One of the most prominent inventions of the last few decades is the smartphone. Nowadays, it’s tough to find anyone who can go without this handy device.
The average person spends two to four hours on their phone each day. This number is even higher among teenagers in Canada. 82% of Canadian citizens report that they check their phone at least once every hour.
Most people use their phones while looking down with their head bent forward. This has given rise to a new syndrome called Tech Neck!
What Is Tech Neck?
Tech Neck syndrome is spine and neck pain that’s caused by bad neck posture during cell phone usage. When smartphone users receive messages, watch videos, or browse online content, they look down at their phones at an inclination that varies between 15, 30, 45, and 90 degrees, depending on whether the person is sitting, standing, or lying down.
Keeping this position for long periods can cause severe damage to the spine and overall musculoskeletal health. The areas of the back that are most affected by Tech Neck include the lumbar (lower back), the thoracic spine (back), and the cervical spine (neck).
The inclination adds an average weight of 10 to 12 pounds to the spine. This leads to many problems, including inflammation of the joints, back and neck pain, muscle contractions, headaches, and dizziness.
According to recent statistics, the prevalence of Tech Neck syndrome is higher among young adults between the ages of 18 and 21 years.
Consequences of Tech Neck:
Spinal fatigue and back and neck pain are some common problems caused by Tech Neck. However, several other problems are associated with this syndrome, including:
- Chronic neck pain that leads to respiratory dysfunction
- Loss of lung capacity by up to 30%
- Increased risk of heart diseases due to poor breathing
- Constipation and other digestive issues caused by stress to the large intestine
- Decreased respiratory muscle strength
- Reduced neck curvature leading to disc compression and early onset of osteoarthritis
- Severe pain caused by prolonged muscle tension
- Compression of spinal nerves and appearance of disc hernias
Steps for Preventing Tech Neck Syndrome:
Expert chiropractors recommend the following tips to reduce the effects of Tech Neck:
- Encourage good lumbar support by keeping your back straight when using a phone or other electronic device
- Protect the neck and the wrists by keeping the phone at eye level
- Use the cell phone with both hands and thumbs to reduce overstressing one hand
- Avoid tilting your neck to look down at the phone even when writing a text message
- If you’re using a phone in bed, make sure you provide proper lumbar support using pillows
- Increase the size of the font to avoid straining the eyes
- Don’t’ stay in one position for too long when you are sitting. This will help your legs, spine, and neck as well.
- Take a break for five minutes after every half hour and do some light stretches to relax your muscles
- Don’t keep your tablet on your lap. Use a table with proper support instead
- Being in a poorly-lit space increases your chances of poor posture and visual problems. Always use your device where there’s plenty of light
Get Help From A Chiropractor!
Chiropractors can help you release muscle tension and ensure healthy channels between the nerves and the brain. Specific treatments and stretches help decompress the spinal discs and relax the area around your shoulders, neck, and spine.
Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute, the leading sports medicine and physiotherapy clinic in Toronto, offers expert chiropractic care for various musculoskeletal issues and sports injuries. We also offer a range of services including physiotherapy, shockwave therapy, prescription orthotics, and pelvic floor physiotherapy Toronto.
Contact us now to schedule an appointment!