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What is ‘text neck’ and how do you solve it?

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Do you ever think about how you hold your device while texting? Do you get a sore, stiff neck from scrolling Insta?

You may have ‘text neck’, also known as ‘tech neck’.

Can you find a regular 5-10 minutes to fix your pesky text neck weakness?

In our fast-paced world, we get so caught up in the ‘Insta now’, we forget to think about how we should hold our devices.

Efficient texting posture requires your body to stand, walk and sit in positions where the least amount of strain is placed on supporting muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Knowledge is power. If we understand proper posture and alignment, we’re one step closer to fixing a whole range of potential problems. Many postural injuries occur due to an imbalance (one muscle group is too tight, and the opposing muscle group is weak and lacking tone).

Any of these text neck cues sound familiar?…

  •  “Don’t slouch”
  • “Eyes up, chin up”
  • “Core on”
  • “Your best posture is your next posture”

Spending the majority of our day in prolonged forward flexion of the cervical spine (or text neck) can lead to all sorts of problems:

  • Chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Headaches
  • Muscle atrophy and weakness
  • Over-use problems
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Digestion issues and fatigue
  • Impingement and nerve compression

APA Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist Adnan Asger Ali from Accelerate Physiotherapy in Garran suggests a couple of mobility and strengthening exercises to help combat text neck:

“When texting, we tend to sit in slouched positions placing strain on the structures around the neck and upper back. To counteract this, try laying a foam roller or a rolled-up towel across your shoulder blades for a minute or so to ‘’extend’’ your spine.

“Now, that stretch may feel great for a little while but strengthening the muscles around the area is really what will give us lasting relief. Exercises like bent-over rows, banded pull-aparts and shrugs are all beneficial.

“Of course, these suggestions are general in nature and may not suit every individual. So if you experience increasing discomfort or have any questions, be sure to book an appointment with a friendly physiotherapist to help get you back on track!”

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Now, how to text properly:

  • Slight tuck of the chin, to activate your deep neck flexors.
  • Chin “neutral and in”.
  • Eyes should be forward—to encourage your neck not to “flex” for a long period of time.
  • Sit or stand, with your spine tall and shoulders back and down. Once you are as tall as possible, release by 10%. This is more sustainable for a longer period of time.
  • Feet should be flat on the floor, with weight distributed evenly.

I understand it’s unrealistic to think about your text neck posture all the time, however, if you can be aware of it 50% of the time—then we’re on the right path to recovery!

Alternatively, you could actually just disconnect for a ½ day…that would really benefit your neck!

I want to share a 10-minute Text Neck routine with you. Do you have 5-10 minutes?

If you have a specific injury, make sure you consult your local Physiotherapist, Exercise Physiologist or Allied Health Professional before you do these exercises. These five exercises will target your postural strength, mobility and stability.

Text Neck Workout

1) Wall press-up
2) Deep neck flexors in a forward lean
3) Thoracic Extension (seated)
4) Upper Trapezius stretch
5) Chest stretch

You can print the PDF here, and a two min video clip is available on IGTV later today.

It’s time to start being aware of how you hold that pesky addictive device. Can you find a regular 5-10 minutes to fix your text neck weakness?

If you want to go one step further—you can just put your phone away…

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