In today’s digital age, an ever-increasing number of people are using technology for work, communication, and entertainment. Many services are now offering digital alternatives, such as online banking and food delivery apps. There has been a shift towards holding meetings virtually, using video conferencing apps such as Zoom and Google Meet. This has been made possible by the increasing availability of high-speed internet and affordable digital devices.
While this technology has made our lives more convenient in many ways, it also appears to be a major factor in the rising incidence of neck pain. The head-forward posture that is often necessary to use a digital device puts excessive strain on the neck and shoulders, leading to pain and stiffness. Additionally, sitting or standing in the same position for long periods of time can cause the muscles and ligaments in the neck to become strained.
Habits like these will weaken the neck and upper back muscles. These are the erector spinae, sternocleidomastoid and trapezius. Their primary role is to keep a certain relationship between length and tension. By bending the head down, the spine no longer supports the head, and only the neck muscles do. This causes unnecessary strain on the neck muscles and can eventually lead to tension headaches.
What is ‘Tech Neck’?
Tech neck, or text neck, is a new term for the same old ailment. This kind of neck pain usually results from repetitive strain and injury. Muscles and other structures of the cervical spine wear out when overused.
Signs and symptoms:
Neck pain or spasms
Pulsing in your shoulders
Tingling or numbing in the thumbs
Blurry vision caused by excessive screen use/glare
Remediation and Prevention
Keeping the back still helps avoid neck pain. Long hours of hunching while sitting is a bad habit. Adopting a healthier posture by using lower back support reduces pressure and tension. Seats with headrests also help maintain possible aches. Positioning laptops/PCs or phones/tablets at an eye level helps avoid the head bending down. Shoulders must be at the back. Breaks should be regular, at least every 15-20 minutes by standing or walking.
Doing exercises and stretches sends oxygenated blood to exhausted muscles. It also removes the chemicals that cause inflammation and pain. Exercises also strengthen the neck, shoulders, and back muscles. Rows, pull-downs, and external rotations help strengthen the posterior muscles, which improves posture. Stretches from time to time are also helpful during breaks.
People don’t have to live with chronic discomfort or further risk of injury. With proper knowledge in using tech devices, body strain can be prevented or eliminated.
If you are experiencing neck pain and need help with the treatment, we can assist. Call us now at N8 Family Chiropractic to schedule an initial visit.