Health & Happiness: What is “Tech Neck”? A Dangerous Health Risk
On public transit, standing at crosswalks, or just waiting around, you see people everywhere on their phones. While smart phones are an essential tool for many, the bent-neck and slightly hunched posture most people adopt when using them may be causing more damage to your body than you think.
Tech neck (or text neck) is a repetitive stress injury occurring when the device is held at chest level and your head hangs, causing the weight of your head to pull at your neck. This overextends the muscles, puts up to 60 pounds of pressure on your spine, and can actually reverse the healthy curve of your neck. Over time, the bones of your spine can shift out of place right where your brain stem becomes your spinal cord, decreasing lung function, choking off vital parts of your nervous system and causing damage all throughout your body.
For relief, take frequent breaks from using your devices. Hold any handheld devices up to the level of your eyes instead of bowing your head. Draw your shoulders back and stand up straight to encourage a healthier posture. If you have been living with tech neck for a while, however, this may not be enough to reverse damage already done. Make sure to see a Chiropractic physician to get checked and avoid any lasting damage from this bad habit.
If you’d like to learn more, ask your Chiropractic physician for the peer-reviewed research detailing the life-threatening health risks a reverse curve in your neck can hold.
By Dr. Bryen A. Bell, a Board-Certified Chiropractic Physician with over 20 years of professional experience. He practices with his wife and operates True Potential Chiropractic family care facility. For more info, call 503-574-4872 or visit tpcportland.com.