Do you often find yourself slouching forward when typing on the computer or watching a video on your phone? Tech neck is a term that describes repetitive strain to the neck due to improper neck position when using viewing, and facing screens.
However, even reading a book can lead to an improper position of the neck. When your neck leans forward for extended periods, the tension in the muscles and the pressure on your cervical spine increases, which can cause a number of symptoms.
Dr. Bonaventure Ngu, our expert at Premier Spine Institute, often treats patients suffering from tech neck. Here, he shares information about the signs of strain in the neck and how this strain can be treated.
1. Dull ache in the back of the neck
Initially, the ache is mild. However, if you continue to strain your neck, the pain increases in intensity. You may experience relief when lying down or when taking a break from work or staring at screens.
Headaches may seem unrelated to neck strain. However, if the nerves in your neck get pinched due to strain, it not only causes local pain but can also cause pain at the base of the skull.
3. Stiffness in the neck and shoulders
Slouching may also cause your shoulders and neck muscles to feel stiff, tense, and immobile. Stiffness caused by tech neck usually gets better with rest, improved posture, and massage therapy.
4. Numbness in the arms and hands
In severe cases, the nerve running from the base of your neck to the arms and hands may become damaged. Since nerves control movements and sensations, nerve damage results in numbness and tingling in the arms and hands.
Treating tech neck
Medications and injections can help relieve pain and stiffness, but they can’t solve the underlying cause of your tech neck. Our goal is to address the root cause of your neck pain so we can resolve it for good and reduce or eliminate your need for medication.
To prevent flare-ups, Dr. Ngu takes a holistic approach that manages current symptoms and treats the underlying cause, which is bad posture when using screens. In addition to pain relievers, Dr. Ngu may recommend physical therapy and massage.
If you’re looking to get rid of tech neck for good, contact us to schedule an appointment at the Premier Spine Institute. Dr. Ngu examines your neck and shoulders and creates a personalized treatment course that addresses symptoms and prevents the strain on your neck from worsening.