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Tech Neck Is Real. Our Guide To Solutions For The Sympotms From Headaches to High Blood Pressure
When You Look Down At Your Phone, Your Head Goes Too!
And, that head of yours weighs a lot! An average of 10 to 11 pounds if you're an adult. No wonder you're so smart!
But, when you hang your head as your scroll that feed or send that long text to your friend because you haven’t talked in ages, all that weight is taxing your neck and your body and it can cause a nasty headache. Dr. Gordon Grannis see’s more and more of this condition in his practice.
Called Tech Neck or Text-Neck, It Can Cause Tension Headaches, High Blood Pressure, Even Balance Issues.
According to Dr. Grannis “The hanging of the head due looking down at our devices causes not only lines across the neck, but soreness and tightness, headaches that start in the neck and run up over the back, top of the skull and to the forehead; known as “tension headaches.”
The more we "bend" forward to look at the phone, the worse it gets because our heads actually become heavier- at least as far as our cervical spine is concerned.
Dr. Kenneth Hasraj, New York's Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine published a report with this amazing graphic showing just how heavy our head feels to our spine and supporting muscles when we tilt in down to look at our phones!
A 10 pound Head Puts A Force Of 40 Pounds On Our Spine When We Do the Tech Neck-Tilt
Ouch! It all makes sense now. You begin to notice those little lines that don't look so attractive form on your neck. Dr. Grannis goes on to explain that "This eventually stretches the muscles of the upper back and neck, causing them to reflexively tighten; resulting in the compression of joints in the neck, and ultimately the nerves in the upper neck that travel up over the skull which produces a tension headache.”
Avoid tech or text neck by placing your phone in stand
Dr. Krista Burns Of the American Posture Institute points out other health issues too. She tells us to "Consider the following research studies showing that forward head posture has a negative impact on your health."
* Stress to cervical musculature caused from poor posture is correlated with high blood pressure. Proper postural alignment has a systemic impact on vascular health (Deuchars & Edwards, 2007).
* Forward head posture can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on the spine, reducing lung capacity by as much as 30%. Long-term health effects associated with a reduction of lung capacity are heart and blood vascular disease (Cailliet & Gross, 1987).
* Forward head postures during computer-based work contributes to disturbance in the balance of healthy adults (Kang et al., 2012).
This Stand Puts Your Devices At Eye Level! Works With Laptops and Phones
Let’s be mindful because this simple everyday habit of looking down at our phones truly takes a physical toll and can cause tech-neck.
Of course, we've always got you here at Tech Wellness.
Here’s the tech-neck solutions from the good doctors
- Raise your device to a level that allows your head to be in a neutral position.
- Additionally, take 10-15 minute breaks each hour to get up and move around, allowing the muscles to loosen and relax. This will not make immediate relief but will do you a favor in long-term prevention and potential over-use arthritis of the neck.
- When playing videogames, look straight ahead at the TV, computer, or other gaming device. Also, position yourself with proper posture while seated to reduce spinal strain.
- Also, you may want to consider a timer to help remind set and keep a neck and vision friendly cycle of smartphone activity. You can set up time to scroll and text and time to relax and stretch. Brilliant!
There we have it--lift your device, take breaks, or even, consider unplugging because tech neck-ache is just the tip of the iceberg.
TECH SKIN. Oh, My!
Research show’s the blue light glow that’s coming from the screen we’re bending over to look at is also affecting that gorgeous face of yours! We all know how sunlight affects our skin—the sunlight spectrum consists of UV, Visible and infrared light. Part of this spectrum is referred to as HEV. Wikipedia notes this high-energy visible light (HEV light) is high-frequency, high energy light in the violet-blue band from 400 to 450 nm in the visible spectrum.
Even though Blue Light Therapy, which utilizes HEV has been shown to be effective in some skin conditions such as eczema, it has also been shown to contribute to aging and hyper-pigmentation in other studies.
Not great because we now receive much more exposure over all from our abundance of screens and and in focused doses from tablets, smartphones and computers.
Thankfully we can do something about it. Start with less time in front of your screens, and follow with a special skin care product designed to fight the onslaught of the blue glow.
Here’s the research: on Blue Light Effects