Spine experts explain 'tech neck' - WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Experts agree that “tech neck” is easily prevented. Therapists for occupational therapy recommend stretching and keeping devices in eye-level.

POTTSVILLE, Pa. -Perhaps you’ve been told that spending too much time looking at the computer screen could hurt your eyes. It could be harming your eyes in other ways.

The way you hold your phone could cause neck pain as per spine experts.

The physical therapists from the Lehigh Valley Health Network Rehabilitation Center in Pottsville showed some of the stretch exercises that they’re using to assist more patients suffering from back and neck discomfort.

“Years ago there was no need to think about it. People were more concerned about taking notes rather than simply writing down information. However, now everyone is leaning forward, no matter what they’re doing, and this is likely become a problem as we age,” explained Jen Herndon, LVHN physical therapist.

“Spine experts have noticed that, more and more frequently they’re seeing patients coming in suffering from severe neck pain. The reason isn’t anything apart from muscle tension caused by the wrong use of technology.” explained the Dr. Rina Roy, National Spine Health Foundation CEO.

Spine experts refer to the condition as “tech neck.” The National Spine Health Foundation says it can cause headaches as well as shoulder and neck discomfort for million of individuals.

“Tech neck” causes discomfort and strain on the cervical spine and the muscles that support it when you stare at the screen for too long. what happens is that the gravity force, or the G-force is unbalancedly exerting pressure on your neck and head,” added Dr. Roy.

“That posture impacts our necks and back and also our the capacity of our lungs. If you’re constantly flexed throughout the day the capacity of your lungs will be reduced, which could impact your heart later on,” Herndon said.

Tech neck can be prevented. Therapists for occupational therapy recommend stretching and making sure devices are in the same position as your eyes.

“We look at our tablets and our phones and we could use the monitor riser on our desktop, or a laptop tray to raise it in the eye. Laptop screens, laptop screens, all must be at eye level,” said Lauren Gibas, LVHN occupational therapist.

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