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Would you hang a large bowling ball around your neck for hours on end and expect your neck to feel pain free? What is tech neck? Do you have constant neck pain?

To answer all this, let's look at some science.

How heavy our head is and how much of that weight our neck takes when our head sits out of alignment?

On average, an adult human head weighs approximately 12lb(approx 5.4 kg). Ideally, your head should be balanced directly above your spine, so that your ear is in line with your shoulder. Bad posture, sitting at a desk, slumping, texting and working at a computer can all cause the head to move forwards of this position, moving it away from its centre of gravity. This can create what is known as a forward head posture (FHP).

When the head hangs forward the neck is bent causing the weight in the cervical spine to increase, when it happens while using tech devices like mobile, laptop etc, it is called 'tech-neck' .

Kenneth Hansraj, a New York back surgeon, found this figure using a computer model of a human spine. An average human head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds, and tilting it down to check Instagram, send a text, or to Google the weight of a human head increases the gravitational pull on cranium.

"As the head tilts forward the forces seen by the neck surges to 27 pounds at 15 degrees, 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees," Hansraj writes in the paper.

I our day to day we all are carrying out tasks that put unnecessary strain on the neck. Whether that be craning our neck over our laptops all day while working, reading a book in bed slouching, loading our lumbar spine (that’s another story), or walking from our daily public commute texting or scrolling through socials or digital news – hence the name! Even now, as I’m tapping away at the keyboard I’m conscious of the pull at the base of my neck.

Research has shown that FHP can adversely affect your ability to breathe. Indeed, it can reduce respiratory muscle strength and can reduce lung capacity by up to 30%. This is caused by the loss of cervical lordosis, which impedes the contraction of the hyoid muscles. This particularly affects the inferior hyoid muscle which helps to lift the first rib when breathing in.

If FHP becomes chronic, it’s common to develop a fatty looking pad at the base of the neck. Otherwise known as a Dowager’s hump, this occurs as the body attempts to protect itself from the excessive load placed on the lower cervical and upper thoracic spine. The body begins to lay down connective tissue, forming an extracellular matrix interwoven with fat cells. A prominent hump can develop over time as the superficial layers become excessively thick.


  • Do the neck exercises

  • Keep stretching the neck, shoulders and upper back

  • Be aware of your alignmnet, and slowly make changes to your posture

  • Avoid longer usage of cell phones.

  • Bring the screen to your eye level than the other way round.

  • Using neck rollers

A short video to do neck exercises and movements for shoulders and upper back

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