By Dr. Ryan Lee
With the ubiquitous presence of cell phones and computers, "tech neck" has never been a bigger problem.
I'm sure that most of you are already familiar with this popular term, but even if you're not, it's not too hard to figure out which syndrome it's referring to.
How often do you see someone with their head bent down looking at their phone or hunched forward looking at their computer screen?
If you're in the office, a waiting room, or even sitting in your living room, chances are there are people around you in this very same position. But an even better question is:
Are you in that same position right now?
On average, people are spending upwards of 2.5 to 3 hours a day on their phones!
While this statistic might not shock you, what might is learning how much weight is actually being put onto your spine as you bend at the neck to look down at your phone!
The graphic above does a great job at illustrating how a small change in posture can have a HUGE affect on the damage being done to your spine.
While the average adult head may only weigh 10 to 12 pounds, when the head is tilted forward even 15 degrees, the weight is increased to 27 pounds!
This continues all the way up to a whopping 60 pounds when the head is tilted 60 degrees forward!
Consequently, when this amount of weight is placed onto the spine for several hours a day, misalignment not only occurs but quickly becomes the body's new normal!
Repetition of this bad posture will eventually lead to neck pain, arthritis, headaches, and even herniated discs.
(To learn more about the things bad posture can lead to, click here.)
So What Can I Do to Reverse My "Tech Neck?"
1. WATCH YOUR POSTURE
The first and easiest thing you can do RIGHT now is correct your posture!
You can start by paying more attention to where your head is in relation to your shoulders.
Looking at your side profile, your ears should be right over your shoulders.
In this neutral position—ears lined up with the shoulders, shoulder blades pulled in—there is relatively little stress on the neck.
the only thing you can do to reverse tech neck is holding your phone up forward to your face "dad mode"
Light stretching can keep shoulder and neck pain at bay while working to strengthen your postural muscles so that they do not get injured in the future.
Here are some daily neck and shoulder stretches that you can do without equipment at home or in the office!
1. Neck Rotations
Sit comfortably in a chair with arms to your side. Drop your head down and hold for a count of 5. Slowly roll your head to the left with your ear to your shoulder, hold for a count of 5; slowly roll your head back pointing your chin up in the air, hold for a count of 5; slowly roll your head to the right and hold for a count of 5. Perform this stretch two times starting out to the left and two times starting out rolling to the right.
2. Post-Isometric Relaxation
You can do this stretch sitting or standing. Start by taking your left hand and placing it over your head until it touches your right ear. Lightly pull your head towards the left side and hold that position for 20-30 seconds. Release and sit back straight. Then repeat on the opposite side. Do this stretch 2-3 times on either side.
3. Chin Tucks (or Chicken Pecks)
Chin tucks are a great way to counterbalance the forward motion our head and neck have a tendency to shift into.
To do this exercise, simply stand up or sit up straight and push your chin back, holding that position for 5 seconds before releasing. Your head will naturally push forward again. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.
3. TAKE MORE PHONE BREAKS
I am aware that asking anyone in this current age to decrease their time spent on electronics is not very likely to happen.
Still, decreasing the time you spend hunched over/forward will directly influence the health of your spine!
4. CHIROPRACTIC CARE
Finally, the best and most effective method for correcting "tech neck" is through Chiropractic care!
Chiropractors are trained to move the vertebra of your spine back into the correct placement.
In addition, chiropractors perform soft tissue rehabilitation which retrains the tissue and muscles around the subluxation in order to hold the correct vertebra position.
Chiropractic treatment holistically works to fix the root causes rather than just the symptoms of your pain. No surgery involved!
If you're ready to get out of pain and make a step towards real change, then give us a call today to schedule your first appointment!
Give us a call at (423)-498-3400 today to see how chiropractic care can help you too!
Or click below to schedule your first appointment!
Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic is located in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area specifically in Collegedale, TN, a short distance from Ooltewah, Cleveland, East Brainerd, East Ridge, Ringgold, Apison, and Harrison.
Dr. Ryan Lee is the practicing chiropractic physician at Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic. For his full bio, click here. *This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Ryan Lee and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Dr. Lee does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.