How do you solve a problem like tech neck?
- 11 Mar, 2014
Tech neck is fast becoming a chiropractic problem in the electronic age of handheld devices. It is caused by too much time hunched over a mobile phone or tablet and creates a host of problems for the neck, spine and shoulders. Some experts are even sounding the alarm that it may lead to disc degeneration and arthritis.
The average human head weighs 10 pounds in a neutral position. For every inch you tilt your head forward, the pressure on your spine doubles. So if you're looking at a smartphone in your lap, your neck is holding up what feels like 20 or 30 pounds. No wonder spines are out of whack.
What can you do to combat the poor posture plague of portable media? Dr. Nicholas Mellum, a chiropractor in Richfield Minnesota says start by placing the tablet on something at eye level to avoid the ugly, hunched over posture that causes problems. Chiropractic treatments can also help when the damage has been done. Dr. Sarah Mickeler, a Toronto chiropractor, suggests using an office phone when possible, have a "look-about” every 5 minutes when on devices, and get in the habit of doing some neck rolls and back stretches every 15 minutes. Dallas chiropractor, Jeff Manning, adds keeping tablets, in particular, at eye level reduces the need to bend the head forward and reduces neck pain.
In the end, listen to your body. If there is pain or eye strain it may be your technology. "Don’t fall into the trap of, ‘If I ignore it, maybe it will go away’", says Manning.