I’m Jess and I’m a total technoholic. There, I said it. I will never admit this to my boyfriend who constantly says I’m obsessed with screens but, it is true. Ssh! Whether it’s checking Pinterest whilst I’m brushing my teeth, uploading to Instagram whilst waiting for my quinoa to cook or writing a post when Strictly’s on. I’m not comfortable unless I’m scrolling. But ironically, it’s this habit which has made me very UNcomfortable lately. It may be because I’m at a computer all day, or I’m lifting heavier weights or even that I’ve been diagnosed with hyper mobility in my neck which is causing it. Either way, I have tech neck and it hurts…alot.
And we’re not talking a little twinge here and there, some days even an Epsom salt bath, Ibroprofen and a massage won’t shift it. But whatever the cause, my tech “obsession” definitely isn’t helping. It turns out I’m not alone as stats show that 45% of 16-24 year olds now get back and neck pain from looking down at their screens and taking on the extra 10lb of weight from our heads. So, I spoke to my physio who has given me a few top tips (without giving up my beloved smartphone)
STRETCH IT OUT
Keeping our shoulders from rolling in is key – we don’t want any Quasimodo’s here. I find that cat stretch and childs pose in yoga terms really stretches out your trapezius muscle. A lot of tech neck problems also come from a tight chest so stretch it by placing one hand and forearm on a door frame and step forward leaving it there. Repeat 10 times – it’s so relaxing.
RAISE IT UP
The main cause of tech neck is looking down so try to get into the habit of holding your phone or device up at eye level.
DON’T FORGET THE BEAUTY ELEMENT
When I heard technology caused wrinkles, I buried my phone in the sofa cushions. Wrinkles? No thanks. Experts suggest massaging your neck every day with a vitamin rich oil, beginning with the area under the chin. Then work your way back to your ears finishing with a moisturiser to seal the oil.
The discs in our spines are mostly made up of water so keep them limber by drinking lots of water or herbal tea throughout the day.
ADJUST YOUR MONITOR
It’s rare that computer’s at your workplace are in the correct position. Raise your monitor up so your eyes meet the top of the screen and make sure your arms are at 90 degrees to your desk.