Think of your day, how often are you looking down towards a device; at work, school and home? Now, while we are so blessed to live in a time where these wondrous technologies are at our fingertips, we need to be careful of our spines as the poor things are getting hurt. Ouch!
Text neck may aggravate chronic headaches, muscle tightness & strains, and neck pain, pain in the shoulders, down the arms, hands and wrists. It may even cause some numbness or tingling in these areas and that is just in the short term.
When we look down at our phones, our neck flexes forward, putting strain on our muscles and other structures in our bodies, our shoulders roll forward to compensate and can cause the ‘hump” or ‘kyphosis”. This can lead to postural issues which may affect a wide range of areas of our lives, including the spinal health of our discs and vertebrae.
Remember- For every inch you drop your head forward, you double the load on your muscles due to gravity.
- Keep Them Up! Raise the device you are on to eye level, so that you are looking forward. Stack some books under that laptop, lift your phone up to eye level. This is extremely important when working at a device for long periods of time, especially within your work space.
- Ahh now that the device is at the right level. SIT UP RIGHT, use your back muscles to pull your body up straight, look at your profile in the mirror and get your ears as aligned with your shoulders as possible. (more below)
- Make sure you get adequate breaks from the devices, go for a walk around, look at something at eye level further away.
- CORE CORE CORE- activate it! Imagine you are doing pilates! whenever we activate our core, it reminds us to keep straighten and align our posture. Do not underestimate the cores power. If you do not know how to engage it, invest into learning how to, as it is well worth it.
Exercises to do daily:
- Chin tuck- You sit or stand up tall, your chin parallel to the floor and pull your chin back. Do not take it too far, it shouldn’t cause pain. Release and do it again.
- Shoulder blades - imagine your shoulder blades squeezing together, this can be done at your desk or in your car. Sit up or stand straight, squeeze them back and hold for 10 secs and release and repeat.
Invest in your spine's health
Yours in Health,
Dr Diana Pakzamir