Billions of people all over the world use cell phones daily. The majority of cell phone usage occurs with the spine and neck flexed forward. Extended use of a cell phone with the head in forward flexion creates a variety of unwanted health challenges. The number and types of health problems stemming from technology use are rising at alarming rates. Doctors have started to develop terminology for new conditions and diagnoses specific to this growing epidemic. One specific description of this increasingly common condition is Tech Neck.
A study performed in 2014 evaluated the effects of forward head posture due to the stresses caused by usage of cell phones and other technology devices. The findings showed that consistent use of computer screens, tablets, and cell phones exacerbate forward head posture, which is when a person’s head is extended out in front of their body. Forward head posture adds significant stress to the spine which leads to early spinal degeneration and an increase in unwanted health problems, including neck pain. The study determined the increased stress from forward head posture may lead to early wear and tear on spinal vertebrae and discs and speeds up spinal degeneration which may increase the potential need for future surgeries.
Poor posture from technology use most frequently looks like a person with their head tilted forward and their shoulders dropped in a rounded position. The average person spends two to four hours a day with their head tilted forward for reading and texting on phones and other electronic devices. This amounts to 700-1400 hours of abnormal cervical spine stress per year. At Family First Chiropractic, we deal with Tech Neck with many of our patients, and we get great results with a combination of specific adjustments, encouraging better at-home practices, and providing individualized exercises to target your specific subluxations caused by too much screen time. Taking a multi-directional approach to correcting Tech Neck allows our doctors to help patients prevent future degeneration while decreasing overall neck pain.