Do you have techno neck?

Have you ever wondered why it’s so entertaining to sit in Crocker Park and watch people? The next time you find yourself people-watching, start to look at their posture. Today people are capable of tweeting and playing Angry Birds at the same time. It’s incredible. 

Did you know that this could be causing poor posture and could be contributing to headaches, fatigue and even numbness and tingling in the extremities? In society today, most people are in a forward position. This is due to sitting at a desk for numerous hours, working on a laptop without stretching, wearing high heels, carrying heavy purses full of everything but the kitchen sink, reading Kindle books for hours or stress from the kids running around. 

This phenomenon is called techno neck, text neck, forward head posture or anterior head translation. It has grown exponentially in the last several years with the advances in technology and increasing cell phone use.

A simple way to check posture is to take a picture of yourself from the front and from the side and look to see if everything is symmetrical. The next time you are watching people, look at their posture. Is one shoulder higher than the other? Do they lean a certain way when they’re walking? How far forward is their head from their shoulder joint? 

Our ears should be directly over our shoulder joint and for every inch forward our head is from our shoulder it puts an extra 10-12 pounds of extra pressure on our spinal cord. You should be able to draw a straight line vertically from your shoulder joint up and that’s where your ear should be. A normal head should weigh between 10-15 lbs, so when you are in a forward position, you may be putting twice as much weight on your neck and spine.

So the question is: How much does your head weigh and what kinds of health challenges could it be contributing to? An easy exercise you can do to help improve your posture is to to lay on your back on an exercise ball and stretch both arms out. This stretch will help you to bring your posture back. You also want to strengthen your back muscles, whether by swimming, using resistance bands, weight lifting, yoga, crossfit, Zumba or spinning. You want to focus on strengthening your back muscles and stretching your chest and pectoral muscles. These easy exercises will help to start to improve your posture immediately.  

Dr. Casen DeMaria is a chiropractor in Westlake.

Dr. Casen DeMaria

Dr. Casen DeMaria is a chiropractor in Westlake.

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 10:50 AM, 06.11.2013