In a digital age, you are constantly looking down, whether it’s to check text messages, social media notifications, or emails. Over time, the stress of constantly slouching can strain the muscles in your neck, back, and shoulders.
This strain, known as “text neck,” can limit your mobility and cause neck pain and muscular imbalances. Continue reading to learn more about text neck symptoms and learn what exercises Airrosti recommends that can help relieve the pain!
What Is Text Neck?
Text neck is a term used to describe when your head is in a forward position for a prolonged period and leads to neck pain. When you are looking down, either at a smartphone, reading, gaming, or working, your head is shifted forward, causing your body to compensate the weight. On average, the human head weighs about 10 pounds. This means that your neck, upper back, and spine are overworking to brace that weight that would otherwise be supported when in a neutral position.
Over time, the more your head is in this forward position, the muscles in your upper back and neck weaken, while your chest muscles tighten. Additionally, this repetitive stress could also lead to more serious injury, or cause conditions like Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS). UCS is a condition in which a person’s posture is hindered and can lead to a hunched back and head that juts forward.
Preventing Text Neck
Luckily, there are several steps you can take to be proactive if you are suffering from text neck.
One of the most important steps is to practice proper posture. When standing, your weight should be evenly distributed between both feet, with your shoulders back and down. While sitting, keep both feet flat on the floor, shoulders back, and ears aligned with your shoulders.
You can also make changes in how you work or perform your activities or hobbies. This includes adjusting your chair or desk height, holding devices eye level rather than looking down at them, or using risers to keep anything you are working on level with your natural sightline.
Lastly, consider implementing exercises into your daily routine that could help combat text neck and any pains or muscle weakness. For example, rowing exercises are great for building chest and back strength, while thoracic mobility exercises and neck stretches can help relieve any built-up tightness in the neck and back.
DISCLAIMER: always consult with your doctor before any exercise program. if you experience any numbness, tingling, or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.
- Tie an elastic band around a stable object or have a workout buddy hold the center of the band for you.
- Taking each end of the elastic band, stand tall with abs tight and hold the ends in front of you with elbows bent next to your sides at a 90-degree angle.
- Pull the handles back until they are next to your side and elbows behind you.
- Slowly release.
- Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
- Lay on your side with your hips and knees flexed, head supported, and arms extended in front of you with your hands together.
- Protract your shoulder blade by reaching forward with your top hand.
- Retract back and slowly lift your arm and rotate your trunk to reach the ground on the opposite side.
- Make sure you look at your fingertips during the entire movement, as this ensures you are rotating your spine and not only moving your arm.
- Come back to the starting position and repeat.
- Your lower back, hips, and legs should remain still during this exercise.
- Complete 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
Seated Scapula Stretch
- Sit with your back straight.
- Tilt and turn your head to one side.
- Nod your head forward until a stretch is felt along the side and back of the neck.
- Apply extra pressure (gently) with your hand to increase the stretch if needed.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
- Sit and place your hands right under your collarbone on the affected side.
- Pull down towards floor gently with hands to lower the top ribs.
- With your chin tucked-in, slightly lean your head sideways away from your hands until a stretch is felt along the side of the neck.
- Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds.
A Fast Fix For Text Neck And Back Pain
If you’ve tried the above stretches and still struggle with neck pain, schedule an appointment with Airrosti today. Your Airrosti Certified Provider will provide exceptional patient care by thoroughly assessing your pain to pinpoint the cause and treat it at the source. They will also provide you the tools and resources you need to stay pain free and help prevent future injury.
Give us a call at (800) 404-6050 or schedule online for either an in-clinic or virtual visit, and begin your Airrosti recovery!
View our medical disclaimer here.