What is Tech Neck and Forward Head Carriage?

young woman looking down at phone

Neck pain and shoulder pain are both pretty common. When you consider that most people spend five hours a day looking at their phones, it’s not surprising. The human head weighs about ten pounds. One study showed that when the head is tilted forward as little as 15 degrees, as it is when we look at our phones and computer screens, the effect of the head’s weight increases to 27 pounds. At 60 degrees, it’s 60 pounds. This improper posture, called forward head carriage, is more commonly known as tech neck.

What is Tech Neck?

According to Dr. Kyle Smerglia of Smerglia Chiropractic, “Tech neck refers to all the technology that is keeping our chin and our chest looking down.” This includes smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices. 

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of tech neck include neck pain, numbness in the fingers, tension headache, and poor posture. 

Causes

Tech neck is caused by nerve compression at the base of the neck muscles, right in the area where the spine connects with the skull. The cause of this compression is poor posture and forward head carriage, the position the head is in when looking down at a smartphone or other device.