Tips to avoid ” Tech Neck ” and other pain caused by using technology

Tips to avoid ” Tech Neck ” and other pain caused by using technology

Everyone who uses cellphones and laptops all the time can suffer from a new physicall illness doctors call Tech Neck.  This is why I try to work on my laptop standing these days using a bar table as my desk.

Technology-related neck and shoulder pain, stiffness, and soreness, sometimes known as “tech neck,” is a growing issue. Tech neck is caused by straining muscles while using phones, tablets, and laptops.

Americans used digital media for 7 hours, 50 minutes per day on average in 2020, including 4 hours, 26 minutes per day on mobile devices engaged in non-voice activities. According to eMarketer, this number is expected to rise.

As a result? Holding one’s neck steady for a long time, according to K, can result in headaches, neck spasms, and creaking shoulder joints. Daniel Riew, M.D., is the co-director of spine surgery and the director of cervical spine surgery in the orthopedic surgery division at Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian. Dr. Riew explains the causes and signs of tech neck in this article and provides advice on how to posture the body appropriately and safely while using a phone, a computer, or any digital media device.


What Causes Tech Neck

The muscles at the back of your neck have to tighten in order to hold your head up when you’re using a computer or staring down at your phone. The muscles that keep your head up have to work harder the more you stare down. By spending all day staring down at our smartphones, desktops, or tablets, these muscles may get too sore and fatigued. We refer to that as “tech neck.”

Most people have heard that when using a computer, they should sit up straight. I’ve heard medical professionals, therapists, and other professionals provide that advice. It’s unfortunate that this is bad advice.   In addition to placing a lot of pressure on the lower back discs when you sit with your back straight, doing so also forces your neck muscles to work harder to keep your head up. So, if you spend hours sitting upright, you risk developing neck and back pain.

What’s the best way of sitting?

To avoid slouching, it is preferable to sit with the chair reclined 25 to 30 degrees. The discs in the back and the neck are subjected to significantly lower forces in this posture than they would be if you were standing up straight, and the muscles in the back of the neck are not required to contract to support your head.

As you lean back, a portion of your body weight shifts from your spine to the chair. As a result, your spine experiences far less force, which significantly reduces your pain. Most individuals choose reclining chairs while they are relaxing instinctively because it relieves neck and back pain more effectively than sitting straight.

Tech Neck

How might tech neck symptoms be treated?

The first is to get up and move about frequently. If you work a sedentary sitting job, you should stand up and stretch out your legs at least once every 15 to 30 minutes, even if only for a minute. That will increase blood flow and change the position of your neck. The rest of your body will benefit from it in addition to your neck. According to studies, a lot of time sitting down is bad for your heart and shortens your life.

Second, Get a chair that reclines and has excellent lumbar support, and lean back as much as is comfortable while working. In order to prevent neck strain, that will relieve pressure on the neck muscles. The first way to evaluate if you are leaning back sufficiently is to observe how your neck would move if you were to nod off in that position. Alternately, if you place your hand behind your neck and stoop forward, you’ll notice that the muscles in your neck tighten and constrict. They will loosen up and become softer as you lean back.

Third, try working as much as you can while standing up.

Tech Neck

How can tech neck be avoided?

If your neck pain is really hurting you, consider routinely partaking in some sort of cardiovascular exercise. Exercise options for this include swimming, jogging, elliptical machines, recumbent stationary bikes, and brisk walking. Choose an aerobic exercise that won’t cause neck pain while you’re doing it or the day after. If you do it for an extended period of time, roughly 20 to 30 minutes three or four times per week, getting your heart rate and respiratory rate up and working up a good sweat, it will keep your neck and back much healthier. It will also help to relieve neck and back tension.

How is exercising beneficial?

When you exercise aerobically, oxygen-rich blood is sent to your worn-out muscles, cleaning away the inflammatory and painful molecules in the process. After a long day of computer work, 45 minutes of exercising at home helps you feel much better.

Dr. K. Daniel Riew serves as director of cervical spine surgery and co-director of spine surgery in the department of orthopedic surgery at Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian. Dr. Riew has a unique practice in that for the last 20 years, he has focused exclusively on the surgical treatment of cervical spine problems.
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