Hey, you on your phone! Ever heard of “tech neck?” Bet you just sat up a little straighter. ;)
As technology continues to explode at a supersonic clip and as the amount of information out there compounds every minute, humans are constantly struggling to keep up. How many of us have a smartphone all but glued to our hands? We have them at our desks, in our cars (that’s a no-no!), at family dinners—our teenagers even take them to the bathroom. Do you have a phone in your hand right now? How’s your posture? We can see you: head down, intent on reading, scrolling, consuming. And we’re glad you’re here, but that forward head thing that’s happening on a regular basis is a problem.
Before the era of handheld phones, we walked more upright, had less early degeneration of the spine, breathed more clearly, slept better, and exercised more. We are spending so much time staring at these devices, and we are literally changing our physiology for the worse.
Looking down for long periods of time puts a tremendous load on the cervical and thoracic spine, and that pressure creates a shift in the way force is transmitted through the spine. With every inch our head moves forward from our shoulders from its neutral position, we experience an extra 10 pounds of extra pressure on the back of our neck, especially at the junction where our upper back meets our neck. TEN POUNDS! And it’s not uncommon for chiropractors to see 3-5 inches of forward head translation in our patients; that equates to 30 to 50 extra pounds of pressure! Try holding a 50lb weight in one hand stretched out in front of you—no don’t, because it’s nearly impossible and definitely not safe!
When faced with destructive forces, the intuitive body will compensate to find stability by any means necessary. In comes inflammation, neck pain, back pain, loss of spinal curve, arthrosis (increased bone growth), spondylolisthesis (forward slippage of the vertebrae), stretching of the spinal cord, numbness and tingling, headaches, vision issues, balance issues...and much more.
Regular chiropractic adjustments are the absolute best solution to prevent and reverse tech neck. By regularly adjusting these areas of the spine, we restore normal motion and nerve communication to bring a patient’s head back atop the shoulders where it belongs. So make an appointment—free consults for new patients this October—and please restore your head to its natural upright position!