Sitting has been called the new smoking, but did you know that spending hours in front of a computer or on a smartphone can also wreak havoc on the body? Tech neck, also referred to as “text neck,” is a condition caused by repeatedly leaning forward to view and operate electronic devices. This craned posture can lead to neck, shoulder and back pain — ultimately costing Americans $86 billion in health care expenses each year.
Luckily, stretching can help combat poor postural habits associated with frequent tech device usage. Read on to learn about this common problem and the exercises you can perform to help strengthen the neck and shoulders.
Technology has undoubtedly become an integral part of our daily lives. We use smartphones, laptops and tablets for everything from checking work emails to checking social media accounts. While these gadgets provide greater convenience for the modern consumer, they also come with various disadvantages. For example, staring at a screen all day can cause the body to assume an unnatural position. As the head tilts downward and the chin extends forward more stress is put on the spine.
In fact, the average adult head — when held in a regular, upright position — weighs about 10 to 12 pounds. However, when slouching at your desk or looking down at a screen, the head tilts forward, adding 50 to 60 pounds of pressure on the neck. This additional weight can strain the muscles, ligaments and tendons, which may lead to discomfort and pain in the neck – text neck. Other symptoms of the ailment include headaches, stiffness, numbness or tingling in the arms, and limited mobility.
Luckily, tech neck is reversible and can be treated with stretches, acupuncture, physical therapy and chiropractic care. For more information on tech neck pain and how to combat it, see the accompanying resource.
Author bio: Ian Feurtado is Fitness and Wellness Director for Metro Physical & Aquatic Therapy, Long Island’s premier physical therapy company. Feurtado has been with Metro for more than seven years and has helped thousands of patients with his specialized exercise programs.
This infographic was created by Metro Physical & Aquatic Therapy, an in home physical therapy provider