Tech Neck

Tech neck is the loss of the normal curve in the neck, causing forward head posture, fatigue and neck pain. Chiropractors can work with patients in a variety of ways to help restore proper posture.

Could you please start us off by explaining what the term tech neck means?

Dr. Scott Gardner: Tech neck is caused by looking down at our smartphones, computers, or tablets all day. This ultimately leads to poor posture, especially with the head going forward. And this can cause things like neck pain, upper back pain, shoulder pain, headaches, arm pain, even numbness and tingling in the hands.

What is happening to our neck and spine when we are constantly looking down at our mobile phones or other devices?

Dr. Scott Gardner: Constantly looking down at technology will cause the muscles in the neck and upper back to become overly tired and sore. If this is left uncorrected, this can lead to a loss of the normal curve in the neck and cause the head to go forward, what we call forward head posture.

Can tech neck be corrected? If yes, what is treatment like?

Dr. Scott Gardner: Tech neck can be corrected. The first step is to have a chiropractic evaluation that includes a postural exam and X-rays. If there is a loss of curve due to tech neck, we will create a corrective program consisting of specific chiropractic adjustments, posture-building exercises, traction, and a workstation evaluation.

What should people do to avoid getting tech neck?

Dr. Scott Gardner: Really trying to avoid prolonged periods of looking down at technology is always going to be part of our world nowadays. We really need to be proactive with chiropractic maintenance, posture exercises and being aware of your posture, whether it’s sitting, standing, driving, and/or sleeping.

What happens if tech neck is ignored? What long-term damage can it do to a person?

Dr. Scott Gardner: Tech neck can cause pain in the neck, upper back, headache, shoulder pain, and arm pain, as I mentioned earlier. It can also lead to fatigue. And if left uncorrected, tech neck can cause the degenerative process to speed up and again, leading to that awful-looking forward head posture.

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