Fix Your “Text Neck”

text neck

Fix Your “Text Neck”

It’s a new kind of neck.  Relatively.

This latest assault on postural integrity is called “text neck.”  It’s easy to spot: face forward, chin dropped.  And it’s a pain.

Victoria Haffer, a Boston exercise physiologist, wellness coach and trainer of yoga teachers and personal trainers, explains the phenomenon.  Repeatedly looking down at your cell phone or hovering over your laptop or tablet is going to knock your head off its perfect center which is floating above your heart.

For relief of text neck pain, the last thing you should do is stretch your neck.

With texting neck, your upper back, specifically your upper trapezius and your levator scapulae, gets locked long.

“Those muscles are overstretched,” she said.

Meanwhile, in the front of your neck, your scalene and sternocleidomastoid muscles are locked short.

Heads are heavy, averaging about ten pounds, and the repetitive head drop to look at a cell phone or computer can strain or even damage the cervical spine over time.

What To Do?

Haffer recommends a double attack beginning with myofascial release (MFR) for your upper back.

Get two MFR massage balls, but two tennis balls will suffice.  Lie on your back, and place the balls on either side of your spine about one inch below your shoulders at the meatiest part of your upper trapezius.  When you can breathe easily and deeply, lift into bridge pose and slowly begin to roll over the balls, forward and back. The ball rolling releases the locked long muscles to decrease the muscle spasm.

Next, work on the front of your neck.  Press one of your massage balls (the tennis ball might be rough on your skin) into the right side of your neck just below the jaw line.  Twist the ball gently with moderate pressure as if you are trying to turn the knob on a locked door. Be sure to avoid the carotid artery. Move and twist the ball from the back of the ear (mastoid process), to the front of the neck and to the most inner part of the clavicle (collar bone), covering all surface area for approximately one minute.

Meanwhile, while you’re working at your computer, Haffer suggests a dynamic stretch break.


Push away from your desk, and place your hands on your knees.  Inhale, tuck your chin and roll your shoulders forward.  Exhale, roll your head back up, stack it over your shoulders and drive your shoulder blades down your back.  Repeat 3 to 5 times.

As always, throughout your day, practice postural awareness which is head over your rib cage, pelvis over your feet.

For more information, visit Follow Victoria on Twitter @BodyMatrixMuse.

Article Source: GreenMedInfo

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Nancy B. Loughlin is a writer based in Florida. She explores yoga, meditation, green living, sustainability and all things funky. As a certified yoga teacher, her practice is dedicated to working with incarcerated children and helping people recover from trauma and PTSD. She's always interested in applying yogic thinking to wild life experiences including marathons, mountain climbing and skydiving. Visit her website or Twitter @NancyLoughlin. Her book, “Running Is Yoga” will be available in the spring of 2015.