How to Relieve Tech Neck Pain
Even working at a desk job exposes you to pains and strains, specifically “tech neck” pain. While this injury may not be caused by heavy lifting or active work, there are millions of people across the world who are trying to figure out how to help tech neck. From staring at your phone for extended periods of time to being locked in at a desk all day, tech neck pain is becoming more and more common. A sedentary way of life certainly does not help this condition. At Tommie Copper, we’re here to help you learn how to help tech neck, and our team of experts has put together some activities you can integrate into your daily routine to help you always feel your best.
What it is.
Before we dig into how to help tech neck, we should go over what it actually is first. Tech neck pain is caused by a repeated strain on your neck and injures the muscles, tissue, and ligaments around your spine. It’s caused by the constant leaning forward of your head, an unnatural position that puts extra strain on your spine. The head only weighs 10-12 pounds, but leaning forward can add an extra 60 pounds of pressure, causing the common tech neck pain many people in offices deal with everyday.
How it impacts you.
Tech neck pain isn't just a sore neck. It can be mild or cause major pain and discomfort for some. Some typical symptoms are:
- General aches and pains in the upper back, neck, and shoulders.
- Intense pain that’s focused on one spot, usually sharp and stabbing.
- Numbness in the hands and arms.
- Stiffness and reduced range of motion in the neck, back, and shoulders.
- Jaw pain from misalignment.
- Even headaches for some.
This common pain impacts everyone differently, and if you’re looking for ways on how to help tech neck pain, there are many actions and preventative measures you can take.
What you can do.
Luckily, relieving tech neck pain is pretty simple. Stretching, massages, exercise, and rest can all combat the annoying pains that come with it. Doing all three will strengthen muscles, relax joints and tendons, and relieve tension in your neck, shoulders, and back.
- Cat-Cow Pose
One of the easiest yoga poses you can learn for how to help tech neck, cat-cow requires little instruction. Get on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. As you inhale, tilt your hips forward for an anterior pelvic tilt, creating the “cat.” For “cow” arch your back so your stomach drops, somewhat into a “U” position. Repeat this cycle breathing in-and-out for the cat-cow stretch.
- Downward Dog
Great for opening up your shoulders, the downward dog is a classic yoga pose. Get on your hands and knees in a table-top position, lift onto your toes, then raise your hips up. Keep your palms firmly planted on the ground and see how far you can send your hips back while you let your neck hang. This will stretch out your shoulders and relieve tension on your neck while increasing upper body strength, so your head can be better supported.
- Chin Tuck
Do this one anywhere: sitting, standing, at home, in the office – wherever! All you have to do is keep your chin parallel to the floor and tilt your head in any direction. As you do this, find where you feel the most tension and slowly work on it, taking deep breaths as you stretch and relaxing your jaw.
Integrating general exercise and massage into your routine will also help strengthen and relieve tension from tech neck pain, so be sure to lift comfortable weights and get a massage if you are able.
How you can prevent it.
Working every day in an office makes you more susceptible to tech neck pain and all the complications from it, but there are some simple steps you can do to prevent it:
Improve your posture. Sit up straight and do your best to keep your spine, neck, and hips aligned.
Tilt your screen higher. Instead of having your screen placed below eye level, elevate your computer, so you’re not constantly looking down. Also, hold your phone higher when you’re using it if you’re looking for small ways of how to help tech neck.
Do daily stretches and exercises. All the remedies we mentioned can be done to prevent tech neck pain as well.
Get up and move around throughout the day. Don’t get too locked into your screen at work. Take breaks, walk around, and get moving to relieve the tension on your neck.