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Doctors warn 'tech neck' could be the next carpal tunnel

'Tech neck' is causing headaches, tingling hands and more among frequent technology users

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — There's a new physical condition called "tech neck" and the name speaks for itself.

Staring down at a phone or typing away for eight hours on the computer is causing issues amongst the population. People have experienced headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and even tingling in the hands. It can also cause changes in your appearance, like deep wrinkles.

"We actually are using muscles that we shouldn't be using, straining muscles that we shouldn't be straining, and creating a problem with a distortion of the neck anatomy and sometimes that's translated not only just a pain syndrome but also a physical appearance aspect as well," said ABC10 Health Expert Dr. Tom Hopkins.

There's some popularity surrounding cosmetic surgeons who are offering a fix to this, typically in the form of a face and neck lift. Hopkins said you should avoid surgery as much as you can.

"You should really focus on altering the way that you position yourself when using technology. So, changing the head, the position, making sure that you're properly aligned so that your neck muscles and your chin, all of that is in line. Specifically to be able to move up and down as opposed to holding it in one position where you decrease the use of the muscles and you develop a double chin. So, it's really about posture, training yourself to do that. I think the other thing is just doing upper body exercises, building up conditioning of the shoulder muscles," said Hopkins.

You could also seek out physical therapy. If the issue is more about function over appearance and surgery seems to be the only option, Hopkins says it's something to consider.

Watch more on ABC10: When should you get checked for a sleep disorder?

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