James here from Switch Physiotherapy.
I’ve got a really important question for you – how much time do you spend texting, emailing from your phone or smart device, flicking through social media, or just generally looking down at your smart devices?
If your answer was a lot, or more than you should and you are suffering from acute neck pain you may be experiencing Tech Neck. Tech Neck is a repetitive strain injury and one that is seen in a growing number of patients.
An increasing number of teens and adolescents are experiencing aggravating muscle pain in their necks, shoulders and occasionally their lower backs. This causes them to be in a lot of pain and they often experience headaches as a result of hunching over their smart devices.
I’m going to tell you how to reduce the risk of Tech Neck so you can be pain free, whilst enjoying your smart devices and correcting your posture – all at the same time!
So why does it happen?
Looking down and dropping your head forward changes the natural curve of your spine and neck. Repetitive misalignment causes muscles to strain and cause wear and tear on the structures of your neck.
What can you do if you are already showing the signs and symptoms of Tech Neck?
The first and best thing you can do is improve your posture. What we recommend is using these two simple prevention rules:
1. Look forward! Don’t tilt your chin down to look at your smart devices, try moving the device up towards eye level, just like your desktop screen should be.
2. Straighten on up! If your posture isn’t perfect, try doing shoulder extensions. Arch your neck and upper back backward, pulling your shoulders into alignment under your ears. This simple stretch can alleviate stress and muscle pain.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of Tech Neck, the next step is to book in for a remedial massage to really get to the root of the problem. We can recommend a series of exercises to help strengthen both your neckand back muscles and devise a treatment plan if needed.
This plan could include regular adjustments or a range of exercises dependent on the extent of your injury.
If Tech Neck is preventing you from performing the activities you enjoy or if you believe the way you are using your phone places you at risk of developing neck pain in the future, please call our clinic for an appointment or you can book online.
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