If you spend any amount of time on your phone, tablet, or laptop, you may be suffering from “tech neck.” This condition is caused by poor posture and extended periods of time spent looking down at electronic screens. The symptoms of tech neck are pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders, and headaches.
The human head weighs about 10 pounds. When you tilt your head forward, the weight of your head puts a strain on your neck and upper back. The further forward you tilt your head, the more strain you’re putting on your spine. Over time, this strain can lead to pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders, and can even cause headaches.
One way to prevent or relieve the symptoms of tech neck is to practice good posture. When you’re using your electronic devices, sit up straight and hold the devices at eye level. Take breaks often to move around and stretch your neck and back. And when you’re not using your devices, make sure to stand up straight and maintain good posture.
If you already suffer from the symptoms of tech neck, there are a few things you can do to ease the pain. Apply ice to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. And massage the area with a topical cream or ointment.
If the pain persists, you may need to see a doctor or physical therapist. They can prescribe stronger pain medication or perform manual therapy to help relieve the pain.