The Dangers of Tech Neck

Mobile technology is everywhere, and it’s safe to say that it’s here to stay. Laptops, smartphones and other technology are versatile, offer a host of benefits and keep us connected. The average person spends a significant amount of time each day on computers, smartphones and other devices texting, reading, working, surfing the web, and engaging in social media. 

All that time staring down at mobile devices creates a modern neck-and-spine ailment known as tech neck, which we see often here at Premier Neurology Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California. Our expert, Dr. Ravinder Singh, wants you to know about the dangers of tech neck and what you can do to prevent it. 

Just what is tech neck?

Tech neck is a term used to describe the neck pain associated with regular extended use of mobile technology devices. It’s a stress injury that occurs when you spend too much time hunched over looking at smartphones, tablets, and other wireless devices. Over 90% of people own and regularly use one or more wireless devices. As more and more people use mobile tech devices, tech neck is becoming more common. 

It impacts more than your neck

Spending hours a day hunched over computers and smartphones can have a detrimental impact on your entire body because it throws the bones of your spine out of proper alignment. When this happens, the structures that make up your spine, including the vertebrae, take on the strain and become damaged.

Importance of proper posture

Proper posture keeps your bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the proper alignment so that your weight is distributed equally, and you avoid placing extra stress on any one area. When you hunch forward or bend your neck forward to look down at a mobile device, you place unnecessary pressure on your neck and spine. This can cause damage to the structures that make up your spine and increase wear and tear, leading to:

A pain in the neck … and back

The extra strain placed on your neck and spine can cause pain and soreness in the upper or lower back, shoulders, and neck. If a nerve in your spine becomes pinched, you may experience chronic pain and neurological symptoms, such as tingling or numbness that radiates down your arm.

How can you prevent tech neck?

Prevention is key to protecting your neck and spine. When you’re using mobile devices, try to position them so that you’re bringing the device up to your line of sight instead of bending your neck down and forward. If you’re using a computer, raise your monitor so that you can keep your head straight. With your screen at eye level, you can keep your neck and spine in proper alignment.

It’s a good idea to take frequent breaks from mobile devices. Sitting for too long for any purpose is bad for your overall physical health, including your spinal function. Getting up and walking around throughout the day can help. Even taking a stroll to the coffee machine at the office provides some movement and a break from sitting for extended periods.

Treatment for tech neck

Our team can help you manage your symptoms and achieve long-term relief from tech neck. After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Singh will create an individualized treatment plan to address your pain, which may include physical therapy and medications to control inflammation. 

Tech neck can lead to chronic problems due to premature wear and tear on your neck and spine. If it’s left untreated, you increase the risk of lasting joint problems. 

For more information on tech neck, or if you have neck and back pain, contact our clinic by phone or through this website to schedule an appointment with Dr. Singh. We’re dedicated to getting to the root of your pain and providing effective relief. 

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