The Gold Coast Chiropractor

Tech Neck – Causes and Symptoms

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Tech neck, is a frequently painful condition that results from the hunchback slouch many individuals employ when they’re using their electronic devices. The issue starts when you bend your neck forward so you can look at your smartphone or another electronic device.

The pain typically builds up over time and might go away after several days or weeks, or it might go away and come back sporadically over many years. The stiff neck and neck soreness could spread down into your mid-back and shoulder blades, maybe even into your arms. It can be sharp at times when you move around or just a dull ache. It could cause headaches. You may feel it when you’re using an electronic device, or it might bother you during the night. Eventually, the pain will distract you and negatively impact your daily life.

Tech Neck Symptoms

1. Bad Posture

As your posture becomes worse, the muscles of your upper back stretch out, and the muscles in the front of your body start to become weaker, your neck moves forward and your head feels 5kg to 27 kg heavier. Tech neck not only causes structural back and neck problems, it can also create panic and breathing problems. Staying in a forward-rolled posture can impact your breathing profoundly.

2. Neck Strain

Using your computer or smartphone all day can cause extra neck strain. A forward head position will cause your muscles to overstretch behind your neck, and the muscles in the front will shorten excessively. Not only is this the place most individuals hold their stress, but it can also contribute to neck soreness, discomfort and pain.

3. Shoulder Pain

On top of the pain in your neck from texting on your smartphone, you may also experience shoulder pain. Since smartphones are small, many individuals tend to hunch their shoulders to hold their smartphone in one hand so they can text with the other. Incorrect ergonomics while you sit in front of your computer can also cause you to hunch over your keyboard. You need to stretch your shoulders out to give them a break periodically and practice forward and backward shoulder rolls.

4. Headaches

You could also experience headaches, either from having your head forward over your shoulders too far while you read your computer monitor or from tilting your head down to read your cell phone’s display. Either of these positions will over-balance your head and could trigger headaches. Instead, try lifting your phone at eye level and adjusting your seat so you’re sitting upright and you’re at eye level with your computer monitor.

5. Stiffness

Inflammation and stress of your connective tissues and neck muscles can cause stiffening or hardening of tissues and limit the rotation in your neck.

6. Spine wear and tear

The more people continue relying on their handheld electronic devices, the more it harms their postural health as they shift in their default “head down” posture repeatedly every day for long periods. It can cause long-term cervical spine wear and tear and degeneration. It could also cause the need for spine surgery.

7. Long-term effects

You could experience long-term effects, such as:

  • Tension headaches
  • Herniated discs in your cervical spine
  • Neck sprains, similar to injury from whiplash

What initially happens is that your muscles have to strain to hold up your head. When your muscles tighten, it adds more pressure on your discs, making them wear out more quickly. Your weakened discs could then bulge or even rupture. If a ruptured disc pinches one of your nerves, you could experience weakness, pain or numbness in your arm that could require surgical treatment.

8. Abnormal Posture

The forward bending of looking at your screen, if left unchecked, could become permanent. You could develop an irreversible hunch-backed appearance.

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Chiropractors specialise in the treatment of Tech Neck. Be smart and make sure you have your next appointment scheduled. We also invite you to wake up with our daily Facebook tips for better health. Please click here to Follow Us on Facebook.