Disc herniation. Pinched nerves. Muscle spasms. Carpal tunnel syndrome. Am I scaring you? I hope so, because seriously people, YOU DON’T WANT TO MESS WITH YOUR CERVICAL SPINE!
Ok I’ll stop yelling now…
“Text neck” is the name for the new diagnosis that is plaguing people all over the world. Technology may be moving us forward, but it’s also hunching us forward as well. The chronic pain we’ve developed, as a result of hunching forward all day long, has become an epidemic of mass proportions. Forward head posture, which used to plague mostly the older generation, is now prevalent in 16 year old smart phone addicts.
Clearly stopping all smartphone usage is not an option. So here are some practical ways you can still be on your phone, AND save your neck at the same time. Here are the key points to think about when attempting to change your texting position:
I’ve outlined each position and the key notes. I’ve also recorded a video on this topic so you can see the demonstrations live. Note that in some cases, you can actually use this position as a way to strengthen your back muscles and engage some important postural muscles while you hold your phone. This means you’re actually working out and texting at the same time! Well, kind of, it’s really more an isometric muscle activation exercise, but in the world of postural modification, these exercises are quite effective.
Standing and texting:
This is the most difficult position to implement, but this position should help.
Desk work and texting:
Sitting and texting:
Floor sitting and texting:
These are simple changes you can make to your daily life that will minimize the negative effects of your phone usage. If you find yourself forgetting and getting back to old habits, just correct yourself again.
If you sit at a computer all day long, you should also consider doing a few key desk stretches outlined here. The key to success in fixing your posture and reducing your neck pain comes down to one word: consistency. So stretching at your desk will be a critical component.
Awareness is a key component of making changes, and being aware of the impact of all that “looking down” is the first step toward saving your cervical spine!
Originally published at verticalign.com on March 20, 2017.
Originally published at medium.com