Tech Neck: The Ultimate Guide to Treating Wrinkles Caused By Technology

Written by Aaron Guldager — April 23, 2024

Tech Neck: The Ultimate Guide to Treating Wrinkles Caused By Technology

Originally published April 3, 2017, updated April 23, 2024.

Millennials are facing an unexpected effect of years of using handheld devices. Tech neck, also known as text neck, is a condition resulting from hours spent looking down at a smartphone screen. A hunched-over posture, neck soreness or pain, and the early appearance of neck wrinkles are some of the resulting symptoms.

Regardless of age, constantly slumping while using handheld devices can impact the natural curve of the neck, leading to pain commonly experienced by people in middle age and beyond.

Formally known as forward head syndrome, people in their 20s and 30s are experiencing posture and skin challenges before the bloom is barely off their rose. If this sounds familiar, you might be wondering how these things snuck up on you. Mystery solved: You only have your smartphones, tablets, and other personal devices to blame.

Knowing you’re not going to give up your devices any time soon, what’s to be done?

Here we offer tips to help you conquer tech neck woes with effective exercises, stretches and anti-aging solutions to reduce pain and maintain your youthful appearance.

Understanding the Causes of Tech Neck

Although tech neck is not the formal medical term for this condition, it certainly is justified since the condition is specific to the use of technology. The more in-depth causes of tech neck include:

  • Prolonged device use: Tech neck is caused by repetitive strain and injury to the muscles and other tissue structures of the cervical spine. As mentioned, it is known as forward head syndrome because it’s the weight of your head causing the issues. Considering the average adult head weighs 10-12 pounds, having your head hanging forward will put a constant, unnatural strain on the supporting structures, as well as your skin. In fact, that simple change of position used for texting and scrolling makes the weight of your head feel more like 50 to 60 pounds. That’s a lot of additional force your neck isn’t designed to support, especially for the hours and hours we spend on our phones. As a result, the strain on your muscles and ligaments protests via pain.
  • Poor posture: We’ve all been told to sit up straight at least once in our lives. And there’s a good reason for it. Slouching causes neck strain, while also making us look older and frumpy. Younger people with tech neck will often be forced to slump due to pain and restricted range of motion of their neck and back caused by the constant strain on their muscles and tissue structures.
  • Age-related changes: The physical appearance of your neck also changes when you spend hours leaning over your phone. Tech neck lines prematurely age your delicate neck skin because it’s much thinner than the skin of your face. As a result, it’s more prone to fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging. There is also more prominence of horizontal lines related to your overworked skin which becomes looser and can also make muscles become more prominent.
  • Sun damage: Although not a cause of tech neck, sun damage will accentuate the appearance of neck wrinkles and contribute to speeding up the skin aging process. Because most of us end our sun protection application at our chins, an unprotected neck is vulnerable to the damaging UV rays of the sun.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Tech Neck

It’s possible to have tech neck without realizing it. This is because you’re unfamiliar with the condition and its symptoms, which include:

  • A dull ache in the back of the neck
  • Headaches
  • Stiff neck and shoulders
  • Increased slouching and poor posture
  • Hand and arm numbness
  • Reduced range of motion in the neck
  • Early appearance of wrinkles and lines on the neck in people under 35

Effective Ways of Combating Tech Neck

If the above symptoms sound familiar, there are effective ways of combating tech neck. We recommend starting with prevention, followed up with treatment to ease your symptoms.

Tech Neck Prevention

It’s important to acknowledge your device habits are at fault and make changes that help reduce the risk of worsening symptoms. Some useful tips include:

