Do you suspect you have text neck? The issue is rising due to the world becoming more and more technologically dependent. Nowadays, people are stuck in their cell phones quite often, even over dinner. It’s no wonder so many of us are now experiencing pain from technology.
Also see, Too Much Texting can Cause Wrist Pain
What is Text Neck?
So, what exactly is text neck? Text neck (or tech neck) is described as when the head and shoulders drift forward due to poor posture. Typically, causing muscles in the chest and neck can shorten and become tight over time. When this happens, it can perpetuate the poor posture that is causing neck pain.
How to Prevent Text Neck
When treating text neck, there are usually a couple of approaches. I bet you can guess the first one!
- Improve your posture by putting down the phone or other mobile devices.
- Exercise and stretch helping to increase your necks flexibility and strength.
We know it can be difficult to stay away from your cell phone. Here are a few tips you can take to improve your posture and avoid neck pain from text neck:
Take frequent breaks. Spend some time away from the phone—or any type of head-forward posture. If needed, use an alarm or app to set automatic reminders to take breaks from handheld devices.
Stand up straight. Good posture, with the chin, tucked in and shoulders pulled back, keeps the body aligned in a neutral position.
Exercise regularly. A strong, flexible back and neck are more able to handle the extra stress. Some research indicates that teenagers who are active in low-impact team sports or endurance sports are less likely to have neck pain.
Arch and stretch. Arch the neck and upper back backward periodically to ease muscle pain.
Text Neck Stretches
When experiencing text neck and other conditions exercise is very important.
The corner stretch is performed to stretch the chest and shoulder muscles and is best done in the corner of a room.
- Stand approximately two feet back from the corner, facing into the corner.
- Feet should be together.
- Place forearms on each wall and elbows a little below shoulder height.
- Lean in as far as possible without pain. Patients will feel a stretch in the front of the shoulders and chest.
- Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds to a minute.
Repeat 3 – 5 times per day.
Note: this is a great one to do before neck strengthening exercises.
Levator Scapulae Stretch
The levator scapulae stretch can be performed while sitting or standing as follows:
- Lengthen the muscle by raising the elbow above the shoulder at the side to stretch.
- In this position, first, rest the elbow against a door jamb. This action rotates the outside of the shoulder blade up and the inside of it down, which lengthens the levator scapulae muscle.
- Next, turn the head away from the side that is stretching and bring the chin down, stretching the back of the neck.
- Hold this for about 30 seconds to a minute.
Repeating the levator scapulae stretch multiple times during the day is recommended.
It’s always important to see an orthopedic specialist if you are experiencing neck pain for a prolonged period of time. Total Ortho Center has offices throughout South Florida. Call 1-888-409-8006 for a specialist near you!