Chronic neck pain is a growing problem, and at the root of this health issue may be all of our advances in technology over the past couple of decades. That’s why the term tech neck is emerging to describe neck pain that is related to repetitive motion injuries directly related to technology. Here are a few examples:
- Looking down at an electronic device frequently or for long periods of time.
- Sitting at a desk looking at monitors that are lower than eye level.
What is the problem with looking down all day long, or at least frequently over and over throughout the day? It places a lot of stress on the spine as well as the surrounding soft tissue. Consider this.
The human head weighs 10-12 pounds. The spine can deal with that amount of weight. However, the amount of strain increases rapidly depending on the angle the head is held at. Leaning forward just 15-degrees to look at a monitor increases the amount of strain to more than 25 pounds. Bending the head forward at a 60-degree angle to check a smartphone in your lap increases the pressure to approximately 60 pounds. Doing this for a long period of time or repetitively causes stress and can even cause the top bones in the spine (atlas and axis) to become misaligned. This can result in soft tissue damage and neck pain.
Correcting Posture and Misalignments to Help with Neck Pain
To fix tech neck, there are two important things you need to do. One is correct your posture. That means standing and sitting properly. It also means raising monitors to eye level, and not using mobile devices any more than necessary. When you do use a mobile device, it is better to raise the device higher than to crane the head lower.
Second, seeing an upper cervical chiropractor to correct any upper cervical misalignments can help good posture to feel more normal and can give damaged soft tissue the opportunity to heal. For many, this has led to less neck pain. To learn more, schedule a consultation with an upper cervical chiropractor near you.