The Dangers of Tech Neck

Technology plays a huge role in our daily lives, whether we’re working hard at the office or spending a relaxing evening at home. Unfortunately, while technology comes with numerous benefits, all of the hours we’re spending with our heads bent at awkward angles are causing a rise in “tech neck” cases. 

Dr. Ajit Pai and our team at Pain Management Group, LLC, are interventional spine and pain specialists bringing expert care to a variety of conditions, including tech neck. We’re here to explain tech neck and the painful complications it can cause. And, if you need personalized treatment for tech neck injuries, you can also find us in the heart of Mishawaka, Indiana, just northeast of South Bend near McKinley Terrace and Edison Park. 

Understanding tech neck

If you’re like most Americans, you probably spend somewhere between 2-4 hours each day reading and texting on your smartphone, as reported by The Spine Hospital at the Neurological Institute of New York. Over a year, that adds up to anywhere from 700-1,400 hours on your device. Unfortunately, this convenience and easy access to technology comes at a cost.

The average adult head weighs a whopping 10-12 pounds. When you practice good posture by holding your head in a neutral position, this weight puts little stress on your neck. When your head leans forward, however, your neck has to work harder to hold your head in position. As your head tilts even farther forward, the strain on your neck only increases. That means that if you have your neck bent at a 15-degree angle, it can increase the amount of pressure on your neck to 27 pounds. If you increase the angle of your neck to 60 degrees, it increases to 60 pounds.

The term “tech neck” describes this forward-bend of the head and neck while you’re holding your favorite device at waist or chest level and the specific problems this posture can trigger.

The dangers of tech neck

As your neck fights gravity to hold your head in an upright condition, it puts added strain on your spine, muscles, nerves, and back. This pressure can trigger a wide range of issues, including:

You can also develop balance issues when your head moves out of position because it affects your center of gravity.

Avoiding tech neck

It’s hard to avoid smartphones and tablets these days, but we can help you beat tech neck and avoid its painful symptoms with these simple steps:

If you have severe tech neck symptoms or those that don’t respond to lifestyle changes, we can develop a personalized treatment strategy to help and prevent long-term issues. 

To learn more about the dangers of tech neck, call our office to schedule an appointment.

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