Best Exercises to Combat Text Neck
It seems unbelievable that there are more than 4 billion cellphone users on this planet. But let’s take a moment and ask what this fact is doing to our health. Text Neck, also known as Tech Neck, refers to a continuous stress injury caused by leaning forward while looking at a screen for a long time. You often adopt this posture when texting on your phone, hence the name Text Neck.
Having this pain for extended periods can harm your body posture and health. Below, we will introduce the exercises that relieve and combat Text Neck.
Best Poses to Get Rid of Text Neck
The following are seven equipment-free exercises and stretches to help you heal this annoying pain. Make sure you do them correctly and do not overdo them, or the effort to get rid of the pain will only bring you more pain.
1. Downward-Facing Dog
Downward-Facing Dog is suitable for opening the anterior chest wall and shoulders. This pose strengthens your upper body’s stamina. If you don’t have shoulder strength, this is the proper exercise. Here’s how to do it:
- Start on all fours. Tuck your toes and lift your buttocks to the maximum height.
- Put your heels back toward the mat, so they plank on the ground.
- Stretch your neck long by dropping it. Form your wrist creases parallel to the front edge of the mat. Press your forefingers and thumbs into the knuckles to avoid pressure on your wrists.
- Take at least three deep breaths, and then release.
2. Exaggerated Nod
The exaggerated nod helps increase neck movements and mobility as it counterbalances the downward/forward head posture by pulling your shoulders down and back. To perform this exercise, follow the instructions below:
- Begin the exercise by sitting at a desk or comfortably standing with relaxed shoulders. Keep your mouth closed without any pressure on the teeth and look up to the ceiling.
- Take a moment here to let your jaw relax and open your mouth. Try to bring your head two inches back if possible (it’s usually doable).
- Maintain your head position and move your lower jaw toward the upper jaw, closing your mouth. You should feel a stretch in front of your neck.
The Cat-Cow pose improves the neck’s flexibility and can have the same effect on the shoulders and spine. This exercise activates the tailbone and lets go of the neck and upper back pain. It can also work for stretching the back, hips, abdomen, and chest muscles. Here’s how to do it:
- Begin on all fours with a straight spine, your arms under your shoulders and hips directly over your knees.
- Inhale while bending your back, forming a C shape and round the tailbone while putting your chin on your chest.
- Exhale as you stretch your stomach down towards the mate and, at the same time, take your gaze up.
- Perform this cycle a few times to relieve your stress and pain.
Also known as Hand to Foot Pose, Padahastasana focuses on stretching the neck and hamstrings, which is quite helpful to battle text neck and hips that are cramped from sitting all day. Moreover, it can let loose the extra air from your abdomen and increase blood circulation. Here’s how to do it:
- You need to take off your shoes and begin by standing straight. Then, bend down and reach your arms to the floor. If it’s too complicated, take your arms down without putting too much pressure.
- To fit your hands under your feet, bend your knees and lift the balls of your feet off the mat.
- Allow the tip of your toes to touch your wrist creases. Apply pressure to your palm with the balls of your feet and relax your head. Holding this pose, take at least three deep breaths.
5. Bow Pose
Also known as Dhanurasana, the Bow Pose helps fix shoulders posture by opening them from the front and toughening them from the back. This exercise highly stretches the back after an extended period of leaning forward. Here’s how you can perform it:
- Lie flat on your stomach, put your chin on the floor, and leave your hands resting on your sides.
- Bend your knees and take your heels close to your buttocks as much as it’s possible. Try reaching backwards with both hands and take hold of your outer ankles. While you inhale, raise your heels toward the ceiling in a way that your chest, thighs, and upper torso lift off the mat.
- If you want to intensify the stretch, raise your heels higher while keeping your tailbone pressed into the mat. Look forward and pull your shoulders away from your ears.
- Maintain this position for about ten breaths. Free yourself by slowly lowering your thighs and other parts of your body while exhaling.
6. Chin Tuck
Chin tuck is a straightforward exercise that you can do at your desk, in your car, or even at work in a meeting. This pose concentrates on improving spinal awareness while strengthening the neck muscles to combat your text neck.
- Sit up straight in a chair and place your chin parallel to the ground. Keeping your head still, calmly draw your head and chin back as if you’re making a double chin. Make sure you don’t force your head back. There must be a feeling of stretch near the back of your neck.
- Now, imagine there’s a rope towing your head upward like a puppet, causing your neck to lengthen. Actively, draw the base of your skull away from the bottom of your neck. Relax your jaw and stay in this position for three deep breaths.
- Let your chin fall forward and repeat.
7. Cobra Pose
Cobra Pose intensifies the spine’s mobility, toughens spinal support muscles and helps you relieve back and neck pain. It also opens the chest and front of the body. Here are the instructions:
- Put your arms flat on the floor directly under your shoulders. Hug your elbows into your sides by bending them straight back.
- Take a moment to look straight down at your mat while your neck is in a neutral position. Bring your pubic bone down towards the floor.
- Inhale to raise your chest off the ground. Draw your shoulders back and keep your low ribs on the mat. Don’t forget to hug your side with your elbows.
- Keep your neck’s position neutral. Please don’t overdo it. It would be best if you continued looking at the floor.
- Get down on the floor while exhaling.
While smartphones for seniors are essential tools, uncontrolled use of them can have many disadvantages. Text neck is only one of the negative effects of spending too much time staring at phone screens. Although you can relieve your pain with the exercises we mentioned above, it would be best to take it easy with phones and avoid the possibility of text neck injury in the first place.