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A Chiropractor’s Guide to Reversing Tech Neck in the Digital Age

“Tech neck,” also referred to as “text neck,” is becoming an increasingly problematic and prevalent issue in the modern age of 9-5 computer jobs and cell phones glued between our fingers; as reflected in the name. This shift in spinal alignment occurs due to repetitive strain or injury to the cervical spine as a result of tilting the neck to stare at a screen for extended periods.

When you spend too long in this position, the amount of weight bared by your neck increases, leading to pain and inflammation. This pain may radiate to other parts of the body and even cause communication issues within the nervous system, perpetuating disease and preventing healing.

Our integrative chiropractor shares what steps you can take to reverse the problem of tech neck and how to prevent it in the first place!

Tech Necks Everywhere You Look

Evidence suggests with a substantial increase in opportunities to work from home (and therefore, to sit on the couch, in bed, or at a less-than-ideal desk setup), these alignment problems are becoming even more common.

According to “pre-work from home” research, an alarming 27-48% of workers across industries experience tech neck each year.

Chances are that throughout the day you are almost constantly using a device with a screen. You use a computer or phone while working and then watch TV or use a tablet once you clock out.

How Spinal Misalignment Leads to Pain

Whenever you maintain an awkward position for extended periods, such as bending your neck forward or in a jutted-out position, there’s a good chance of developing muscle imbalances, irritation, and inflammation of critical tendons in the neck and shoulders.

An adult skull is quite heavy, but the spine is intricately designed to evenly distribute the weight for minimal pressure. When you fail to maintain a neutral position, you significantly increase the force of your head on your spine. It may feel like it weighs over fifty pounds!

This leads to muscles in your neck and upper back muscles to become fatigued, sore, stiff, and painful.

Prevent Tech Neck with These Tips

Tech neck can occur anywhere. It’s important to have a desk setup that encourages healthy alignment with the right desk height, chair support, and computer positioning. However, this alone isn’t enough to prevent neck pain.

It’s also important to frequently take breaks to stretch, rest, and fine-tune your work environment. The body doesn’t like remaining in one position for extended periods.