What Is Tech Neck and Do You Have It?
Are you reading this blog posts on your phone while waiting in line, or lounging around on your sofa with the screen in your lap? Chances are, you are one of many people that have a medical issue you didn’t even know exists. Tech neck, or cervical kyphosis, is a condition caused by tilting your head down repeatedly in order to look down at your laptop, mobile phone or perhaps tablet. The more you look down, the more muscles in your neck have to work to keep your head up. Now, we all do this every day for hours; it can’t be that serious, right? Well, it actually is. Tilting your head applies excess pressure on bones and muscles, and the hard work of the neck muscles can lead to stiffness in the shoulders, heavy headaches, strain in the neck, painful back, and might even do damage to the spine.
Can You Combat It?
Yes, the good news is, you can actively work on your tech neck and prevent discomfort, as well as wrinkles that may appear on your neck – a lousy consequence of being addicted to your phone! Try and test some of these proven ways to relax your overworked neck and return beautiful and youthful skin in that area.
Position Your Screen Higher
This may seem strange at first, but changing how you hold your phone can help your neck immensely. Bring the screen to eye level to keep a neutral spine. If you’re working on a laptop, it would be best to either invest in another monitor whose height you can adjust, or use a holder that will bring the laptop up so you don’t need to slouch.
Sit up straight, you’ve been told as a kid, but that’s not the best advice. When you have to work on your computer for 8+ hours, it’s best if you could recline a bit and hold the back of your head up against the headrest. This may require investment of a good chair, but it does so much for your neck and your overall posture, preventing issues with your neck, back, shoulders, and head.
Get Up and Move
Working a sedentary job really takes a toll on your body, and not just your neck, so try and take breaks as often as possible. By this, we don’t mean stay in your chair and check out Instagram. Get up and move, go to the bathroom, to the kitchen, grab a glass of water or say hi to a coworker. Just stand up and start walking. This will get your blood circulating and position your neck differently. If you have troubles remembering to get up and take a break, set reminders, or use a sticky note that just says “get up!”.
While getting up to walk a bit will make your neck grateful, there’s something even better you can do. Exercise regularly! Aerobic exercise – jogging, walking, swimming, riding a bike or jumping on an elliptical – eases neck tension, especially if you do it every day for about 20 minutes. It sends oxygenated blood to the tired muscles and helps fight inflammation. Yoga also does wonders for the neck, especially downward-facing dog and similar exercises that help stretch the area around the neck.
Correct Your Posture
Yes, your mother was right. Not only does slouched body look less than attractive, but it also contributes to various muscle issues and straining of the spine. Look at your profile in the mirror. You should be able to draw a vertical line going from your ear down to the shoulder. If that’s not the case, actively try to correct your posture, and align your neck correctly.
Stretch Your Muscles
One of the long-term effects of tech neck can be muscle imbalance. To prevent this, stretch your neck, chest, and upper back. This will also strengthen the muscles of these areas and thus minimize cervical spine strain.
Wrinkles that are a direct result of tech neck can be treated using Sculptra, Botox and/or Vivace. Sculptra is an injectable that stimulates your body to rebuild its own collagen. It is injected in a series with 3 treatments usually required over 6 months. Botox is the most famous neurotoxin that prevents muscles from moving and thus creating folds. To treat tech neck, neurotoxin is hyper-diluted and injected superficially around fine lines and wrinkles to smooth skin. Another great way to tighten loose skin of the neck is using the Vivace micro-needling radio frequency device. This state-of-the-art skin resurfacing machine can be used on all skin types and virtually pain-free. This treatment will help decrease and soften tech neck wrinkles, deleting those years of your neck’s hard work!