Tech Neck: Public Service Announcement
Did you know that looking down at your phone while texting can cause dramatic health effects to your body?
"Tech Neck" is a condition of looking down at your phone for prolonged periods of time. We've all seen and we are all likely guilty of it. However many of us don't realize that simply looking down at our phones is associated with headaches, neck pain, respiration inefficiencies, lymphatic inefficiencies and even jaw pain.
By looking down to check your phone and flexing your neck anteriorly, the amount of pressure on the cervical spine multiplies. The neck supports the head while protecting the the integrity of the spinal cord. With optimal postural presentation, the cervical spine maintains an anterior lordotic curve to support the weight of the head, which on average weighs about 10 pounds . As the neck flexes forward, the cervical curve is diminished and the weight of the head dramatically increases.
Hansraj (2015) evaluated the amount of pressure on the cervical spine when the neck is bent forward in varying degrees. He concluded that as the head tilts anteriorly by 15 degrees, the weight of the head increases from 10-15 pounds to 27 pounds. As the head tilts forward by 30 degrees the head weight is increased by 40 pounds, at 45 degrees of tilt the head weighs 49 pounds, and at a forward tilt of 60 degrees the weight of the head is 60 pounds.
The easiest remedy to this pattern is to bring your phone or computer screen to eye level. Additionally, incorporating a gentle neck stretch routine to your daily habits can help maintain flexibility and healthy circulation.