The vision is common: People walking down the street, sitting in their cars, even across tables from each other… staring at their phones, reading and texting, and their heads are almost parallel ground. This chronic forward head position causes a syndrome of issues playfully referred to as ‘text neck.’ It can even affect you if you’re just working at the computer and reading. In today’s video, Dr. Brett Cardonick will show you two great and simple exercises for overcoming ‘text neck.’
What is text neck?
Text Neck is basically what happens from the continuous use of computers, iPads and phones — or any electronic device — that pulls your head down to a forward (downward looking) position to view or read.
The problem is that a sustained forward head position can irritate the muscles, joints and nerves in the neck and upper back. This will lead to neck pain, shoulder tightness, and headaches.
Taking care of the text neck problem is quite simple. First, you need to be aware that such a problem exists. Second, there are a series of simple exercises to do to help restore normal head position and release the neck and shoulder tension. And third, you need to do the exercises frequently to prevent a chronic forward head position.
Let’s take a look at the exercises now.
Exercise 1 – Chin tuck with extension
Sit upright in a chair with your back straight and hands resting on your thighs.
Pull your chin back to a position where your head is over your shoulders.
From this position, you look up to the ceiling.
Keep your chin tucked while returning your head to neutral position.
Relax and then repeat about 6 times. Do this three times a day for best results. The more you do it the more awareness you will develop of your head position. This will enable you to correct it more frequently and prevent the problem.
Exercise 2 – Backward arm circles
Most of our time is spent hunched forward with head down and shoulders rounded, as we read, type, work on a computer and text. This creates poor posture and contributes to Text Head. We need to “open things up” to reduce the chronic compression of the front of our upper body and concurrent extension of the back of our upper body.
Sit upright in a chair with your back straight. Put your arms out to their sides at shoulder height, palms facing up.
Now do backward arm circles. They can begin small and increase in circumference as you are able. Do not do them fast; slow and steady does the job.
Do five to ten repetitions several times per day. It is best to do a set of these maybe three to six times throughout the day. In fact, don’t count. Just do them as often as you can for best results in opening up the compressed muscles and chest area, shoulders and upper back.