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KRON 4 | How to Improve Old-Age Neck (a.k.a. Tech Neck)

Occupational, student, and recreational habits have led to real pains in the neck, known as “tech neck”, which also affect your longevity, how young you feel, and how old you look. Here are some easy, do-it-yourself pain-relieving and corrective solutions.

Cervical kyphosis, known as tech neck, is forward head posture and causes a number of chronic health problems that can affect your mobility and quality of life:

  • Chronic pain in neck, shoulders, upper/lower/mid back
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced range of motion (poor mobility)
  • Osteoarthritis, known as “wear-and-tear arthritis” (bone rubbing on bone)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Fatigue
  • 30% reduction in lung capacity; mouth breathing
  • Numbness or tingling in hands/arms
  • Compression on the nerves
  • Poor sleep
  • Muscle spasms
  • Fibromyalgia

The Treatment (The 3 S’s)

1. Self-Myofascial Massage (SMR)

  • Release tight muscles in neck, shoulders, and upper back with a TheraCane Max, lacrosse or tennis ball
  • Wall rolling – Back massage with a ball (tennis ball in a sock) against a wall for 5 min.
  • Acupressure with your fingers

2. Stretching

  • Stretch the pecs! Expand the muscles of the chest with stretching.
  • Do chin retractions.
  • Stretch every 1/2 hour when you’re at the computer or during any repetitive activity.

3. Strengthening

  • Row, row, row! Strengthen muscles between the shoulder blades (retract the scapula)
  • Y-W exercise or wall angels

What NOT to Do

  • Don’t sleep, read, or watch TV on a stack or pillows or in a recliner that forces the head forward.
  • Don’t carry heavy purses and backpacks.

Karen’s Fit Tip:  Be aware of your daily habits (working on a laptop, driving, texting, reading, stooping over a patient, etc.). When you’re standing, ask yourself where your thumbs are pointed…

Are your thumbs pointed forward or toward the midline of your body?


Karen Owoc

Karen Owoc is a certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist specializing in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and lifestyle medicine. Her science-based approach to longevity, nutrition, and muscle health has made her the go-to source for health seekers and medical professionals alike. Karen's best-selling book on functional longevity, "Athletes in Aprons: The Nutrition Playbook to Break 100", and her transformative perspective have mended many minds, hearts, and spirits.

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