Text neck, or tech neck, is a condition that develops from spending too much time looking down at your cell phone or any other handheld device. Using your neck muscles to look down causes forward head posture, leading to chronic neck pain and even the hunching back and round shoulders of poor posture. But before you freak out about the fact that you most likely have a text neck - let's take care of this frustrating problem!
1. Check Phone Positioning
The first thing you can do to prevent strain on your back adjusts how you hold your phone. Having a phone too low causes poor posture that leads to tech neck. If you bring your mobile device up to eye level and practice good posture, you will be less likely to develop back pain associated with slouching over a smart device. Your eyes ought to be looking straight ahead, and you should also have a neutral position for your head and shoulders by bringing the machine up a little higher as this will enable you to keep back from arching forward and hunched over, therefore taking the pressure off of your spine when using these devices.
Looking down at your phone while you're reading this article can be irritating, especially since it forces you to turn your neck downward. But did you ever stop to consider how much weight is resting on your shoulders and neck? Many people don't realize that the average human head weighs around 10 pounds, and any time we begin to look down more than 45 degrees, our brains are carrying an additional 50 pounds! This extra weight can cause unnecessary tension in the neck area. It means that the mistakes we make daily by habitually staring at our phones can result in pain and soreness not only in our neck and back but even in our legs! Trust us; this practice could save you from a lot of pain later on! So if you want to avoid straining those delicate muscles all over again, keep up with the latest information in your field of expertise by focusing on what's ahead - not what's around you.
2. Monitor Your Posture
Did you know that phone apps can help protect users from succumbing to "text neck," a condition that occurs when the head is bent down and craned over while using mobile devices? These apps work by sensing the angle of your device, which will indicate what position is the user's head. When it feels that the phone is in a place that could cause text neck, it will alert to straighten up.
3. Use Cold & Hot Therapy
If you are suffering from text neck, try hot and cold therapy. Cold from an ice pack will numb the pain and reduce any swelling when the pain of text neck begins, use ice first and for 20 minutes at a time. After a couple of days, switch to heat. A herbal heating pad or a warm towel wrapped around your neck will soothe sore muscles and stiffness. So, Never sleep with an ice pack or heating pad to prevent skin injury.
4. Massage Your Neck & Shoulders
In need of a neck and shoulder massage to treat text neck? Get one from a professional who can help loosen the tension that makes you feel stiff. Massage relieves tightness caused by inflammation in your muscles, which allows your nervous system to relax and return blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients to all of your cells! If you suffer from pain inflicted at the hands of muscle knots (also known as trigger points), deep tissue massage firms up pressure directly into the painful area with the belief that this will break them down. While some people prefer a gentle massage experience, others may find that an expert masseuse more effectively treats them.
5. Stretch Connective Muscles
One of the best ways to prevent text neck is to be aware of how your posture and head position influence each other. You can start by stretching the muscles in and around your upper shoulder and mid-back region. This tightens explicitly the muscles that keep your head in place, so when these are stretched out, it will make it much easier to maintain a better head position throughout your day. After you've stretched, try using a massage stick or a handheld massager to work out any knots that have accrued in those tight areas. After a little bit of range of motion exercises from yoga, doing this also helps increase blood flow. It promotes relaxation - making it yet another great way to work out some tension-related stress!
6. Perform Neck Exercises
Exercise your neck! Slouching and looking down at your phone all day weakens the core, back, and neck muscles. This makes it challenging to maintain proper posture. Make a habit of doing neck exercises daily to build up strength in these muscles. They'll fight bad habits, improve your body's ability to handle stress, and lead to a healthier you!
7. Limit Phone Time
Your cell phone may be part of your identity, but did you know that it can also cause you to develop neck pain? You might think that watching a few more minutes of viral cat videos or scrolling through your social media feed on the bus is harmless, but they're not. Even if you think it's not taking much time away from your day, remember that our attention spans have changed after being bombarded with content at all times of the day. Consider adjusting settings on your phone that will help keep you focused and set reminders to take short breaks easily while giving yourself an extra hour to do something else! Set limits on your time spent looking at your phone every day.
When in Doubt, Seek Advice
Text neck can affect anybody who spends their days staring down at their phones. Whether it's because you spend 12 hours a day hunched over your keyboard or simply because you got home from your cell phone that was tucked safely inside of your pocket or purse and ended up looking directly at the screen, text neck can cause real health issues in the future, so it's super essential to correct yourself now. Thankfully, there are various easy ways to avoid getting Text neck, such as raising your phone higher, wearing a cute collar, using a neck wrap and stretching out the muscles regularly, but if you still can't resolve the problem, please reach out to a physical therapist. Right away! They have unique methods and tricks they can teach you to ensure none of these symptoms lead towards further physical impairments or medical conditions.