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Are You In Danger of Tech Neck?

By Sara Butler

Technology has allowed humans to experience some truly miraculous things. You can see the earth rising from the dusty red landscape of Mars and you can see someone's cat get frightened with a large melon -- technology is truly wonderful. But, as with most other things, it certainly has its drawbacks. Perhaps one of the biggest dangers of technology is what it can do to your spine if you're not careful. The chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic want you to know about tech neck and how to care for your body in the age of handheld technology that allows you to access amazing things from the palm of your hand.

What to Look For

If you're worried you may have tech neck or are headed in that direction, there are some signs you should be on the lookout for. These include:

  • Neck pain - This is one of the main signals from your body that something isn't right. If you spend a lot of time looking down with forward head posture as you look at a laptop or handheld electronic device, then your neck pain may be tech neck.
  • Shoulder pain - It's not just the neck that has to take on extra stress and strain from the use of technology, it's the shoulders too. Many people hunch their shoulders when looking down at their phones in order to hold the phone. These improper ergonomics often continue at your work desk as you hunch over your computer's keyboard.
  • Headaches - When you hold your head too far forward or tilt your head down to read or work on your handheld device, your body may attempt to overbalance your head. This muscle tension can lead to headaches.
  • Numb thumbs - If you have noticed your thumbs going numb or tingling, this may be a sign of tech neck too. If you hunch over your phone and use your thumbs to text, you can trigger an overuse injury that pinches the nerves that lead to your hands, causing numbness and tingling.
  • Blurry vision - If you spend a lot of time staring at a screen, then blurry vision can result from the glare. Plus, when you're laser-focused on tasks you're trying to accomplish, you may not blink as often, causing the eyes to dry out which can also cause blurry vision.

The key to avoiding tech neck? Regular visits to your chiropractor at The Joint and taking regular breaks from technology throughout the day to stretch and move around. It's also essential to practice good ergonomics when using your devices. Talk to your chiropractor for more details!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in San Jose, Calif.

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