes and not your head.
- Take a three-minute break for every 15 to 20 minutes spent on your device (you can set auto reminders for this). The more typing you do, the more frequent you should take breaks.
- Use a phone or tablet holder so your arms and shoulders can relax.
- Be mindful of your posture. Your head should be in a neutral position, your wrists straight and your shoulders as relaxed as possible. Tensing muscles in the neck and shoulders will lead to chronic muscle issues and pain.
- Get regular upper cervical chiropractic adjustments to keep your body and spine aligned.