  • Improve your posture: Since sitting or standing with the head forward is the culprit, being conscious of your posture throughout the day is a must. Keep checking your posture and correcting it so you can help break the habit of constantly staying in that forward head position. Use these tips to improve posture:
    • Place a folded towel or a pillow about 3 inches thick between your back and chair to provide support when using your phone or computer when sitting up
    • Download posture apps to track the angle of your phone
    • Use posture exercises that force you to walk and sit up straight
  • Take Breaks: Make sure you take breaks from device use, putting your phone down and walking away from your computer to stretch and provide some neck relief.
  • Neck stretches: Use neck stretches often to improve flexibility. A good tech neck stretch is standing facing a corner with your feet together about two feet from the wall with your forearms resting on the opposing walls. Keep your elbows just below shoulder height and lean forward as far as you can holding the position for up to a minute, and preferably at least 30 seconds. Repeat a few times to find relief.
  • Device Height: Keep your computer or device at eye level so your neck remains upright.
  • Ergonomics: Make sure you have an ergonomic setup for desks and chairs that allows you to maintain a comfortable position while working. Using a chair with a headrest allows you to keep your head against the chair comfortably so you don’t lean forward. Your feet should remain flat on the floor, and your knees should be at a 45-degree angle from your hips.
  • Sunscreen: To help prevent defined lines and wrinkles, apply daily SPF protection to your neck.

Tech Neck Treatment

If you’re already experiencing tech neck symptoms, the following treatments can help:

  • Stretches & Exercises: A proper exercise routine can minimize the effects of tech neck while preventing further issues from arising. Here are four easy exercises to remedy tech neck:
  1. “Double Chin” Neck Stretch: Stand with your lower back against the wall and lean your head back with your feet about two feet from the wall. Pull your chin in to create a double chin until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your neck, repeating 10 times holding for 10 seconds each.
  2. Pec Stretch: Stand in an open doorway with your arms pressed against either frame, keeping your elbows at shoulder height and your forearms pointing upwards. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in your chest, and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat twice. You can also move your arms slightly higher and repeat the exercise for a deeper stretch.
  3. Thoracic Extension: Sit in a low to mid backed chair and place your hands behind your head. Lean back carefully with your chest pushed out as far as you can and hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
  4. Smell Your Armpits: As silly as it sounds, this is exactly how you do this stretch. Sit on one hand and then put your other arm on your head. Turn your head as if smelling your armpit until you feel a stretch. Do the same on the other side, repeating three times on each side.
  • Moisturizing skin care: It’s important to choose products that both reduce visible wrinkles and prevent new ones from forming. For dual-action wrinkle repair and prevention, use the SiO ChestLift to treat your chest while you sleep. The SiO Beauty NeckLift patch is specially designed to treat wrinkles and sagging neck skin common with tech neck. You can also apply your favorite facial moisturizer to your neck every day.
  • Self-Massage: Self-massage for the neck helps improve circulation and reduce tension. An easy massage to start with is to lower your shoulders away from your ears, focusing on making your neck and back tall and straight. Press firmly on your neck to find painful spots and massage the area using circular motions with your fingers going clockwise and then counterclockwise for three to five minutes for each pain point.
  • Cold compress: Applying a cold compress to your neck in 20-minute intervals throughout the day can help soothe pain and reduce inflammation.

Tech Neck FAQs


Q: What are tech neck wrinkles?

A: Tech neck wrinkles are lines formed across the neck where the skin is very thin. These fine lines are “dynamic” meaning they are caused by repeated muscle movement in the neck, the same as smile lines or crow’s feet.


Q: Why does tech neck impact the skin?

A: Tech neck develops from neck muscle overuse, stretching the skin for unnaturally prolonged periods of time. With fewer oil glands in the thin skin of the neck it makes it more difficult to return to its resting position, resulting in wrinkles.


Q: What causes related tech neck pain?

A: According to chiropractors, being in a constantly slumped position with the head down and forward stretches the upper back muscles out while the front muscles become weaker. As a result, the neck starts to creep forward out of its natural curve, making the head feel heavier. This unnatural pressure causes structural problems in the neck and back.


Using these tech neck prevention and treatment tips consistently will help keep you more comfortable, reverse the signs of aging, and prevent your symptoms from worsening. It’s also important not to assume your pain is caused by one specific condition. Instead, consulting with a healthcare professional for personalized advice will accurately diagnose your symptoms and provide appropriate treatment to regain neck health.

From an aesthetic standpoint, using an effective skin care regime and being more conscious about your posture will help you maintain a more youthful appearance and healthier stance for an improved sense of well-being and newfound confidence.