We wake up, text. Go to work, text. Eat lunch, text. Walk, text. Go to bed, text.
What we don’t realize is our texting posture is becoming a real pain in the neck. Every day we all take part in this same epidemic called “texting posture.” We walk around in our hunchback position trying to stay connected through communicating, updating, and browsing. By constantly looking down at our phones, we are applying unnecessary stress on our cervical spine, which in turn can be the cause of our nagging neck pain.
On average, a human head, in a neutral position, weighs between ten and twelve pounds. Now tilt the head forward and you are exerting a pressure of up to sixty pounds. According to Dr. Ken Hansraj, a spinal and orthopedic surgeon in Poughkeepsie, New York, our texting posture can lead to early wear and tear of the neck muscles and cervical spine, which can ultimately end in surgery.
This is not to say that technology is bad, but lets try and use our smartphones smarter. Here are some helpful tips to avoid texting posture and that nagging neck pain.
1. Our eyes have a range of motion:
You don’t have to bring your device up to eye level to avoid texting posture. Our eyes have a range of motion, which means you can look down at your phone without tilting your head.
2. Stretch and stay limber:
Keep the joints in your neck limber. If you feel your neck getting stiff, try these easy exercises: turn your head left to right several times, then try lifting your shoulder to your ears.
3. Posture matters:
Maintain a proper posture. Try standing in a doorway and extend your arms while pushing your chest forward. This will help strengthen your spine.
4. Stay hydrated:
The discs in your neck are primarily made up of water. So sip on water throughout the day to keep the discs in your spine pliable and healthy.
5. Sleep on your back:
This sleep position is the best because it lets your entire spine rest comfortably.
6. Get plenty of rest:
Your neck works hard to support your heavy head, so give it a break. Napping during the day or taking a break can truly help your neck health.