We live in a world where working, travelling and playing is done by being plugged in 24/7. Nothing comes without a price. Being accessible for work or pleasure around the clock comes with a price for our skin and bodies. We can see people hunched over their Androids/ Smart phones with shoulders and neck strained and thumbs continuously moving. This special position with head hanging, shoulders hunched and eyes glued to the device is called a “tech neck”.
This causes serious effects to the facial looks of the person which includes frown lines, under eye bags, horizontal lines on the neck along with fat prominences not to mention the associated pain in the neck.
The newest entrant in the world of pain along with headache and numbness in the arms because of straining on the small screen is the appearance of a crease just above the collar bone from repeated use of the devices in a bending down position called the “tie line”. The sagging jowls and wrinkled necks are happening to younger people because of the use of digital devices and is making them more aware of this area of their body.
Things that usually are a concern when using these handheld gadgets are as follows-
Use of specific fingers repeatedly
Strain on the eyes
Poor neck posture leads to a Forward Head Position which is one of the most common causes of neck, head and shoulder tension and pain. This can be a result of injuries like sprains and strains of the neck leading to weak neck muscles, problems sleeping positions and are usually related to using the computer and smartphone for a long time. The usual cosmetic issues as mentioned above are caused due to abnormal neck posture.
The best way to prevent having a Tech neck is –
Having a healthy well balanced calorie-restricted diet.
Preferably reduce the use of such devices to minimal. Make a phone call in place of using the text.
To reduce the load on the neck, raise the device up:
• Onto the table in cafes
• In front of you on trains and planes
• On cushions on your lap at home
• On a stand in the office
Cardio exercises to relieve the strain in the tired muscles of the neck and upper back. This has to be combined with full body exercises.
The tech neck can cause the following medical issues-
A. The primary concern is the strain on the neck causing pain in the neck and arms. This requires a change of posture, neck muscle strengthening exercises and reduced use of these devices.
B. The aesthetic or cosmetic surgery concern is the unhealthy aged look on the face which includes frown lines, under eye bags, horizontal lines on the neck along with fat prominences. These are best treated by the treatment options mentioned below-
Injection Lipolysis (Kybella in USA) – This US FDA approved treatment option is indicated for people who have a double chin and excess fat in the neck line. People are interested in having an attractive neck and that means treating it for “tech neck” and other maladies like moderate to severe fat on the upper neck.
It works by destroying fat cells and can be used to treat a double chin. Best used for people who are against surgery as it can be carried out as an office procedure with no downtime. Multiple sessions are usually required.
High definition Radiofrequency- A combination of micro-needling and highly focused radiofrequency waves are used to tighten the loose skin and deeper sub-cutaneous layers. This is minimally invasive and gives good outcomes.
Cosmetic Surgery – High definition liposuction and minimally invasive neck lift procedures give chiseled jawlines and long term benefits. These are recommended for people who would want a permanent solution for their concerns and are open to surgical procedures.