Digital technology is utilized by the masses every single day – most people nowadays are at least somewhat tech-savvy. Cell phones, tablets, and other types of handheld devices vie for our attention all day long.
Unfortunately, along with the knowledge imparted through technology, tech neck syndrome has also emerged. It is characterized by neck, head, and shoulder discomfort due to excessive strain placed on the spine because of the way in which media is consumed – or rather, the position in which it’s consumed.
People who constantly view handheld devices, looking at the screen in a forward and downward position, place unnatural strain on the areas of the body surrounding the head and neck. The pain and discomfort that ensues is referred to as tech neck syndrome.
Tech neck syndrome was first called “text neck,” but that term wasn’t encompassing enough to refer to the frequent usage of handheld devices. Using a smartphone, tablet, video game unit, e-reader, etc. can all result in the user experiencing tech neck syndrome.
Symptoms of Tech Neck Syndrome
To those suffering from tech neck syndrome, the pain and/or stiffness may first seem like regular stress-related tension in the neck and shoulders. The symptoms are rather mild in the beginning.
These symptoms can become worse over time, and tech neck can even eventually cause weakness in the hands and fingers. The sufferer may also feel achy in the torso.
How to Prevent Developing Tech Neck
You can avoid tech neck syndrome and the painful associated symptoms by adjusting your physical position when consuming media via tech gadgets. It can help to look at your device while sitting rather than while standing up, especially if your chair has a headrest.
Resting your head against the back of the chair while looking down at a screen will help to reduce strain on the back and neck. You can also use a holder for your tablet or e-reader. Raising the tablet to slightly below eye level can help to reduce the need for bending the neck in an unnatural way.
Limiting the amount of time during which you view handheld media will also help you to avoid tech neck syndrome. Take frequent breaks while working, and also change your position. Set the Alarm mode on the device you’re using if necessary to remind you to take a break.
How Is It Diagnosed?
Because symptoms that are associated with tech neck syndrome are also associated with other chronic and serious conditions, it is essential that they are checked out by a physician. Your doctor will diagnose your condition by asking a series of questions, giving you a limited checkup, and possibly ordering some diagnostic testing.
Texas Orthopedic Doctors
If you think you may have tech neck syndrome, go to an experienced orthopedist who is familiar with diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions. The spine and pain specialists at Tarpon Orthopedics specialize in sports medicine, and we can determine the nature of your pain and discomfort.
Call us today at (972) 596-1059 for more information or to schedule an appointment. You may also fill out our appointment request form here. We look forward to helping you live with less pain so you can enjoy the active lifestyle you love.