The Industrial Revolution happened between 1760 and about 1840, moving the manufacturing process out of people’s homes and into plants or factories. Now we’re in the Technological Revolution, which began in the 20th century with the invention of the television and has continued into this century with computers, laptops, cellular phones, social media and a handheld society. As in every other area of life, each new development typically brings its own new set of problems.
The basic definition is the name given to neck soreness from endlessly sitting in front of a computer, typing on a laptop or using any handheld technology. The pain is typically in the cervical spine, which is why it’s called “tech neck”, but it is not limited to the neck. Overuse or improper use of technology can cause pain in the upper or mid-thoracic and lumbar spine as well.
Muscular stiffness and pain, even headache, can be caused by extended periods of time spent looking at a screen or down at devices such as tablets, hand-held gaming systems or smart phones.
While shoulder and neck pain are going to be the most common symptoms of Tech Neck, it can also result in headaches and other signs of discomfort. However, if left undetected or uncorrected, Tech Neck can even result in deviations to the thoracic and lumbar spine.
The vertebrae in the spine typically act like stacked building blocks and will compensate for misalignments. As with a stack of building blocks, if one block is slightly to the left, the tower will lean to the left unless the block above it compensates by leaning slightly to the right. Our spine works in the much the same way, and so strain on the neck could result in other areas of the spine trying to counterbalance.