Technology has gone from big screen desktops to little computers that fit in our palms. This makes getting information very convenient. However, cell phones are making us look down even more than laptops do. A syndrome, called Text Neck, has formed because of this.
Text Neck is very similiar to a slouch for desk workers. But sometimes, Text Neck can be more extreme because the chin is at a lower angle, forcing the neck forward more.
“Why does this create more tension?”
The average human head weighs the same as a bowling ball. At proper posture, the entire spine supports the head over the shoulders, allowing the weight to be spread evenly over the muscle and bone structures.
When the head comes into a forward posture, the weight of a bowling ball is now balanced on a few vertebrae in the neck. This causes all that pressure to sit on the muscles of the neck instead of over the spine. Moreover, the spine gets stuck into an unnatural position, which starts a deterioration process.
Also, gravity works. The more forward the head comes, the weight will start to double on the spine and muscles.
“Can Text Neck be reversed?”
Yes! Just like slouching, Text Neck can be healed. It’s all depends on postural assessment, exercises and stretching.
Personal Note: See my Slouch Makes a Grouch article for tips on postural assessment and stretches.
Here’s another stretch you can do to help with Text Neck:
Another stretch to compound on this is:
- Bring your hands onto your chest (like in the video) and pull down on the skin lightly.
- Rotate your head slowly to one side.
- Look up over your shoulder at a corner in the room. (Personal Note: A Yoga instructor told a client of mine to look over their shoulder, like they were looking for fireworks.)
- Do the same thing on the other side.
“Does Massage help with this?”
Yes! Most Massage Therapists (and Chiropractors) can help with Text Neck. In fact, doctors are now recommending both for people who are constantly on their phones. Seeing a professional can:
- Decrease headaches
- Realign your spine and shoulders
- Decrease tension in muscles
- Lower heat in trapped blood vessels
- Decrease pain and stress
- Return Range of Motion to the neck