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What is Tech Neck & How is it Affecting Us?

It's something we all do everyday: look down at our phones. The convenience of having so many things accessible on one small device has been revolutionary in so many ways, yet has also given birth to nightmare posture. Now termed ‘Tech Neck’, this habitual posture not only affects our experience of pain and mood, it can also cause dramatic changes to the appearance of the neck.

Tech Neck is any unnatural downward posture of the neck, specifically taken to look at a device. As gravity pulls the neck further down, the amount of pressure being placed on the neck is increased to severe limits. So much as a 30 degree downward angle of the neck can produce up to 40 pounds of pressure on the neck. Given our heads weigh around 10 to 12 pounds, this is unnecessary weight on the delicate muscles and structure of the neck.

The impacts of Tech Neck don't stop there, however. Putting this much pressure on our necks everyday can quickly manifest in neck pain and muscle spasms that carry down the rest of the back. This experience of stress in the body can also lead to higher levels of inflammation, which may be experienced as chronic pain, mood disturbances, and overall feelings of stress. From a cosmetic standpoint, looking down at your phone or other devices constantly can create premature folds on the skin, which may eventually turn into deep set wrinkles or bands on the front of the neck. Another potential cosmetic effect on the neck is premature loss of elasticity from unnatural stretching to the skin on the neck, which over time can give the neck a sagging appearance.

Some signs that you may be experiencing Tech Neck include:

  • Neck pain
  • Headaches, specifically at the base of the skull
  • Numbness and tingling in the fingers
  • Weakness in the neck, resulting in poor posture
  • Noticeable differences in the appearance and elasticity of the skin on the neck

Luckily, Tech Neck is not only preventable but can be better managed through a variety of solutions and exercises.

Body work

For the physical symptoms of Tech Neck, there are many different body work therapies to choose from whatever your budget may be. From the more commonly recognized chiropractor and massage therapies, to more holistic options such as acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, or craniosacral therapies. All of these modalities will have their own approach to healing and wellness, so you can mind relief that fits your style and needs

Exercise

Strengthening the neck and giving it a full range of movement is important to help combat and reverse the symptoms of Tech Neck. Many yoga exercises help stretch and strengthen the core, back, and neck muscles, which are all important in creating beneficial posture. There are also many stretches and exercises specifically designed to address Tech Neck easily accessible online. Be sure to consult a trusted body professional before beginning any new exercise routine.

Mindfulness

Being more mindful about our posture and where our body is in space throughout the day is another important step in reversing the behaviors that cause Tech Neck. It is important to cultivate a daily practice of checking in with the body and adjusting your position several times a day to ensure you are avoiding habits that may cause long term damage. This can be introduced easily into your day by setting reminders on your phone or calendar to check your posture, mentally scanning the body from head to toe several times a day, or simply setting intentions each day to be more aware of your Tech Neck as it happens.

Non-surgical cosmetic solutions

For those of us already suffering from the effects of Tech Neck on the appearance of the neck, there are many affordable options to help reduce the visibility of bands and lines across this area. Applying a moisturizer or mask on the neck every night before bed can not only help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, it can also help prevent deeper lines from forming. Alternatively, if you have a special occasion and need to erase your Tech Neck more completely, then NECK RESCUE can temporarily lift sagging skin and reduce the appearance of bands on the neck for up to 24 hours.

Whatever your issues with Tech Neck, it’s always a great idea to stay well hydrated to for the health of your muscles and appearance of the skin. This new era of bad posture can feel unavoidable in our tech heavy society, but with a little more awareness and some neck TLC, we can all find some body relief in our own way.