What exactly are you doing at the moment? Obviously reading this article. Chances are that you might be hunched with your head bent over your phone, tablet, or laptop. This posture is called text neck in the new medical lingo, which leads to pain between shoulder blades, neck, and spine, and bad posture.
The human head weighs 4.5 kilograms or 10 pounds on an average. Now imagine what will happen if you place a 10-pound ball on a baton and lean it forward slowly. Obviously, the stick will not be able to sustain the ball for long. It may even crack at some point of time. This happens because the stick endures great force when you keep bending it.
If you tilt your head at 15 degrees, your cervical spine and muscles have to endure 27 pounds of force. A tilt of 30 degrees exerts a pressure of 40 pounds, a tilt of 45 degrees exerts a pressure of 49 pounds, and a tilt of 60 pounds puts a pressure of 60 pounds. This pressure is too much for your spine and may lead to pulled muscles and severe pain.
Well, we have the tips that will help you eliminate any text neck pain you may have in the future.
How to Hold Your Device Properly?
We cannot stop using those electronic gadgets that have become an inevitable part of our life. Therefore, it is better to find ways to fight text neck if you cannot compromise on your screen time. You can look up to these suggestions while you are using your computer or phone.
- Try to change your habits of typing and switch between your forefingers and thumbs for texting.
- You can make use of a text voice virtual assistant
- You can use predictive text in your phone, which can help you make less use of your fingers.
- If possible, call the person you want to talk to rather than texting.
- Position your computer directly at your eye level.
- Go for a small walk every hour
- Stay hydrated
- Keep blinking your eyes frequently while you type
- You can also take the help of mobile application that can detect your angle of head. These apps alert you to regulate your posture. The apps detect the tilt of your phone and your head. This may not be an ideal solution but it does help.
Slouching is The Problem
Good posture definitely matters, and technology related pain often happens as a result of ergonomics and poor posture. When you sit in front of the computer for long hours with a particular posture, the body gets habitual to it. You must keep your body habitual of doing things like walking, jogging, running, and doing other physical activities so that it does not get shocked if when you indulge into physical work and you are not injured.
The best solution is to have a proper placement of monitor, chair, and desk for you. When you sit on your chair, your feet must be able to touch the floor and the knees should be at the level of your hips or below it. It may require deliberate efforts to adjust to this position, but it is achievable.
If you feel any kind of ache in your body or just upright uncomfortable, you must change your position. Take a break of 1-2 minutes every hour while working. You can even set reminders in your phone for taking a break.
Text Neck Pain Problems
Using a Smartphone is another major cause of text neck all around the world. When you stare down at the phone, it puts immense pressure on the spine and neck. As mentioned in the stats mentioned above, carrying your head in the wrong position on your head is like carrying a 7-year old kid on the neck. Doesn’t it sound scary?
The simplest method to deal with text neck is to modify your way of holding your phone. You must hold it such that you do not have to bend your head for a long time. You can buy a case for your tablet that can be used to place your tablet on the table. In addition, do not forget to look around left and right for 10 times on each side. Do this every hour while using tablet for a long time.
Three Exercises for The Right Posture:
When you stretch and strengthen your muscles, you do great favor to your body. You can use these muscles to balance the muscles of your back.
Exercise 1: Pinches for shoulder blade
This exercise is used to strengthen your muscles of upper back. These muscles become weak and lengthy when you are slouching. When you are standing or sitting straight, pinch the shoulder blades back and together. You will be able to feel the shoulder fronts to roll back. Stay in this position for a few seconds, and repeat this round. Repeat this exercise at least 10 times a day.
Exercise 2: Pec stretch
When you droop over your phone, your pecs also become weak and short. Stand in the doorway, position your forearms against the door frame and keep your elbows at the height of your shoulders. Keeping one of your feet forward, bring the shoulder blades all together on the back. Now lean into that door gently and remain in this position for 30 seconds. Repeat it once more and do this set 3-4 times daily.
Exercise 3: Chin tuck
You may find double chin very unpleasant in your photos, but it is great for your body posture. Chin tucks can fortify the muscles of your neck and align back your head. Sit straight in a chair and keep the chin aligned to the floor. Now try to make a double chin by bringing your chin and head back. You will feel a slight stretch at the back of your neck. Now release the chin and repeat this exercise.
You can do it sitting on your workstation. Do at least 10 reps per hour daily. While you must take frequent computer and mobile breaks, these exercises certainly help to strengthen your body.