What The Heck Is “Tech Neck”? | Chiropractor Mechanicsville

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What The Heck Is “Tech Neck”?

Tech is Turning Millennials Into a Generation of Hunchbacks (Fleming, Kirsten, The New York Post, March 5, 2018)

In this article, Ms. Fleming profiles the situation of a young man, CY, who began suffering from upper-back pain and neck soreness while in his late teens, subsequent to a habit of hunching over his cellular phone.  As his symptoms progressed he developed constant pain, he hunched his shoulders, and the pain caused him to wake up numerous times throughout every night, causing constant fatigue.  His upper back and neck would become incredibly tight; his neck was always bent forward.

After a decade of suffering, CY’s chiropractor diagnosed him with “tech neck,” explaining that the cause was the forward/bent neck posture he assumed while using his laptop and iPhone.  “Tech neck” is a painful forward head syndrome.  It is an increasingly common condition caused by slumping over devices for hours a day. leading to a reversal of the natural neck spinal curve and triggering a physiological imbalance in the upper body.

tech neck chiropractor mechanicsville chiropractic back pain neck pain“Previously seen in middle-age or older desk jockeys and dentists who hunch over patients, it’s now materializing in younger generations who grew up with smartphones, tablets and other personal devices.”  Not only does the syndrome cause structural problems in the neck and back, it can also spark breathing and panic issues.

The loss or reversal of the normal cervical curve is easily diagnosed with postural x-rays.

“As posture worsens, the upper back muscles stretch out, while the muscles in the front of the body become weaker and the neck creeps forward.”  Young women are particualarly susceptible to the condition because they have lower muscle density in their upper body.

“iPhone-obsessed millennials poring over Instagram and Snapchat all day don’t want to admit that their precious electronic lifelines might be detrimental to their health.”

“Undoing the damage is a process that includes breaking bad habits, taking standing breaks and doing exercises such as yoga, foam rolling and stretches that promote good carriage and strengthen core and upper body muscles.  Experts also advise patients to hold mobile devices with their elbows at 180 degrees so the screen is in front of their faces.”

Treatement options outlined by Ms. Fleming include chiropractic, restorative postural traction, postural and core exercises.

Consulting chiropractors made the following comments pertaining to tech neck:

  • “We’re seeing it in younger and younger children because they’re getting their phones at a younger age.”
  • “Now, 20-year-olds have the spine health of a 30- or 40-year-old, it’s and epidemic.”

Chiropractors are expertly trained in the ergonomic avoidance of the postures that lead to tech neck, advising and coaching thousands of patients on these issues daily.  Chiropractic clinical practice offers a variety of treatment approaches that are very effective in the management of the tech neck syndrome.  (Supporting References)

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Related Articles:

How Chiropractic Helps Neck Pain:  We all know what it’s like to have neck pain, whether it’s after a long drive, pinching the phone between the head and shoulder, stargazing, or from talking to someone who is seated off to the side. There are many causes of neck pain, but how do chiropractic adjustments help neck pain? Let’s take a look. . .

Surgery For Neck Pain Inevitable?:  In a 2015 study addressing this very question, the authors compared a non-surgical physical therapy approach using neck-specific general exercises, neck pain relief, coping strategies, and improving self-management strategies versus surgery with post-surgical physical therapy.  Twelve months following the conclusion of treatment, they found. . .

Neck Pain Dangers – When To Wait And When To Get Help:  While neck pain is often not serious or life-threatening, there are causes that should be evaluated promptly. . .


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Dr. Dana Williamson is a chiropractor who has been helping relieve back pain and neck pain of the residents of Mechanicsville, Richmond, Hanover, Henrico, and Glen Allen since 2001.

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  1. Say, you got a nice article post.Much thanks again.

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This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a health care professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.
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