Tech Neck: 21st Century Epidemic

Massage for Tech Neck                                                                                                   

Tech Neck: What is it?

Tech neck, originally referred to as text neck, has become an epidemic in our highly digital and connected world.  It is classified as a repetitive stress injury from staring down at the small screen of our cell phones, tablets, laptops and computers.  So what does it look like?:  shoulders hunched forward, neck straining down at an unnatural angle and the worst of it is that this position is held for hour upon hour during the day.

Symptoms of Tech Neck

Initially, we may not notice any discomfort but due to the repetitiveness, tech neck can become a serious and chronic condition.  Tech neck can lead to headaches, jaw and neck pain, shoulder restrictions, disc problems, and can aggravate pre-existing injuries and arthritis.  In some cases, it can also affect the circulation to the hands as there is additional pressure on the arteries, veins and muscles that travel from the neck to the hand when we are hunched forward for long periods regularly.  Cosmetically, tech neck can cause wrinkling in the neck area from repeated bending and holding the head down,  it is also blamed for sagging jowls. Tech neck also has an extremely negative influence on our overall posture.

Preventing and Treating Tech Neck

So what can we do to prevent the impact of tech neck?  Although there is advice out there to just ditch all your hand held devices and save your body, for most of us that is not an option.  Summarized is the best and most practical advice gathered from multiple sources

  1.  Take breaks. Change your posture and move around.   Set limits on use and frequency. Stretch.
  2.   Look at your hand held device from eye level.  Yes, it is agreed that this may look a little odd from what we are use to  but it will prevent tech neck.  There are tablet holders available that can also help keep the head and neck level.
  3. If you are at work.  Get your self ergonomically set up.  Invest in a chair with a headrest.  If you keep your head against the rest while using your computer, tablet or phone your shoulders and neck will not be hunched forward causing stress and strain.
  4. Listen to your bodies signals.  Pain in the neck or shoulders, tingling in the arms/hands, headaches are all signals from your body to stop and take a break.  Can you re-position yourself to take the strain off your neck and body?  What can you do to eliminate your head and neck from flexing forward?

As well as the above recommendations, CranioSacral Therapy and Massage Kelowna recommends getting regular massage to relieve the repetitive muscle strain and accumulated tension.  Studies have shown that regular massage can combat repetitive strains and influences the overall health of the back, neck and shoulders in a host of positive ways.

 

Photo Source : Stylecaster.com (revised by craniosacralplus.ca)