The constant use of our favorite tech devices (hello cell phones!) are causing us both physical injury such as neck pain, as well as premature aging. Approximately 79% of the population between the ages of 18 and 44 always have their cell phones on hand—with only 2 hours of their waking day spent without it! Tech neck causes some of our neck muscles to shorten and others to be over stretched, along with horizontal wrinkling that happens naturally to our neck when we are looking down. For every one inch of forward head posture away from neutral, the weight of your head on the spine can increase by an additional ten pounds.
It may seem harmless holding a Smartphone in your hand, but the minute we look down at our screens, we are impacting our cervical spine. We are looking down almost constantly these days—we are texting and hovering over wireless devices so often that the repetitive action is not healthy for the body. When neck muscles in the front of the neck become short, a pull begins to happen on the muscle structure of the face and jaw, essentially creating an appearance of drooping or sagging.
There is hope for that neck pain and prevention is key. We have gathered some of the best pieces of advice for preventing the development or advancement of tech neck.
Nix Neck Pain Caused By Tech Neck
Tame Your Technology Addiction & Look Up
The best way to treat and prevent tech neck is to limit your use of these devices and take time to look up. Spend some time away from the phone or any type of head-forward posture. You could try setting a timer or alarm to alert you to take a break from your phone or laptop, to get up and walk around every 20 to 30 minutes.
Keep it Eye Level
Another good idea is to hold or place your device closer to eye level so your head does not have to be tilted. The same holds true for all screens—keep your laptop and tablet positioned so the screen is at eye level. You never should have to bend your head forward to look down to view it.
Get a Massage
For neck muscles, a neck and shoulder massage can be very beneficial and is also a great way to manage the additional stress that often accompanies the holiday season.
Use Product for the Skin
For skin on the neck, options may include anything from a neck product like Nectifirm by Revision Skincare, to professional treatments like microdermabrasion, chemical peels or laser resurfacing for more dramatic results.
It is important to keep the muscles in your neck strong and flexible to minimize strain on your cervical spine and to help support the weight of your head. Seek out the help of a health professional to learn specific neck exercises that will work best for you.
Remember that for damage or strain that has already occurred to the spinal structure, you will need to see your healthcare provider.
Nix Tech Neck with LifeScape Premier. Contact us today to learn more and start your journey on a path to “Whole Health for a Whole Life” with LifeScape Premier concierge care. Please call us at 480.860.5500 to schedule an appointment directly with one of our wonderful staff. Or submit one of the forms here and we'll be in touch shortly to finalize the details of your appointment.
References: https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/neck-pain/how-avoid-text-neck-overuse-syndrome, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/11/20/text-neck-is-becoming-an-epidemic-and-could-wreck-your-spine/?utm_term=.26ba03af7fe7, http://physioworks.com.au/injuries-conditions-1/text-neck