If the orthopedic woes of tech neck weren’t bad enough, now there are cosmetic problems too! Tech neck is a new problem in the medical world caused by the many hours we strain over our handheld devices such as tablets, e-readers, and mobile phones. The head-forward posture and hunch has been blamed for a laundry list of ailments including flattening of spinal curve, decreased muscle strength, spinal degeneration, disc compression and nerve damage according to Dr. Jeff Manning, a chiropractor in Dallas, Texas.
All that aside, peering down our noses at digital media is now causing a wrinkle around the base of the neck akin to laugh lines or crow’s feet. The wrinkle can also appear under the chin as we sustain the tech neck position for longer periods of time. Cosmetic companies, both surgical and non-surgical, are jumping on the bandwagon to help remove the unsightly wrinkles but perhaps the best solution is prevention.
Be aware when you are “in the hunch” and take frequent breaks, stretching out your back and neck muscles. Make sure the handheld is at eye level whether you are at a desk, relaxing in an armchair or lying on the sofa. This might mean propping up pillows or investing in a sturdy tablet stand and holder.
Josh Catlett, a chartered physiotherapist in the UK says,’”Our bodies are not designed to be in the same position for long periods and many people also get into bad postures when using these devices. It is important that people recognize the need to take regular breaks from using such devices and also to consider their posture at all times.”