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)
TECH IS A DRUG.
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.