Tech Neck? What the Heck is That?

TECH NECK (AKA text neck) is the medical diagnosis for the distorted posture that accompanies ignoring all the awesome things in the real world around you by continuously straining your neck to look down at a phone or tablet. The neck is posturally destroyed with every character you type. I have seen a great amount of this disorder in our office. Lots of kids have it. LOTS OF ADULTS TOO.

When the cervical spine (neck) is stretched forward and held in this unnatural position its normal architecture begins to suffer. The strong, stretchy ligaments and tendons on the back of your neck get stretched and over stretched, like a used up rubber band. The front of the neck muscles are tightly contracted causing tension that will move from the neck to the head and shoulders. Headaches are common.

Go deeper into the neck. The nerves and spinal cord are stretched out of their normal space. The discs are fully loaded, and ready to pop, or so it seems. In this new posture the blood vessels are distorted and certainly the corotid artery is nothing to trifle with. The forward slumping of the shoulders provides direct pressure on the chest and all the organs beneath. Said organs being; heart, lungs, trachea, esophagus, aorta and diaphragm. Not to forget the neck organs larynx and thyroid. Everything is in harm’s way.

Better write an escape plan for the Tech Neck. Before anymore damage occurs PUT THE DEVICE DOWN. Take a deep breath. Look to the sky and thank the good Lord for this beautiful world. Scan the horizon and seek out something cool. Go get it. Allow yourself to become interested in something that is actual, and not generated by electromagnetic energy pulsing though a 4 inch screen.

Breathe deep again. Look around. (repeat 100x)


You must kick the habit. So many people are consumed by their phone and the real world is passing them by. The above  photo shows a bunch of tweens looking down at their tech devices while a masterpiece hangs just feet away, un-adored. WHIFF!  My apologies to the great Dutch master Rembrandt Van Rijn and the curators at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, these sinners don’t know what they do and are missing.

DE-TECH YOUR NECK: Allow only a specific time for tech. If your occupation requires tech, then schedule non-tech time in big segments like, fishing, hiking, kite flying or golf (yuck). Reserve a few minutes each day for your tech at lunch and after dinner and then a few word games before bed or a clash, war. Bathroom time is also acceptable tech time as long as no one is knocking on the outhouse door.

2 MINUTES OF EXERCISE: (You may want to find a private place to do these before you starting flailing your arms around at your desk in the middle of your office. Your choice.) In a seated position extend both arms straight out to the side (making a T). Fingers straight and strong, move your arms in rapid small circles in the backward rotation for 1 minute. Feel those muscles between your shoulder blades engage. Then stand in a door way with your hands on the door jam, at shoulder height or a bit higher and lean in for 30 seconds. Next, lower the seat on your desk chair (I recommended a chair without wheels) and stand up as you look upward at the corner where the ceiling and wall come together. Keep your head up and eyes focused on the ceiling corner as you stand. Focus as much on steadily lowering your body as raising it. Feel your whole spine and neck engage as your raise and lower your body. Do this for about ten reps. That’s it.

Now there’s a catch. You are sentenced to this “De-Tech your neck” exercise for the rest of your life. How horrible that I would advise this forever. However, its only 2 minutes and you could end up saving your neck.

Note: If you have physical limitations or risky health do not perform this exercise pattern. If you already have neck problems go see your chiropractor! I can not diagnose, treat or recommend treatments by writing articles. This article is meant for entertainment and encouragement of health in your life. If you are interested in my professional services and would like to schedule an appointment, contact us at Family Chiropractic. (716) 839-5100

Dr. John Przybylak, D.C.


Spring; A Time for Healing

“I’m over it.”

The winter that seemed to never end, is chronologically over according to the calendar. Despite the fresh few inches of snow spawning a White Easter, its SPRING! Buds are on the trees. Crocuses and Snow bells have held out an extra month but are now showing flower. Soon daffodils and hyacinth will spot the home garden and you will have a fever to get outside.

However, this long winter has limited your body’s movement except for the marathons of snow shoveling and an occasional run across the grocery store parking lot in subzero weather, you haven’t been exercising. That includes stretching, core work and aerobic. your bones and your muscles are a little saggy. Things don’t feel right on the inside. Things that usually are movin’ and a shakin’ have been a sittin’ and spoilin’.

Rubbing your eyes as you exit your outside door you encounter sunshine and un-befouled weather. The glare, the warmth and the lack of ice and salt below your feet is foreign yet not unkind. The grass is a mixture of windblown trash, brown and yet a trifling amount of green grass. You reach down to touch the grass and there is a softly bulging mass between your upper and lower body edging your belt, that impedes your reach downward. There inside your shirt lies the Ghost of Christmas Past cookies and sandwiches. What the heck? Yet you force your hand to the ground to feel the grass. You continue to bend and retrieve sticks and papers and extension cords from holiday lights and darn-it-it-all if your legs back and neck don’t feel that fresh out of the box good feeling any more. You push yourself for a few hours sweeping the walk and raking the mulch and sure as you’re whipped. You go to bed knowing that tomorrow will hold a muscle-locked anti-holiday. Happy Spring.

“Ouch!” It hurts.

BUT don’t stay in bed. The worse thing you can do is sit on your bottom. Your achy muscles are full of acid and nuclear wastes that will hemorrhage at the least little effort, it seems. However immediate action is required to fend off the entropy of the snow bound human. Get off the couch. Go back out the door and take a nice slow walk. Ease back into motion. I said ease. Take a tour of the neighborhood, get judgmental on your neighbors yards, ear buds in, or steal some landscaping ideas. Every step you take you modestly exercise every muscle in your entire body. One waltz around the block can neutralize that impending doom of soreness that your muscles were feeling this morning.

Walk by time not by distance. Put on a favorite artist in your MP3 player and enjoy the time within your head. Be safe though, adhere to all traffic laws and be aware of dangers like broken walkways and dog droppings. Just walk. Come home and drink a whole bunch of water and have a piece of fruit. That’s it. You are done with maintenance. You are free to go back into the yard and do a little more. Make yourself a little more sore.  Tomorrow you walk again.

Its a start.

Its SPRING. The days are longer, the sun seems brighter, and everything is returning to its growth cycle. Trees are greening. The school children are out playing. Everything appears to be healthier. In our chiropractic office we’ve noticed in our 20 years experience that this is when the best chiropractic results occur. Chronic problems that nagged and were stagnant all winter long have begun to abate and improve. Sickness decreases. Health returns like ivy in my garden. People feel better and the miracle of spring brings birds home to sing and energy in your body. Everybody feels whole and complete.

Go ahead and shake off the cold. Get outside and work. Take a walk. Move. Move. Move. Start slow. Don’t jump ahead of yourself. Limit sitting. Increase playing. Stop growing old. When walking gets boring, then dance. Jog. Sprint. Bike. Climb. Swim. Compete.

Enjoy your abilities. Spring allows a new day to begin. You may feel tired and stiff at the starting line but after one step you can be headed in the right direction.

Dr. John Przybylak, D.C.