technology causes neck pain

Text messages and screen scrolling cause an increase in cases of pain that begins to be called “Technological neck” or “technological neck”

The multidisciplinary team at the University of Texas Southwestern Spine Center treats patients with all levels of neck pain, including “tech neck,” which can occur when people spend long periods of time looking at their phones.

The constant use of mobile devices can lead to the so-called “tech neck”, a chronic pain resulting from the prolonged use of cell phones, tablets and other electronic devices.

According to UT data, Americans spend an average of more than five hours a day on their cell phones and even more hours looking at laptops and computer screens. The repetitive strain on bones, nerves and muscles caused by looking at a device can lead to muscle stiffness, joint inflammation, pinched nerves, arthritis and even bone spurs or herniated discs.

Bending your head forward at a 45-degree angle increases the force exerted on your neck to nearly 30 pounds.

Humans evolved to look straight ahead, not down for long periods of time. This puts excessive pressure on the cervical spine, UT rehabilitation experts explain.

A typical adult’s head weighs between 3.5 and 4 kilograms, but tilting it forward at a 45-degree angle, which is common when looking at a cell phone, increases the force exerted on the neck to nearly 15 kilos.

With repetition, this force can strain or injure the joints that connect our vertebrae. When this occurs, the surrounding muscles naturally contract to protect nearby nerves, leading to swelling, pain, and knots in the neck, often referred to as technical neck.

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Non-surgical technical treatments for the neck include medication and physical therapy, steroid injections and trigger points, nerve blocks, and minimally invasive techniques such as radiofrequency ablation. The good news is that most patients with a technical neck do not require surgery.

Keeping your phone at eye level as much as possible can help reduce neck strain and possibly prevent future problems. The solution is to learn how to prevent tech neck while using these devices and, if there is pain, consult a specialist who can help.

Source: UT Southwestern

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