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Dealing With Pain Caused by Technology

By Paul Rothbart

Where would we be without our technology? Computers, tablets, and the ubiquitous cell phone. Instantaneous communication through email, text, voice, or video. Plus a camera, internet access, and all the happenings of social media. They are amazing devices and it's no wonder so many people are addicted to them. But like any addiction, this one comes with a price. Looking down at a screen for hours a day takes a toll on the neck and back. It can cause pain and headaches. Here is some information about tech neck.

Causes of Tech Neck

Whether sitting at a desk looking at a computer screen or viewing a smaller handheld screen, your eyes have to be pointed toward it which necessitates holding your head in a particular position. The muscles of the neck must contract to support the head. This places a load on those muscles as well as the upper part of the spine and even the shoulders. Many people tilt their heads forward to look down at the screen. The greater the angle of tilt, the greater the load on the neck. When your head is upright, you are only placing 10-12 pounds of stress on your neck. By the time the angle reaches 60 degrees, not at all uncommon for many people, the stress has reached 60 pounds. Considering that the average American spends nearly six hours a day with digital media, that is overworking your neck, shoulders, and upper back. Pain and headache can result as well as damage to those body parts.

Prevention

There are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of tech neck. Having a computer chair with good lumbar support is the first thing. Don't skimp on the price. Your health is worth the cost of a quality chair. Rather than upright, lean back 25-30 degrees. This will allow your neck to relax and take much of the stress off it. When using a tablet or cell phone, hold it up in front of your face rather than look down at it. Your arms may get tired, but they can handle it better than your neck and spine. It's also important to spend less time looking at screens. Check your email twice a day and limit social media time. When working at your computer, take frequent breaks. Get up and move around.

Chiropractic Care

Seeing a chiropractor regularly can bring relief from tech neck. An examination will be performed to find subluxations in the spine and other issues. The chiropractor can make adjustments to bring the spine and muscles back to a healthy state. This can relieve pain and minimize the risk of headaches. 

If your lifestyle includes plenty of screen time, consider a visit to The Joint Chiropractic. You don't need an appointment and you may find that seeing a chiropractor helps to protect you from tech neck.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fort Worth, Tex.

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