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Spinal Neck Pain Screen Time Bad Postures Damage the Neck Spine What Should Be Done to Prevent Adverse Effects

Tech Neck: In today’s fast-paced world, people spend most of their time in front of the screens of devices like mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Excessive screen time not only affects one’s eyes and mental health, but is also linked to poor posture, which harms the neck and spine. Poor posture can cause changes in the curvature of the spine. According to the American Osteopathic Association, this disorder, called tech neck, can result in severe muscle strain and loss of mobility.

To avoid tech neck, doctors suggest that people should use selfie positions to check their devices, keep their head up, and hold the phone upright.

When someone tilts the head forward 60 degrees, there is 60 pounds of pressure (about 272 Newtons of force) applied to the neck, said Dr. Stacey Pierce-Taalsma of Touro University California, according to the American Osteopathic Association.

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Tech neck and other problems caused by excessive screen time and poor posture

Tech neck occurs when people use small screen technology by holding the device below eye level. Tech neck can lead to disc degeneration and neurological complications, Dr. Pierce-Talsma said. There may be a stiff neck, stiff shoulders, or general pain in the upper body.

He explained that improper posture adds stress and compression to structures that were not meant to bear that load, and these stresses and strains build up over time and wear down the bones, joints and ligaments.

According to the American Osteopathic Association, posture affects the biomechanical efficiency of the body because it is a reflection of how the musculoskeletal system is functioning as a whole.

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Dr. Pierce-Talsma said good posture puts minimal stress on muscles, bones and ligaments when walking, and poor posture causes fatigue and pain.

According to an April 2021 study published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, the duration of screen time is associated with the degree of spine pain in pre-teens.

Physically inactive people are more likely to develop severe spine pain than moderately active people.

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Therefore, reducing screen time and increasing physical activity may help prevent spinal pain in pre-adolescents, the study said.

Working from home practices have also contributed to increased screen time, poor posture and cases of technical neck. When people sit for long periods of time in wrong posture, there is additional pressure on the spine.

“Sitting for long periods of time can lead to disorders like kyphosis and lordosis. Excessive exposure to screens can lead to tech neck, a condition in which the head leans forward, putting pressure on the neck and upper spine and causing pain and stiffness. The absence of an ergonomic office setup in remote work usually results in neck and back pain. Dr Debashish Chanda, orthopedic surgeon and joint replacement specialist, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, told ABP Live.

Kyphosis is a condition in which there is an increased curvature of the spine from front to back. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is an exaggerated, forward rounding of the upper back. This may give the impression of someone being bent over.

Lordosis, an exaggerated inward curve of the spine, affects the neck or lower back, and is also called swayback.

Dr Chanda said Chronic discomfort, muscle imbalances, herniated discs, decreased mobility, and degenerative changes in the spine are some of the effects of spinal strain caused by poor posture. he suggested Even at home, one should maintain good posture, keep moving one’s body and doing stretching exercises, and create an ergonomic environment to work.

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How to prevent and treat tech neck and other problems caused by poor posture and increased screen time

Lifestyle changes may help treat tech neck. According to Dr. Pierce-Talsma, people should sit as tall as possible, similar to a military posture, and then rest briefly, as good posture should not be painful. Strength-building exercises are important to prevent the adverse effects of poor posture.

While medications can treat inflammation and reduce pain, it is important to correct your posture to find the root cause of the problem. Physical therapy can resolve muscle problems.

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According to Dr. Pierce-Talsma, osteopathic manipulative treatments can improve tech neck symptoms and address the underlying causes of pain, the American Osteopathic Association says on its website. Osteopathic manipulative treatment is a technique in which a person’s muscles and joints are moved and manipulated to correct structural imbalances, improve circulation, and relieve pain.

People who work from home should make sure that their workstation is designed in such a way that they can maintain neutral posture, and that the desk, chair, and computer screen are properly positioned with the help of ergonomic furniture or other adjustments.

Take frequent short breaks to stand, stretch, and move around to reduce the effects of sitting for long periods of time. Incorporate core-strengthening exercises and neck exercises to strengthen supporting muscles and reduce tension. To improve your setup, use add-ons like a laptop stand. To support general spine health, in addition to these steps, keep a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and participate in regular physical exercise.” Dr. Satnam Singh Chhabra, Director of Neurosurgery Department of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital told ABP Live.

One should perform stress reduction exercises carefully to ensure that these exercises do not worsen the pain caused by poor posture and tectonic neck.

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