We’ve heard it all before when it comes to personal technology and its effect on our physical well being. From TVs to laptops, every single screen seems to damage our bodies in unique ways but we’re only just beginning to understand what the true extent of the damage is.
Tech neck is an example of this new phenomenon of lifestyle conditions that define our relationship with our personal technology and before we go any further: Yes, it is a real thing. While it might seem like a joke or some new fad injury that physiotherapists have come up with, the neck and shoulders have long been areas of concern because of the heavy strain they must endure on a daily basis.
So how do you cure tech neck? How can it be avoided? We have some answers for you and it all starts with one thing.
Posture is everything
Posture can mean many things depending on who you are talking to, but chronic physical conditions such as tech neck are not down to simply “bad posture”. The truth is that our posture is very fluid across the day and we never sit or stand still for more than a few seconds at a time. And this is where the first answer to the tech neck problem is found.
We need to change our posture frequently to avoid putting strain on specific joints and muscles. In the case of tech neck, the act of looking straight down at your phone screen for hours on end is a huge issue. Don’t try to “improve” your posture, just be mindful of spending too long in the same position and try to stretch your neck and shoulders often.
Make your experience more ergonomic
‘Ergonomic’ is another word that is used quite freely and in some cases, incorrectly. In the world of electronic content consumption, ‘ergonomic’ chairs, desks are offered up as ways to solve all your health issues so you can watch, read and work without a care in the world.
There might not be enough solutions to deal with long periods of technology use but there are certainly some ergonomic solutions that can work, provided they fit your needs and lifestyle.
Using earphones or headphones and keeping the screen out in front of your face and in your line of sight can really make a huge difference to your neck. Instead of looking down, you must try to look straight ahead with your shoulders relaxed. Standing desks can help make this happen and laptop stands can boost devices up to your sight line as well.
Take breaks often
Just spending time away from the screen makes a massive difference. Come up with a rule that suits your needs such as taking a 20-second break away from all screens every 20 minutes.
This is another one that relates to posture and prolonged tech use but a simple break to reset your posture will do wonders for your body. This doesn’t mean you take a break from the laptop to go check your phone. It means a total break from everything that makes you look down at a screen!
Stretching and Massage
Routine daily neck and shoulder stretches as well as getting a massage every now and then will go a long way in preventing tech neck from affecting you in the first place. But to really get a long-lasting solution, it’s a good idea to speak to the experts.
Avoid neck and shoulder problems with Form Physio and Rehab
As a team of experienced physical therapists, we’ve seen all kinds of neck and shoulder ailments and we’ve helped our clients find solutions for their problems. It might not seem like much but a case of tech neck and frozen shoulder that isn’t corrected quickly, leads to terrible imbalances and worse chronic conditions later on.
If you feel like your neck and shoulders aren’t doing too well, get in touch with us and we’ll help you diagnose your issues correctly and work with you to improve your issue. Click on the link below and apply for a Free Consultation and do away with annoying neck pain for good.
Supapong (Boss) Juntharin
Head of Education at Form Recovery and Wellness
Khun Supapong received a Degree in Physiotherapy from Rangsit University in Bangkok. Supapong is the Head of Education at Form Recovery and Wellness and works closely with our team to ensure that the quality of our treatment is always at the highest level and that we are always upskilling our skills.