5 January 2020 posted by Recovery Partners

Do you spend a lot of time texting, emailing from your phone, flicking through social media, or just generally looking down at a screen? 

I’m guessing your answer will be yes, since on average, we spend around 50 hours a week behind a screen. What you may not know is that if you suffer from acute neck pain, it could be a result from ‘Tech Neck’. 

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Tech Neck is a repetitive strain injury and one that is seen in a growing number of patients.

Neck pain is not a rare phenomenon, more than two-thirds of the population will experience neck pain at some point in their lives. Since our bodies were designed in a non-technological world, a change in posture and movements will undoubtedly result in musculoskeletal pain and discomfort if not appropriately attended to. This is why it is important that our work tools are designed for our bodies requirements.

So why does it happen?

Looking down and dropping your head forward alters the natural curve of our spine and neck. Repetitive and prolonged misalignment causes muscles to strain and can impact the structures of your neck, resulting in acute neck pain.

What can you do if you are showing the signs and symptoms of Tech Neck?

  1. Look forward! Try to avoid looking down at your smart device, see if you can make a habit of bringing the device up towards eye level. If you own a laptop for work, you should strongly consider utilising a desktop stand to bring the screen to eye level.
  2. Straighten up! It’s hard to get a perfect posture, but shoulder extensions can help. Arch your neck and upper back backward, pulling your shoulders into alignment under your ears. This stretch can easily be done at your desk and is a great way to alleviate stress and muscle pain.
  3. Take a break! Reduce your postural pain by taking a break every 30 minutes to get your blood flowing and exercise your spinal tissue.

If tech neck is preventing you from performing the activities you enjoy, or if you would simply like an ergonomic assessment, give us a call on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789) or email us at admin@rrp.com.au. Our experienced consultants are more than happy to have a chat.

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Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au