If we had to take our guess, we’d suggest that you’re reading this on your phone, or perhaps your tablet. Don’t forget to read or doing anything else. Simply be aware that the way you turn your head to swipe, scroll or look at screens will probably harm the neck back as well as your posture. Doctors have called the physiological consequences of our modern-day life style “tech neck” and it’s not a good thing. In addition, it may create tech neck lineswhich are premature horizontal lines that run across your neck, caused by the strain of looking at your smartphone.
As we continue to rely on our phones for everything from work to school to leisure and entertainment, the amount of discomfort and pain in our bodies is rising also, which is the reason for the necessity of daily neck exercises to combat the consequences of working with technology for hours at stretch.
Signs of neck strain from technology can include pain in the neck, obviously but there are also headaches and discomfort radiating behind the eyes, around the temples, and also at the top of the skull. “I see people in my office complaining of sore shoulders and headaches constantly checking their smartphones. Also, people who have round shoulders,” says chiropractor Chris Tomshack who is the CEO and president of chiropractic company HealthSource. “When you put your shoulders on a round it hinders your body’s capacity to breathe deeply. Your energy and oxygen levels may drop.”
The cause of neck problems with technology isn’t your phone , but your head. “Our heads are flexed forward when we’re using our phones,” says Tomshack. “The weight of a human head is around 10 to 11 pounds. When it’s flexed forward, which is being leveraged to 50-60 tons of pressure. The necks of our patients aren’t big enough to handle this amount of pressure for a long length of time. After some time the muscles that surround your neck are stretched.”
Prevention will pay for a ton treatment, which is why it’s crucial to both do neck exercises and adjust the way you use your electronic devices to limit strain — and that includes stopping to look at your email in the office throughout the day. “Give your ligaments, muscles and tendon joints a break as often as you be reminded,” Tomshack says.
Here are a few other ways to prevent developing a tech neck at all.
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Tech Neck
- Make sure your phone is about eye level.
- If you are using technology, stand straight and keep the head in an upright posture (ears placed over shoulders) with a good posture, and feet in a flat position on the floor.
- Get in a straight position every twenty minutes and then roll the shoulders back. Better still, take a walk.
- Think about raising your computer to the level of your eyes.
Is it too late to prevent? Here are seven of the best neck exercises for correcting neck strain, which is prescribed to ease and reduce the stress of leaning forward to play with your shiny objects.
Tech Neck Exercise 1 The Chin Tuck
How to perform the exercise:Standing, tuck your chin towards the rear side of the body. Do this for 10 seconds, then repeat five times. Repeat this five times a each day.
Why? “This is a way to reverse the curve of your back which straightens and aligns your neck.” Tomshack says. “You’re stretching everything along to the sides of your neck, and contracting your entire back. Tech neck works in the opposite direction stretching your back. As time passes, it alters your posture and is unhealthy.”
Avoid: Looking down. “Your eyes must be fixed on the wall in front of you, at eye height,” Tomshack says.
Tech Neck Exercise 2 Neck Extension
How to get this:Sitting up straight with shoulders back then extend your head to the side, and then take a look upwards at the ceiling or the sky. Press your forehead down by applying pressure. Keep it for 20 seconds, then repeat five times. Repeat the exercise twice per each day.
Whyis that? It can increase the motion of your neck.
Beware of: Tensing your neck and shoulders, or putting the head back. “Completely loosen your neck muscles” Tomshack says.
3. Tech Neck Workout Side Neck Stretch
How to perform It:Standing up tall, loosen your neck muscles as you tilt your head towards the left, bringing your left ear towards that shoulder on your left. Keep it for 10 seconds and then repeat five times. Reverse sides then continue.
Why? “This will stretch your muscles and soft tissues across both your sides,” Tomshack says. “The greater your range of motion the better your health.”
Beware of: Contracting your neck muscles. “Let gravity draw your head downwards,” Tomshack says.
Technology Neck exercise #4 Tech Neck Exercise #4: The YWTLs
How to use it:
“Y” Standing, stretch your arms straight upwards by extending your fingers towards the ceiling and then rotating your wrists until your thumbs face the ceiling behind. Keep it for 30 minutes.
“W” The “W” is to lower your upper arms in the direction of left and right, so that they’re parallel to the floor. Keep your elbows to 90°, your fingers pointing upwards and your thumbs in the direction towards the back. (You’ll make the human goalpost.) Contract your upper-back muscles. Do this for 30 seconds.
“T” Then, drop your arms to the point that your fingers are pointed towards the walls to either side of you. turning your wrists to ensure your thumbs are in the direction of your back. Do this for 30 seconds.
“L” L”: Lower your arms back to your sides, then bend your arms 90 degrees and then contract the muscles behind your shoulders. Then, reach your thumbs back toward the wall behind you, with your palms in the direction of your face. Do this for 30 seconds.
Why? “These stretch your shoulders’ front along with your pecs, your biceps and forearms,”” Tomshack states. “The T will feel fantastic.”
Do not: Not pointing your thumbs backwards and not fully stretching or contracting. “The motion to bring your thumbs pointed back is what extends the shoulders in front,” Tomshack says. “It’s easy to overlook that, however, not doing it can reduce the efficiency to nearly zero. Make sure to extend your arms and your fingers to make an enormous difference.”
Tech Neck Exercise 5: Doorjamb Posture Assessment/Stretch
How to accomplish the trick:Standing in a doorway place yourself 2 feet away from the frame, but using your pelvis with the spine being in touch with the jamb. Your back of your neck should be in contact with the jamb. If you don’t, put the folded-up towels between the head of your and jamb. Arms out to the side at the shoulder level, with your palms facing down. Relax your elbows. Do this for 60 minutes. Repeat the process 3 to 4 times throughout the day.
Why? “This strengthens your muscles of the middle back between your shoulder blades, as well as your erector spinaemuscles,” states Matthew Comer, a trainer and Pilates instructor at Club Pilates in San Diego. “It provides you with the reference point for knowing what your posture is dependent on how far you areand whether or not you are able to put your head down onto the jamb without ribs popping. It also helps lengthen the chest muscles. Poor posture is linked to muscles that are tight.”
Do not: Not keeping your head close to the doorjamb.
Technology Neck Exercise 6 The Upright Chest Lift
How to perform the trick:Standing or sitting, place one hand on one side of the other, and then put your hands together on top of the bump at your back side of your skull. Then, you can palm your skull. Press your head gently back towards your hands. While looking in the direction of your vision then bend back your upper body torso to a slight angle. Do this for 30 seconds.
Why? “This extends the pecs and abdominal wall at the forward,” Comer says. “The muscles in your back can be more active in ensuring you in your position.”
Do not: Flipping your head back as if you’re using a Pez dispenser, or tilting your lower back instead of moving your upper-middle back. “Let your breastbone rise upwards and then back while making sure your pelvis stays level,” Comer says.
Technology Neck Exercise #7 7: Face-Down Chest Press
How to use this:Lie on your stomach with your legs hip-distance from each other. Your hands should be stacked in front of you, while keeping the elbows straight. Your forehead should be placed on the hands you have stacked. Use those abdominal muscles and raise your shoulders the hands, head, and shoulders about one-inch off the floor. Do this for 30 seconds.
Why? “This is a workout that builds strength that will strengthen the muscles of your back,” Comer says. “Think of your whole spine sitting on a wall that you imagine as you lift yourself up.”
Avoid: Lifting your feet; over-lifting your torso. “Your feet should be positioned on the ground all the duration,” Comer says. “You’re using your lower back if you over-lift. This is a simple”hover,” not the same as a complete raise up.”
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