Do you often feel pain in your neck and shoulders? If so, you may be suffering from tech neck. This condition is caused by spending too much time looking down at electronic devices.
This blog post will discuss five easy tips that can help prevent tech neck from occurring and promote well-being. Follow these tips, and you will be able to keep yourself pain-free!
What is tech neck?
Tech neck is a condition caused by spending too much time looking down at electronic devices. The condition can cause pain in the neck and shoulders. Stressors such as workplace or lifestyle stress can increase tension in the shoulders and exacerbate neck pain.
How does position cause pain in your head and neck?
As our lives increasingly rely on technology, it’s no surprise that tech neck is becoming more common.
This condition, caused by extended periods spent looking down at screens, can lead to neck pain, headaches, and even early-onset arthritis.
While research in this field is still relatively new, the results are mixed. Some studies suggest that tech neck is a natural and growing problem, while others say its effects are overemphasized.
One thing is sure: extended use of electronic devices can lead to neck strain and discomfort. In addition, looking down for an extended period can lead to poor posture with your head forward, putting additional pressure on your shoulder muscles and causing a stiff neck.
The forward head posture from the text neck further creates muscle imbalances leading to repetitive strain, tight muscles, and other musculoskeletal pain.
If you find yourself experiencing recurring neck pain, it might be time to cut back on your screen time. And if you’re already experiencing symptoms of tech neck, there are several things that you can do to help alleviate the pain.
Exercise to strengthen your neck muscles
One way to prevent or reduce the effects of tech neck is to perform target exercises throughout the day.
Regular activities will help to strengthen the muscles in your neck and shoulders, maintain good posture, and helps relieve pain from tired muscles.
A few easy exercises that you can do to help strengthen your neck muscles include:
- Shoulder shrugs: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Slowly raise your shoulders towards your ears, then release them back down. Repeat this exercise a few times.
- Neck rolls: Start by sitting or standing up straight. Slowly tilt your head from side to side and back to a neutral position, making sure to keep your chin level with the ground. Repeat this exercise a few times.
- Shoulder opener stretches: Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Reach your arms to the sides and interlace your fingers behind your back. Gently pull your shoulders back and down, then release. Bring your head back and down to tuck your chin. Repeat this exercise a few times to open your chest muscles.
Ergonomic changes for reducing neck and shoulder pain
To reduce the risk of developing tech neck, it is essential to set up your workstation ergonomically.
A few simple changes that you can make include:
- Positioning your computer screen at eye level: This will help to reduce the amount of strain on your neck.
- Using a laptop stand: If you often use a laptop, it is essential to invest in a stand that will raise the screen to eye level. This will help to reduce the amount of strain on your neck.
- Investing in a comfortable chair: A comfortable chair will help to support your back and neck. Placing a pillow behind your lower back will help you maintain a relaxed, neutral posture.
- Make sure your feet are on the floor: If your feet aren’t able to be positioned flat on the floor, use a small stool to rest your feet.
- Allow your arms to be comfortable at 90 degrees: don’t let your shoulders be elevated or depressed for any extended period.
Move regularly to avoid neck pain.
Research shows that regular moving helps to counteract the effect of prolonged sitting.
If you have a sedentary job, it is essential to make sure that you are getting up and moving around regularly.
A few simple things that you can do to move more throughout the day include:
- Taking frequent breaks every 60 minutes to walk around for a few minutes.
- Investing in a standing desk: A standing desk will allow you to move more throughout the day. It also engages muscles in the back and legs, increasing energy use.
- Taking a brisk walk during your lunch break.
- Regularly stretch your neck and shoulders to reduce the amount of strain on your neck muscles.
Check-in with the professionals
Tech neck is becoming increasingly common as more and more people use phones, tablets, and laptops daily.
While rest and over-the-counter pain relievers can help to relieve symptoms, many people find that professional help is the most effective treatment for tech neck.
Physical therapists can work with patients to perform exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles in the neck and shoulders.
A physical therapist can also guide how to properly position electronic devices to reduce strain on the neck and prevent future pain.
For many people, physical therapy is essential to managing tech neck and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Massage therapy can help relieve pain and tension in the neck and shoulder muscles. Massage therapists use various techniques to release muscle knots and increase the range of motion.
For many people, massage therapy is an effective treatment for tech neck.
Primary care physician
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort that is not relieved by rest and over-the-counter pain relievers, it is vital to see a primary care physician.
They can perform a physical examination and order imaging studies if necessary. They can also refer you to a specialist if they feel it is warranted.
Chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment for text neck pain. Chiropractors use various techniques to relieve pain, increase the range of motion, and reduce inflammation.
For many people, chiropractic care is essential to managing tech neck and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for text neck pain. Acupuncturists insert thin needles into the skin to stimulate pressure points in the body.
This can help to relieve pain, increase the range of motion, and reduce inflammation. For many people, acupuncture is an effective treatment for tech neck.
Home remedies for pain in shoulder blades
A number of home remedies can help reduce pain in the shoulder blades and neck.
A few simple things that you can do at home for text neck include:
- Applying ice to the affected area: Ice can help to reduce inflammation and pain. Apply ice for 15-20 minutes every few hours.
- Massage therapy guns: Massage therapy guns are a great way to massage the muscles in your neck and shoulders. Be careful around the smaller muscles of the cervical spine.
- Make sure you can sleep comfortably. A good pillow and mattress are essential for comfortable sleep. Restorative sleep is vital for pain relief.
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort from tech neck, there are several things that you can do to find relief.
Rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, and home remedies can help to reduce symptoms. However, many find that the most effective treatment for tech neck is professional help.
The best way to avoid tech neck is to put away the technology and do something active. Disconnecting from technology usually leads to connecting to other people, nature, or ourselves.