5 Simple Steps to Fix Painful Tech Neck
An epidemic is arising in our society due to frequently tipping our head forward to look at our hand-held devices. If you've been spending too much time looking down at your phone and playing Candy Crush, you may know exactly what "tech neck" is! All of that time spent looking down can cause misalignment in your upper spine, eventually leading to nerve pain and possible disc degeneration.
Since our devices are certainly not going to go away tomorrow, here are five simple things you can do today to avoid pain and damage from this frequent source of pain.
1. Elevate Your Device
It is habit for many of us to hold our electronic devices at waist level and look down at them, but a simple switch to holding the device out in front of you can go a long way toward preventing pain. If you have trouble holding the device, try purchasing a holder that helps you maintain good posture. When you have your head in a downward position you are adding an estimated 60 pounds of downward pressure on your neck!
2. Log Off
Nobody really enjoys this suggestion, but it is a quick way to fix the problem. Set time limits for technology. If you have kids, make sure they are under time limits too. There are several great options both as phone apps and internet filters that allow you to set time limits and "tech free" times. These are great for kids, but parents will feel the benefit too. And less technology time means more time for other physical activities with your family!
3. Get Regular Adjustments
If you have pain in your neck, shoulders or arms, or if you get frequent headaches, these are all signs that your alignment is suffering. But even if you don't experience pain, your alignment could still be off. It is always amazing to us how many of our clients come in with major misalignment but claim to be pain free. Sometimes they are experiencing pain and don't even know it because it is just a low level constant pain and they aren't aware it is even there until it is gone. Regular adjustments are good for your overall spine health and help prevent major issues as you age. You only get one spine!
When you visit your chiropractor at Sioux Falls Chiropractic, let them know you want a few stretches specifically for your neck. Regular stretching helps maintain alignment between visits and alleviates pain and discomfort when turning off your device isn't an option.
5. Stay Hydrated
Did you know that the discs in your spine are made mostly of water? When you are dehydrated, and many Americans live in a constant state of dehydration, your discs are compromised and that means they are more susceptible to damage. Aim to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Go out and buy a fun water bottle if that motivates you. There are even smart-phone apps that can send you reminders to drink water.
If you have tech neck you aren't alone. Neck pain from looking down at electronic devices is becoming more and more common even in teens and children. One of the most insidious parts is that many experience it and write it off or get used to the discomfort and don't ever address it. Pain is an indicator that something is up. Don't ignore it and hope it goes away, Sioux Falls Chiropractic can help!
Want even more help? Schedule an appointment or free consultation at Sioux Falls Chiropractic today!