The Prevalence Of ‘Tech Neck’ And How To Prevent It

The Prevalence Of ‘Tech Neck’ And How To Prevent It

Are you reading this article from a computer or smartphone? What are the chances your neck is angled down, your shoulders are rounded, and your back is slumped right now? Doctors have come up with the term “tech neck” to describe the epidemic of technology-related neck aches and pains resulting from the posture of tilting your head down to look at your screens and devices.

Much of today’s neck pain cases stem from our relationship with technology. The average working adult can spend upwards to 8 hours a day on the desktop working and then some additional hours using their smartphones, computers, and tablets for leisure. This has given rise to the expression “the look down generation” and the prevalence of “tech neck”.

The mechanics of neck pain

The primary job of the neck is to support and stabilize the head, and the head is heavier than we think. The head of an average adult weighs 10 to 12 pounds with proper posture and spine alignment. When you tilt your head forward or look down, this increases the weight and pressure on the neck’s muscles, connective tissues, and cervical vertebrae.

Looking down at our phones calls for an estimated 60-degree tilt of the head. Did you know this increases physical stress on the neck up to 60 pounds? Neck muscles have to contract to hold the head up, and the more you look down, the more muscles work to keep your head up. The neck simply isn’t built to sustain this position for prolonged periods. Over time, the repetitive strain results in soreness, stiffness, and even injury to the neck and cervical spine.

Symptoms and effects of tech neck

  • Generalized aching discomfort in the lower neck, shoulders, and upper back.
  • Localized sharp, stabbing pain in the same areas.
  • Reduced mobility or stiffness in the same areas.
  • Increased pain when tilting the head forward or looking down.
  • Tingling, numbness, or weakness in the hands — related to spinal nerve irritation and inflammation.
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, or pain and dysfunction in the jaw due to misalignment of the cervical spine.
  • Long-term cervical spine wear and tear which leads to degeneration.

How to treat and prevent tech neck

  • Keep your screens at eye level. Raise your phone and computer monitor to avoid excessive forward bending of neck and prevent from upper back muscle strain
  • Invest in ergonomics. Get yourself a chair with a great headrest and lumbar support. You can sit and lean back while working to unload the pressure from your neck muscles.
  • Strengthen and stretch your muscles. Aerobic exercise sends oxygenated blood to your muscles and eases inflammation and pain. Yoga also improves movement patterns and increases body awareness.
  • Take breaks often. Limit your screen time. At work, try to get up, walk around, and stretch for a minute every 15-30 minutes to help ease tension in the neck and body.
  • Correct your posture. Try to learn and recognize what good posture feels like. Stand straight with your head centered over your neck and keep a neutral spine, so your ear is in line with your shoulders.
  • Take over-the-counter meds. You can get over-the-counter meds with nonsteroidal or anti-inflammatory properties to relieve swelling and pain. Your healthcare provider may also prescribe you corticosteroids or muscle relaxants.
  • Apply ice. You can apply ice for the first 48 to 72 hours to relieve pain of a stiff and sore neck. Later, you can switch it to hot compress, or warm bath to heal and stretch your muscles and tendons.
  • Get a massage. Muscular strain responds well to guided physical therapy and massage as they increase the blood and oxygen flow to muscles and tissues.


Ditching our devices isn’t a workable option nowadays. Instead, you can follow preventative methods to prevent the aches and pains associated with tech neck. If your symptoms do not improve, you should seek help from a qualified health professional for neck pain treatment in Singapore.

At Pain SG, we have a team of multidisciplinary professionals who can help you with tech neck and its associated problems. We specialize in treatment and management of other pain-related conditions such as IT band syndrome, back pain sciatica, etc. We have everything you need, from pain-relieving products to treatment options to eliminate your different body aches like back pain, heel pain, knee pain, and other ailments like frozen shoulder, and cervical headaches. Call us for an appointment or send your queries to: