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Cervical Kyphosis “Tech Neck”: What It Is, And Why You Probably Have It

Tech neck, formerly known as military neck, is becoming an all too common condition as we become more attached to our smartphones and tablets. Tech neck can affect people at any age, but recently the medical community has begun to see an alarming uptick in young children with this diagnosis. So, what is it? What are the symptoms, and what can we do about it?

A healthy spine has four main curves. As seen in the photo above, a healthy neck has a slight lordosis, similar to the curve we have in the low back. In between each vertebrae is a rubbery “cushion” that helps give the spine its ability to have full range of motion and protect the bones from rubbing up against each other, as well as nerves that are responsible for bodily processes such as breathing and moving. When we lose the natural curve in our cervical spine, we are at risk for nerve impingement (pinched nerve). Nerve health is very important, and interference can cause many different symptoms.

Some common symptoms of mild to moderate Tech Neck include:

  • Tingling or numbness in the shoulders, arms and hands

  • Pain in neck, upper back, shoulders, and arms

  • Headaches

  • Jaw Pain

  • Decreased range of motion

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Muscle Weakness

Some less common symptoms of severe Tech Neck include:

  • Loss of fine motor skills in upper body

  • Chronic pain

  • Bladder or bowel control issues

  • Loss of ability to look upward

  • Possible paralyzation below the neck (very rare, severe cases)

This condition can be brought on by different scenarios such as (but not limited to) poor posture, looking downward for long periods of time (like looking down at a smartphone), untreated whiplash, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease.

Diagnosis of cervical kyphosis can be quite simple. A standard x-ray will tell your healthcare provider whether or not you have some degree of kyphosis. Further imaging may be needed depending on the severity of the case.

Cervical kyphosis is a degenerative condition, meaning with no intervention it will continue to progress and get worse. So, how is it treated? The prognosis of cervical kyphosis depends on age, severity, and intensity of treatment plan. For most individuals that are young and/or relatively healthy, most symptoms can be lessened, if not totally dissipated by a proper treatment plan. Some things that can help the symptoms of this condition are regular chiropractic adjustments, cervical traction, cervical pillows, and various stretches and strengthening exercises.

Think you may be suffering from tech neck? Here at ProMassage & Chiropractic

we have 10+ years of experience and plenty of resources that can help you take control of your health and get on the right path to heal your condition. Call our office today for information on how we can help! 615-448-6446


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