Five Tips for Technology Overuse
By Debra Rodzinak
With so many people looking down at their smart phones, sitting for prolonged periods, or working on their laptops, it is no wonder that there has been an increase in cervical spine problems.
What Problems Are Caused by Technology?
Our heads are designed to sit atop of our necks. The tendons and muscles that support the head are not intended to keep the head at a downward position. Therefore, with the rise of technology that requires us to keep our heads bent over these devices, the upper spine, or cervical spine, becomes strained. Muscle strain, disc injury, nerve damage, and changes to the neck that lead to arthritis are becoming more and more prevalent.
What is “Tech Neck” and Do I Have It?
Cervical radiculopathy, or tech neck, is a term that refers to the potential damage done to the neck from constantly bending the head over while looking at screens or texting. If your neck or upper back hurts after using your technological device for a long period of time, you may have tech neck.
Five Tips to Prevent Tech Neck
There are some simple steps anyone can take to prevent any degenerative neck problems that arise from using technology too much.
- Set Time Limits – Take frequent breaks. Set the time limit of 15-20 minutes of usage and then take a three-minute break. Move around and change the position of your head.
- Set Automatic Reminders – Set your smart phone to remind you to take a break every 15-20 minutes. There are several apps that have automatic alarms you can program.
- Use a Holder – Placing your devices in a holder that elevates the device can greatly reduce the amount of head tilt, especially when the device is placed at eye level.
- Use a Headrest – When sitting for prolonged periods of time in a chair, utilize the headrest and keep your head in constant contact with the headrest. If your chair does not have a headrest, consider investing in one.
- Listen to Your Body – If you have pain in your neck, between the shoulders, or constant headaches, you may be placing your neck or cervical spine under undo stress. Seek the advice of a medical professional if the pain persists.
If you have tried these tips and are still experiencing pain in the neck or upper back, see your doctor immediately. Then, come to The Joint to ensure that your spine is in proper alignment. Beginning with a properly aligned spine can help the body heal itself, allowing you to keep your neck and spine in good working condition.
With no pesky insurance forms to fill out or appointment times to remember, The Joint makes it easy to find relief from tech neck. Come by today and allow our expert doctors to help you get back to a pain-free life.