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Tech Neck: How Excessive Computer Use Causes You Neck Pain

Updated: Jan 22

Tech Neck: How Excessive Computer Use Causes You Neck Pain

If your work requires you to sit in front of your computer screen for long hours every day, you have probably already experienced the so-called “tech neck.” It is a term many people now use to refer to the stiffness, soreness, and even injury that can occur when you bend your head downward to look at an electronic device for an extended period of time.

As the world enters the digital age, it has become common for people (both children and adults) to spend too much time looking down at their mobile devices or staring at their computer screens.

Consequently, this results in an increasing number of people who may suffer from “tech neck”.

In this article, we discuss some of the most important things you need to know about a “tech neck”, including its symptoms and causes.

What the term “tech neck” means

As mentioned earlier, the term “tech neck” broadly refers to the stiffness and soreness that you experience after staring at an electronic device for long hours in an improper posture. This condition can cause you to experience various kinds of body pains, such as neck pain, headache, pain in your shoulders and upper back.

In some cases, a “tech neck” can also result in the numbness of your hands and even in the loss of your spine’s natural curve. The severity of the symptoms usually differs from person to person. Still, they tend to be more prominent in people who spend more time using their mobile phones and other electronic devices.

Symptoms of a tech neck

Pain is the most prominent symptom. Occasionally there may be uncomfortable sensations in the shoulders and arms, especially in specific postures.

Experiencing pain in your neck, shoulders, and back is usually out of the ordinary. Hence, if you are experiencing pain in these parts of your body on a regular basis, it is best to immediately consult a doctor for neck and back pain or a specialist for headaches in Singapore.

Aside from pain, here are the other common symptoms of a “tech neck”:

· Mild to severe headaches

· Tension in the upper back

· Numbness or tingling in the hands

· Weakness of the hands

· Rotator cuff tendonitis

· TMJ problems or pain and dysfunction in the jaw muscles and joints

Major causes of a tech neck

· Postural strain

Sitting in the same position while working in front of your computer screen for several hours can cause postural strain in your neck, back, and shoulders. As you continue to work in the same position, the muscles around your shoulders and spine become increasingly tense and exhausted. This is then followed by significant pain and tension throughout your neck and upper back region.

· Improper desk setup

Aside from your posture, your desk is a crucial component of your workstation that can contribute to your neck and back pain if it is not set up properly. If your desk is too high, there is a tendency for you to shrug your shoulders slightly to elevate your hands, wrists, and forearms to the proper level. This can cause your neck muscles to experience fatigue which can lead to a headache later on.

On the other hand, if your desk is too low, you will most likely need to flex your trunk when using the keyboard. Working with your trunk flexed forward forces you to extend your neck more than necessary to enable you to see the computer screen. This position, which is often called the “forward head posture,” can then result in headaches, neck pain, and muscle spasm.

· Stress

Stress is often an overlooked cause of a “tech neck”. Although it does not directly cause your headache and body pains, it can nonetheless amplify the effects of the other factors. For instance, when you feel stressed out, there is a tendency for your shoulders to elevate as part of your fight or flight response. The muscles in your neck and back are then activated and exhausted by this position, which may subsequently lead to muscle spasms.


As the world becomes more dependent on electronic devices, it is unsurprising to know that conditions such as “tech neck” are now affecting a large majority of the global population. If left untreated, these conditions can even lead to more serious health problems and complications.

Hence, if you are suffering from any or all of the symptoms of a “tech neck”, it is best to seek medical assistance right away and start making changes in your daily routine and overall lifestyle.

At Affinity Pain Clinic, our experienced and reliable physicians provide extensive treatments that are specifically designed to address various kinds of body pains and meet every individual patient’s needs. Some of our medical treatments include nerve pain treatment, muscle tear treatment, and tennis elbow treatment in Singapore.

To book an appointment, feel free to drop us a message at anytime.


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