Work Habits You Can Apply to Help Ease Tech Neck

Have you been experiencing pain in your neck and shoulders that won’t go away? You could be suffering from tech neck, a painful condition caused by looking down at your computer, smartphone, or other electronics.

Tech neck is an especially common diagnosis for neck pain in working-aged adults with office jobs, who spend large amounts of their day sitting and looking at a computer screen. If this describes you, making simple adjustments as part of your daily work routine will help ease your tech neck.

Ajit Pai, MD, FIPP, of Pain Management Group, LLC, a board-certified pain management specialist, shares these tips to help you adjust your habits and ease painful tech neck.

What is tech neck?

Tech neck is a painful syndrome caused by looking down at your electronics. When you move your neck to look down at a computer or smartphone, the muscles in the back of your neck have to work extra hard to hold up your head. Done hours every day, this can cause severe pain in your neck, shoulders, and back.

How to ease tech neck at work

While anyone can get tech neck, you’re at higher risk if you regularly do work on a computer or other electronic device. Here’s what you can do to relieve tech neck pain on the job.

Adjust your screen

You can decrease your neck pain by moving your monitor to the correct position. Make sure your computer screen is right at your eye level and doesn’t require you to look down to see it.

Improve your desk chair

If you don’t have one yet, ask your workplace to invest in adjustable chairs with a headrest. By ensuring your desk and chair setup is ergonomically correct, you’ll reduce your risk of chronic tech neck. 

Once you have an adjustable chair, move it to where you can place your shoulders and arms on your desk at a 90-degree angle. Lean your neck against the chair’s headrest while working to prevent yourself from unconsciously slouching your neck during computer work.

Instead of sitting straight up while you work, move your chair so you’re reclining 25-30 degrees. This arches your back, which reduces strain on your neck while you’re working at a desk.

Take regular breaks from your screens

A minimum of at least once every half an hour, get up from your computer screen and walk around and stretch for a couple of minutes. This not only releases tension in your shoulders and neck, it’s also good for your overall physical health.

Stretch your neck

In general, stretching and moving regularly keeps your neck muscles looser and reduces tech neck. At work, you can periodically do neck extensions while sitting at your desk.

To do a neck extension, firmly press your neck into your office chair’s headrest, holding the position for 30 seconds, repeating it several times. This exercise helps strengthen and relax your neck muscles.

When to see a pain management specialist

While you can often resolve minor cases of neck pain on your own, if the pain persists despite attempting home treatment, make an appointment with Dr. Pai for an evaluation. You should also come in if you’re regularly experiencing severe neck pain symptoms, such as ongoing extreme neck pain, tingling or numbness, or chronic headaches, which can indicate a more serious issue.

Dr. Pai and his team use cutting-edge therapies and techniques to bring you relief from tech neck and other causes of chronic neck pain. To make an appointment at Pain Management Group, LLC, in Mishawaka, Indiana, call us today.

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