3 Highly Effective Exercises To Shift Your Text Neck
What is Text Neck?
Text neck is a condition that develops from extended periods of time looking down at your cell phone, tablet, or other wireless devices. This downward head position is frequently used in our daily lives which can lead to postural toxicity, spinal misalignment, and eventual pain.
Adaptive symptoms associated with text neck: You'll notice stiffness, soreness, dull ache and tightness occurring at the bottom of your neck near your shoulders. This can lead to muscle spasms, difficulty sleeping, and energy loss depending on the severity of your condition.
Don't let this strain stop you from being able to use devices altogether. Instead, we can build text-neck combating habits and perform sustainable spinal hygiene and postural strengthening practices for a stressfree lifestyle.
The Most Powerful Approaches to Fight Text Neck
As recommended by chiropractors Ben Glass, DC, and Irina Velichko, DC, of The Shift Chiropractic and Community Wellness, stretching your muscles helps blood circulate through the cervical spine and strengthens weakened tendons that are fatigued.
For your health, we've rounded up the three most effective equipment-free exercises. Perform these recommended stretches daily for quick results.
1. CHIN TUCK
Chin tuck is a frequent exercise you can do almost anywhere. It helps counter upper cervical extension and lower cervical flexion
How to do it:
- 1Start by straightening your spine. You can sit down in a chair, stand straight up, or lay on your back. This can be practiced on your daily commute, at your desk or during movement breaks throughout the day.
- 2Avoid tilting your head in any direction and slowly move your chin and head back. You might see a double chin begin to form. Your mantra is “chest up, chin back.”
- 3Now hold for a minimum of 15 seconds(ideally 1 minute) before returning to a more relaxed neutral position.
- 4That's it! Repeat the process 3 to 5 times per day for astounding results.
Bonus Tip: Smile while practicing this posture enhancer and breath deeply the entire time.
2. SEATED CAT-COW
There are different ways to perform this exercise. The most common being an individual starting on all fours using their hands and knees for support. We'll focus on another technique that's equally effective.
How to do it:
- 1Start by sitting on a chair with your spine straight, both feet flat on the floor, and your hands on your knees.
- 2When inhaling, arch your back, look up, push your belly forward and shoulders backward. This is the cow position.
- 3When exhaling, round your spine, bring your shoulders forward and look downwards. This is the cat position.
- 4Repeat each motion for 15 seconds; inhaling in the cow position and exhaling in the cat position. Ideally, you will build up to practicing this 10 times for every hour you sit throughout the day.
Bonus Tip: Keep your abs engaged, 50% weight in your feet pushing down into the floor to elevate your ribcage away from your hips and provide space in your lumbar spine.
3. STANDING SCAPULA RETRACTION
Simple scapular retraction exercises will strengthen your shoulders; avoiding strain on your spine and sequentially align your neck over your shoulders.
How to do it:
- 1Stand straight in a neutral position with your hands on your sides and feet shoulder-width apart.
- 2Now pull your shoulder blades back together and squeeze with 80% of your strength. Avoid lifting your shoulders up in a shrugging motion (upper shoulder muscles should not feel any stretching).
- 3Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, or until the muscles cramp and then release. Repeat five times throughout the day.
Bonus Tip: Pull your shoulders down as well to engage your serratus muscles which help relax the muscles pulling your shoulders up. Breath deeply into your chest as well.
Lifestyle Habits to Prevent Text Neck
1. KEEP YOUR PHONE AT EYE LEVEL
For every inch that your head is tilted forward, there is more weight and strain placed on your spine. Bring the screen up to eye level. With consistency, you'll reap the benefits.
2. TAKE A BREAK AND EXERCISE
For every hour spent staring at a screen, take a break for three minutes and perform the recommended practices. Set reminders if you have to.
3. CONSIDER CHIROPRACTIC CARE
If you are living a technologically saturated sedentary lifestyle, then you need to consider chiropractic adjustments. Help your body reorient itself with gravity, discover what normal motion in the spine feels like and better understand how to offset the stresses that text neck creates over time.