A consequence of today’s ever-expanding world of technology, tech neck affects most everyone. When you work on your laptop or desktop computer or look down at your phone, your neck muscles contract in order to support your head. This eventually results in neck and shoulder pain, commonly referred to as tech neck.

James Sheehan, DC, and our chiropractic team at Pro Rehab Chiropractic and Rehabilitation clinics in northern Delaware can help relieve your neck pain that results from poor posture while using your mobile phone, tablet, or computer or if it’s compounded by an underlying health issue such as arthritis. We customize your treatment using targeted exercises and behavior modification, so you can avoid excessive pain medication or invasive surgery.

The dangers of tech neck

An adult human head weighs as much as 10 pounds. When tilted a mere 15 degrees downward to look at your phone, this weight feels more like 27 pounds. Held at a 60-degree angle, your head can seem as heavy as 60 pounds.

That puts a definite strain on your hard-working neck muscles. The sharp tilt of your neck also causes your spine to move out of proper alignment, which can trigger disc problems and neck pain on its own.

Chatting on the phone with a device stuck between your ear and shoulder or lying on your bed with your head propped up while using a laptop can cause similar problems. If left untreated, all of these problems can lead to chronic pain.

Straight talk about posture

While working at a desktop computer or laptop, plant both of your feet on the ground (or use a footrest). Keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle and your wrists parallel to your desk. Make sure the top of your screen remains at eye level. Holding your head in this position prevents you from looking down with your neck flexed forward. Switching to a chair with a headrest can also help, especially when you sit all the way back.

If you use a laptop, your eyes should remain closer to the top of your screen. Sit so your back and arms are supported. When working away from home at your local coffee shop or similar site, prop up your laptop on books or a backpack to keep your screen at the correct eye-level height. Minor modifications can make all the difference in alleviating or preventing tech neck.

Simple ways to combat tech neck

  • Make sure your computer’s monitor sits directly in front of you and not off to the side. If you’re reading materials while typing, keep those at eye level, too, clipped to your monitor or to a stand
  • Step away to walk around a bit every hour when working at the computer for long periods; better yet, do some of your work at a standing desk
  • Take 30-second mini breaks every 15 minutes or so to stretch your neck and back and rest your eyes
  • Stay hydrated: Your body is nearly 80% water, so the more fluid you take in, the more lubricated and pain-free your nerves and muscles remain
  • Employ better posture while using a computer or looking down at your mobile screen
  • Limit time spent in a texting position — with your eyes focused down on the screen — to put less stress on your head and neck; raise your phone so your head doesn’t droop forward

Getting help through noninvasive therapies

Our doctors at Pro Rehab Chiropractic and Rehabilitation can devise a customized plan to help combat tech neck and other forms of neck and back pain using state-of-the-art technologies and gentle, proven therapies. These include:

  • Cryotherapy
  • Dry hydrotherapy
  • Exercises and stretches
  • Manual chiropractic adjustments
  • Massage therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Cervical vertebrae adjustments using the PulStar® System
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Traction

Ease on down the road to recovery. Simply call one of our offices in Wilmington, Newark, Middletown or Lewes or schedule a visit online with our chiropractors today.

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