Your neck has a natural curve to it. This curve allows normal joint motion which then allows for normal spinal cord function. Why? Because joints can only move correctly when normal structure is present and the spinal cord will only function correctly when the joints are mobile.
But did you know that for every inch the head moves forward in posture, its weight on your neck and upper back muscles increases by 10 pounds? Now imagine leaning forward for an extended period of time every day. That’s bound to affect your body’s natural posture and invite chronic neck and back pain! Poor posture has been linked numerously to developing abnormal curvature of the neck and this has become even more commonplace nowadays due to the following:
A recent study shows that 79% of the population between the ages of 18 and 44 have their cell phones with them almost all the time—which is why this ailment have become a commonplace.
People rely on their phone for everything not just social media. Reading news, reading e-book, checking email, online shopping, playing games, and so much more.
Not observing proper posture whether when sitting or standing. Often times, when people get bored being in one position for a long time they tend to slouch and tilt their heads forward.
Activities like driving or working on a desk also make a person tilt his head in an unnatural position for a long time.
Here are some tips you can practice to not only alleviate upper back and neck pain but to also restore a healthy neck curve that people tend to lose due to electronic usage habits.
Work On Improving Your Spines Condition
If your spine is strong and healthy, it’s less likely to develop such condition. In order to do this, you have to get enough exercise that targets your abdominal and lower back muscles. Strong core muscles support your upper body including your neck.
Seek Regular Chiropractic Care
This helps maintain proper alignment of your spine in order to prevent text neck from developing. Aside from that, regular visit to your chiropractor is great for early detection so that it doesn’t get worse. Expect posture improvement and nutritional advice, aside from spinal manipulations.
While chiropractic adjustment can’t make fix abnormal neck curve per se, it can help treat the reason why you developed that bad positioning of your cervical spine. This posture usually starts from always leaning forward to something, whether it’s a computer or a mobile gadget which over time leads to your vertebra going out of alignment. This is where chiropractic adjustment can help with. Chiropractic adjustments can:
Loosen Up The Joints Of The Cervical Vertebrae In The Neck
Sometimes, you are experiencing neck pain because the joints in your neck are stiff. This often happens due to tissue damage or scarring from trauma like whiplash or repetitive stress such as having poor posture. Both of these causes pain in your neck, but with the help of chiropractic adjustments your neck’s natural movement can be restored which can relieve the pain.
Reduce Pain Caused By Pinched Nerves And Muscle Spasms
When a nerve or set of nerves in the body are stretched, constricted, or compressed you can experience symptoms like ‘pins and needles’ feeling or burning sensation around the area. Though rest does the trick sometimes, chiropractic care provides a more in-depth solution for pain that keeps coming back. For pinched nerves and muscle spasms, chiropractors may use variety of treatment like manual manipulation, physiotherapy, and flexion distraction to reduce inflammation and take pressure off the spine.
Can Correct Misalignment
When you have neck subluxation, it becomes difficult to move your neck, your neck doesn’t receive an adequate amount of blood supply, and don’t transmit appropriate nerve information. No wonder you are in pain! Whether it’s due to recent trauma, poor posture, or health condition like arthritis, spinal adjustments can help correct misalignments in order to eliminate pain.
Hold Your Gadget At Eye Level
This then keeps you from having to bend your head forward. There are even phone holders that you wear around your neck so you don’t have to hold it but it will still keep your gadget at eye level. Or if you don’t have that, try to place it on a table so that you’re looking straight at it instead of down to it.
Take Frequent Break From Using Your Gadget Or Computer
If you have to be on your phone or computer all day due to work or for whatever reason, you should at least take breaks throughout the day. This at least gives your neck a break from the pressure of being bent forward all day long. If you’re at work, a minute or two away from the computer for every hour or so should do. But if you’re at home, try to not be on your phone a lot. You don’t have to be on social media or play games in your free time all the time anyway. You’ll be fine without your phone for few hours. Use your time at home to not only give your neck a break but to get more movement since you’re sitting at work for an extended period of time.
Make Sure Your Workstation Is Ergonomic Friendly
Another great way to combat and prevent text neck is to arrange an ergonomic-friendly workstation. Since you spend the majority of your time there, you should at least make it comfortable for your body.
To do this, start by sitting at the edge of your seat.
Your legs should be hip-width apart with your feet turned at 45-degree angle.
Let your arms hang loosely at your side with your palms facing forward.
Remember to sit in a neutral position, be careful not to overextend to not arch your lower back too much.
Rest your head directly over your shoulders.
Take 5 to 10 deep breaths.
Do this for about a minute or two for each hour that you’re at your desk.
Cervical Range Of Motion
Tuck your chin to your chest (flexion)
Look up to the ceiling (extension)
Bend your ear to your shoulders, do it both sides (lateral flexion)
Turn your chin to your shoulders, both sides (rotation)
Keep going until you feel restriction but do not go past that. Don’t force the motion.
Hold it for 5-10 seconds.
Do this 6 ranges for 2-3 times a day
Use A Cervical Roll
If your job requires you to sit in front of a computer all day or you’re usually on your phone majority of the day, your neck needs a break. Otherwise, you’ll develop flattened or reversed curve. To give your neck a break and restore healthy curve, you can use a cervical roll.
To do this, roll a hand towel length-wise.
After that, secure it with a rubber band or duct tape to make the roll tight.
Lay on your back on a flat surface and place the roll on the base of your neck.
Your neck will naturally curve around it so, move the roll lower down your spine if your head is being propped up.
Rest on that for 15-30 minutes.