If you’re not sure what “tech neck” is, we’re surprised because it’s quite a recent phenomenon.
Tech neck is what happens to people who are on their mobile devices for hours every day. And no, we’re not exaggeration. In 2018, mobile users spent 3 hours, 35 minutes per day on their devices and that’s expected to tick up in 2019.
So, let’s talk about some tips to prevent tech neck pain. You don’t need to stop using your phone. You just need to learn to use it a little differently.
One of the easiest (and most popular) ways to inflict tech neck on yourself is to bow your head over your phone, as you hold it in your lap.
Your head is heavy. It can weigh in at anywhere from 9 to 13 pounds. Imagine the strain on your neck! You’re dangling that large object off your cervical spinal systems and every degree of deviation from the neutral position (positioned between the shoulders) makes that weight heavier.
To avoid this effect, hold the device up to your face. And while you’re doing that, observe the two most basic rules of good posture – stomach in, shoulders down.
Give It a Rest
Sure, you can still have your device clutched in your hand or in your pocket/purse. But give it a rest.
Continually obsessing about texts and other messages is driving us all crazy. That thing doesn’t run you. It’s a tool and if you’re obsessing about missing something that’s happening on your phone, you’re missing a lot of other things.
Get up. Take a walk. Stretch that neck and your shoulders. It will all be there when you get back.
If your neck and shoulders are achy, you’re getting a message. And if you’re aching while using your mobile device, the message is that you’re doing yourself harm.
When something hurts, it’s easy to ignore when we’re busy. But ignoring pain is the worst thing you can do. It’s there to warn you that something’s not right. Ignore it for long enough and you may have a chronic problem on your hands. Pay attention to what your body is telling you.
Make it a habit to stretch your neck as often as possible. Some simple stretches to prevent tech neck include:
- Allow your head to gently fall toward your chest. When it’s gone as far as it will, comfortably, stay in that position to allow the muscles in your neck and along the tops of your shoulders to stretch.
- From a neutral position (looking straight ahead), raise your chin until you’re looking at the ceiling. Hold to stretch the muscles under your chin, while keeping shoulders relaxed.
- Turn your head as far as you can to the right. Hold for 10. Do the same on the left.
Doing these stretches throughout the day will help keep your muscles supple and less likely to tense up.
Spine Consult NJ treats all conditions of the spine, including tech neck. Contact us for professional support.