What the Heck is Tech Neck?

In January 2007 a revolutionary new product was introduced to the market that changed how people interacted in all forms of daily activities.  Today the smartphone is in everybody’s hands all day and people are looking down at their phone 3 to 6 hours a day.  As a result, a new condition has been coined Tech Neck for those people who have been complaining about neck pain, upper back pain, and numbness in their arms and hands.

Tech Neck is caused by continuously putting the head and neck in the unusual position of looking down for extended periods of time.

Let’s look at the anatomy of the neck and how looking down all the time leads to bio-mechanical and degenerative changes to the spine and associated problems like neck pain, upper back pain, shoulder pain, and radiculopathy in the arms and hands.

Looking at a person from the side, the ear should be over the shoulder and the neck should have a 63-degree forward curve.  The curve of the neck is very important because it distributes the weight of the head throughout the curve of the spine providing a springing effect. The head weighs 13 to 18 pounds depending on the size of the person.  The head sits on top of the neck which acts like a long lever arm creating compressive forces on the disc and vertebral bone when looking down.  When looking down the muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the neck have to work harder to support the weight of the head.  The compressive forces of the head on the disc and vertebra accelerate degeneration of the disc and vertebra leading to very early arthritis and other conditions not normally seen in younger people.  It does not take long for a person to begin to develop a tech neck.  Pro long periods of daily looking down at your cell phone or some other handheld device will quickly lead to tech neck or the reversing of the cervical curve.

Allopathic physicians are seeing an explosion of young people coming into their offices with complaints of neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, and numbness in the arms and hands.  These patients are prescribed rounds of anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxers, and headache medications that help to relieve the symptoms but do not correct the cause of the problem.

It does not matter how much medication you take or how much you stretch or try to strengthen the muscles of your neck and upper back, the problem will not go away until the curve of the neck is restored.  I have helped many young and old with this condition.  If you want to get relief and restore the natural curve of your neck you can click on this link or call my office today and schedule an appointment.

If you have been faced with Tech Neck issues and are looking for some resolution, please contact us by calling our office at 401-433-3600 or schedule a new patient exam appointment online.

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