Tech Neck: Understanding and Addressing the Modern Day Challenge

woman hunched over computer with poor neck posture which causes "tech neck"

What is Tech Neck?

The digital revolution has ushered in numerous advantages, but it has also given rise to a prevalent health concern termed “tech neck” or “text neck.” This condition is characterized by the strain on neck muscles due to the consistent and unnatural bending or tilting of the neck to view electronic devices. Such repetitive stress and poor posture result in pain, stiffness, and potential long-term musculoskeletal complications. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of its causes, symptoms, preventive strategies, and treatments.

Causes of Tech Neck:

Tech neck isn’t merely a consequence of staring at screens; it’s a multifaceted issue with various contributing factors:

  • Posture Concerns: Our digital engagements often lead to prolonged periods of poor posture. Overlooking the importance of sitting or standing upright can gradually strain the neck and upper back.
  • Workspace Dynamics: The ergonomics of our workspace play a pivotal role. Factors such as:
    • Monitor Placement: An improperly positioned screen can force users to tilt their heads, causing strain.
    • Chair Ergonomics: A chair without adequate support can lead to slouching, further exacerbating the issue.
    • Desk Height: A desk that’s too high or too low can compromise posture, leading to discomfort over time.
  • Continuous Device Usage: Extended, uninterrupted sessions with digital devices, without adequate breaks, can intensify muscle tension and pave the way for tech neck.

Recognizing the Symptoms:

Awareness is the first step towards addressing any issue. Tech neck manifests in various ways, including:

  • Neck Discomfort: A persistent ache, tightness, or pain localized to the neck region.
  • Shoulder Issues: This might range from a dull ache to sharper pains radiating through the shoulders.
  • Restricted Neck Mobility: Individuals might find it challenging to move their neck freely, experiencing stiffness or even spasms on occasion.

Proactive Prevention Strategies:

Before tech neck becomes a chronic concern, implementing preventive measures can make a significant difference:

  1. Scheduled Breaks: Integrate short, regular breaks into your routine. Every 30 minutes, take a moment to stretch or engage in neck exercises.
  2. Workspace Optimization:
    • Monitor Adjustments: Tools like adjustable monitor arms can help position your screen at the right height, reducing the need to tilt your head.
    • Ergonomic Furniture Choices: Chairs with lumbar support and adjustable desks can significantly improve posture and comfort.
    • Standing Desk Considerations: If opting for a standing desk, ensure periodic movement and posture checks to maximize benefits.
  3. Posture Awareness: Regularly assess and correct your posture. Consider using apps or reminders to help you maintain an upright position.

Seeking Professional Guidance:

If preventive measures don’t yield the desired relief, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional. While chiropractic care can offer temporary relief, a comprehensive evaluation by a medical doctor is crucial. Such an assessment can:

  • Rule out other underlying conditions.
  • Recommend imaging tests if needed.
  • Provide referrals to specialists or physical therapists.


Tech neck, while a modern challenge, can be effectively managed with awareness, preventive strategies, and timely interventions. By understanding its intricacies and adopting a proactive approach, we can ensure a comfortable and productive digital experience.

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doctor evan norum

About the Author

Dr. Evan Norum, co-owner of Advantage Chiropractic, holds a Doctorate of Chiropractic from Northwestern Health Sciences University. Inspired by personal experiences with chiropractic care, he specializes in family-based treatments and is board-certified in the Torque Release Technique®. With internships at leading chiropractic centers and co-founding Advantage Chiropractic, Dr. Evan Norum is dedicated to promoting health from within.