Can Physical Therapy Help “Tech Neck”

Rearview shot of a young businessman holding his neck while sitting at his desk“Tech Neck” or forward head posture is described as a forward position of the head to the rest of the spine. This posture has become more prominent since smartphone use has increased. An estimated 56% of the United States population uses a smart phone, with an average use time of 5.1 hours per day. “Tech Neck” is a growing problem causing pain and prolonged abnormal positioning of the spine reducing the quality of life for much of the population.

Maintenance of a forward head posture with prolonged computer and phone use leads to damaged neck ligaments, muscle fatigue, reduced respiratory capacity and pain. Continued smartphone and computer use eventually leads to stress on the musculoskeletal system of the cervical spine causing a reversal of the natural curve. This reversal leads to further pain and respiratory dysfunction. Studies show that forward head posture has improved with physical therapy in patients who performed a supervised exercise program three times per week for four weeks.1 These findings are useful in combating an epidemic of pain without invasive interventions.

Another study showed that the use of kinesiotaping in combination with physical therapy supervised exercises improved forward head posture and neck range of motion better than exercise alone. At advanced PMR we offer a variety of taping techniques to reduce the effects of tech neck as well as individualized exercise programs with one on one care. Come in today to reduce your pain and improve your quality of life!

 

1.) https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jpts/29/2/29_jpts-2016-886/_pdf
2.) https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-back-and-musculoskeletal-rehabilitation/bmr150346

Posted in: Neck, Physical Therapy, Shoulder

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