The Effect of Tech on Your Neck: 5-Minute Exercises to Relieve Text Neck
Each day, the average American adult spends at least 26 minutes texting. Adults also use smartphones to surf the Web, chat with friends on social media sites, watch videos and play games. Aside from using smartphones for leisure time, many of us are tied to them for work-related matters such as emailing clients or tracking sales. We constantly remain connected through the digital world, and that takes a toll on our health.
Text neck is a modern-day ailment associated with – you guessed it – frequent texting. It’s not limited to texting, though. You can also get text neck from reading, scrolling through Facebook or playing Candy Crush. Basically, text neck stems from any activity where your neck remains in a downward position for an extended period of time.
We often treat patients with text neck from smartphone use, but you can also develop text neck from tablets, eReaders and handheld video games. It serves as a painful reminder that we should let technology enhance our lives rather than control them.
If you’re a tech junkie who suffers from neck or shoulder pain, you might have text neck. If you already know you have text neck, consider adding these quick and easy exercises to your treatment plan. They may help alleviate your discomfort, especially when combined with our pain management services.
Some patients complain that neck exercises are difficult or confusing, but we rarely get complaints about the chin tuck. This simple exercise gently stretches and strengthens your neck so you can realign your spine.
Start by standing or sitting up straight. Make sure your chin is parallel to the floor, then slowly bend it toward your chest. It’s okay if you can’t pull it all the way to your chest; just go as far as you can.
From this position, pretend a string is gently pulling your head upright. Elongate your neck, relax your jaw and hold this position as you inhale deeply three times. Release your chin, and repeat this exercise several times.
You’re doing this exercise right if you feel like you’re creating a double chin. You should also notice a slight stretching or pulling sensation in your neck.
This yoga move releases tension in the upper chest and shoulders. It’s a bit tricky if you lack upper body strength, but we’ll explain how to modify it below.
Begin by getting on all fours. Your palms and feet should all touch the floor, but your feet don’t need to be completely flat on the ground.
Lift your hips toward the sky or ceiling, pulling your heels back as you do this. Keep your head hanging toward the ground, and make sure your neck is long and straight.
Take three deep breaths. Release your position and repeat several times.
Struggling to get into this position? Try doing this exercise against a wall or tree instead. Keep your feet flat on the ground, but place your palms on the wall or tree.
Alternately, you can use yoga blocks for your hands if you have trouble getting your palms all the way to the ground. You can also try sitting on your knees and leaning forward rather than starting the exercise on all fours.
Padahastasana, also known as the hand under foot pose, is an inverted yoga exercise. It stretches your upper and lower body, so it’s ideal for people with text neck as well as lower back pain.
Start by removing your shoes and standing with your feet at hips-width apart. Bend forward, reaching your arms toward the floor.
Don’t force your arms to the floor if the exercise hurts. Just go as far as you comfortably can.
Bend your knees slightly and reach your hands under your feet. Your palms should face upward while your hands are under your feet.
Press your toes gently into the creases of your wrists. Hold this position and take three deep breaths. Repeat as needed.
If you can’t get your hands below your feet while you’re standing, try doing this exercise sitting down. You can also lift your feet and stretch your arms without letting your hands and feet touch.
Should These Exercises Hurt?
You may experience mild discomfort when you do exercises for text neck. However, severe pain is neither normal nor safe. If your pain gets worse when exercising, please contact us immediately. These exercises may trigger symptoms from another condition or simply require modifications to effectively treat your text neck.
Not sure if you have text neck? We’re just a call or click away! Schedule a FREE consultation at one of our eight New Jersey offices for pain management services. We’ve got doctors, nurses, physical therapists and other educated healthcare providers ready to help relieve your neck pain, whether it comes from text neck or a similar condition.
Are you suffering from neck or shoulder pain? You may have text neck. Try adding these quick and easy exercises to help relieve neck pain.