When “Tech Neck” Needs Medical Attention

when "tech neck" needs medical attention

Fact: On average, people spend more than 6 hours a day staring at a screen

Whether you’re using your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, bending your neck to look at a screen can contribute to a condition called “tech neck” aka “text neck.” While it may start out as a subtle discomfort or stiffness in your neck area, this can lead to chronic pain down the road if left unattended. 

How can this be? That’s because with each angle that you tilt your head downwards, it adds incremental pressure to the spine. Bending the neck forward 30 degrees equates to putting 40 lbs of pressure on the neck. Fully looking down at 60 degrees can place nearly 60 lbs of pressure. Just think of how long the average person spends a day looking down at their phone – possibly even yourself as you read this – it’s easy to understand that the damage could add up to an injury over time.

So, straighten up, and read on if you think you may be experiencing tech neck.

Neck Pain and Strain

Sitting in front of a computer for long hours, or spending time on your smartphone can cause neck pain because keeping your neck in the same position causes the muscles to become stiff and sore. This can even get worse if you look down at your keyboard while working. If you’re experiencing regular neck pain, it could be a sign of tech neck. Some people even experience shoulder pain for the same reason of holding up the phone at the same position by their chest when using their mobile device. 

Numbness in the hands

When you experience pain in your neck, shoulders, or back, it could mean that you’re doing damage to your nerves. Once a nerve is compressed to a certain point, it could result in feelings of numbness moving down to your arms, hands, or even in your fingers at times. These types of symptoms could indicate that your tech neck has progressed to a more advanced stage.

Headaches and Migraines

Holding your head and neck in a fixed position in front of a screen can absolutely be the culprit behind daily tension headaches, and potentially even migraines. While an OTC painkiller can help relieve the headache, it won’t address the root cause of the pain. 

Tech neck can be annoying, but the good news is that it can be treated with positive results. If you’re looking for a nonsurgical, minimally invasive alternative treatment, book an appointment with the medical team at Midwest Anesthesia Pain Specialists. We have multiple clinic locations and facilities in the Chicagoland area, offering comprehensive treatments for all forms of pain – including tech neck. Schedule your appointment today!