In our modern day society, if you don’t own a smart phone, you are part of the vast minority. According to a survey by Deloitte, an average person checks their phone 46 times a day. That’s a lot of time spent looking down. You might have begun to experience a tightness in the back of your neck, and probably assumed it’s a result of poor posture. While yes, that is correct, your poor posture is due to the long periods of time looking down at your phone. This modern day phenomenon is referred to as “text neck”.
We’ve put together a few simple solutions to correct text next in the long run, and how to alleviate short-term pain.
Correcting “Text Neck” Can Often Be a Simple Fix
Simple as it is, correcting text neck takes a conscious effort. When you are sitting on a train or at a coffee shop, try bringing your phone up so that it is just below eye level. Your phone doesn’t have to sit directly in front of you face, but you want a more natural curve in your neck.
What you want to avoid is having your elbow glued to your side and your wrist in your lap. Your elbow can stay closer to your side, but bring your wrist up so that your phone is more in front of your face. This will elongate your neck, and prevent strain in the back. One way to think about it, is by tucking your chin and imagining there is a string attached to the top of you head, pulling up. For those that often sit at a coffee shop with your computer in your lap, try propping it with your bag. Or even better, invest in a lap pillow.
These simple corrections, though they take daily effort, will tremendously help your neck, upper and mid back pain.
Addressing “Right Now” Pain Associated With Text-Neck
For that “right now” pain that just won’t go away, here are a few simple stretches and restorative poses you can do in the comfort of your home or even at your work desk:
Having Fun With Tennis Balls
Find two tennis balls and clean gym sock, that goes to your mid shin or knee. Place the two tennis balls inside the sock, and tie a knot at the end to prevent them from slipping. Lie on your back and place them under your head where your skull meets your neck. Rest there for 10 minutes
Using a Towel
- Roll a towel and lay on your back with the towel going across your mid back. Lie still for 10 minutes.
- Performing yoga poses that involve opening and lifting your heart will also stretch the muscles and release tension. For example; cobra, upward dog, or low lunge.
If you are at work, sit up straight and place your hand on your head. Tuck your chin so you neck is elongated and lightly lean your head to one side. Your hand is there to offer weight and further deepen the stretch. Reverse and do the same thing on the other side. Do not over stretch.
Text-Neck Can be a Real Pain, but Don’t Forget, We’re Here to Help!
We hope these stretches have eased your neck tension! It takes conscious effort and will require you to make corrections throughout the day. As always, this should not be a substitute for a doctor’s guidance.
If pain continues or worsens, please consult your doctor or physical therapist.