The human head weighs approximately a dozen pounds when aligned optimally. Our modern digital age is seeing a rise in forward head posture and cervical dysfunction. At a 15-degree angle, the head weighs approximately 27-pounds, at 45 degrees its 49-pounds, and at 60 degrees it is 60-pounds. Using digital devices for extended periods of time can place tremendous strain on your spine and nervous system!
While the phrase “tech neck” specifically refers to the cervical curve, the symptoms often begin elsewhere. The spine stretches from your neck to lower back region. If stress is placed on one area, it is likely to manifest in others. In the case of tech neck, the bending of the cervical curve often manifests as upper back pain but can also create mild aches, stiffness, severe pain or reduced ranges of motion in the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands.
Listed below are recommendations on how to best support your spinal health while using digital devices:
- Limit your personal use of digital devices. Often our occupations can make a digital detox quite challenging. Creating mindful boundaries and rest periods throughout the day can help alleviate unnecessary cervical strain.
- Maintain correct posture. Bring your personal handheld devices to eye level and/or align your upper body so that your spine is in a neutral seated or standing position. If your activity requires you to look down, tuck your chin into your neck rather than hanging your head forward.
- Exercise and stretch! Exercising is an incredible way to neutralize the stress caused by poor posture. Stretching improves circulation by increasing blood flow to your organs, glands, and blood vessels. Improved circulation helps the body recover faster and eliminate waste byproduct that builds in these aforementioned areas.
- Hydration. Water helps expel toxins, replenish the hydration of intervertebral discs, and optimize articulation and flexibility between each vertebrae. It is tremendously important for optimal mobility and spinal function!
- Invest in furniture that encourages optimal posture. This may take the form of an ergonomic chair, a headrest, a tablet holder, or simply raising the level of your computer monitor to eye level.
If you have recurring aches or persistent pain, be sure to consult with Dr Jassal! The sooner you address the dysfunction, the more successful you will be in combating tech neck and ensuring optimal alignment of your spine!