Life is A Pain in the Neck

More precisely, life causes a pain in the neck. More precisely still, modern life trains us to hold our heads in a way that causes not just neck pain, but a host of other problems.

Before getting there, let’s take a trip back in time, to the Medieval era, when few outside of the nobility and the clergy could read. Most people were illiterate, farmers who worked and lived the majority of their lives outside.

However, those monks who were literate spent large amounts of time in poor lighting conditions, hunched over tables writing, illuminating and reading manuscripts. This led to a condition known as “scholar’s neck,” a hunching of the shoulders as the head was tilted forward. Today we call that “forward head posture,” commonly known as “Tech Neck.”

How common is it? I just googled “tech neck” and got 89 MILLION results:

Tech Neck Google Search

Tech neck is a flattened or even reversed cervical curve. Your jaw juts forward, and your head may tilt down. To illustrate this, from the same google search, I give you…a picture of tech neck.

Tech Neck

While the young man’s head is level (note his eyes and chin), it is noticeably forward of his shoulders, presenting a textbook case of tech neck.

As the name indicates, tech neck is very common amongst heavy technology users. If you drive a computer for a living, or spend a lot of time on your phone or other hand held electronic device, you are at risk of tech neck.

Do you have headaches or migraines? Neck and upper back pain? Rounded shoulders? I found out the hard way that tech neck causes or exacerbates all of these conditions. The good news is, I also found out that fixing my tech neck fixed these problems and, I’m sure you’ll be surprised to hear, yoga was one of the keys to correcting it.

Cross posted at