Tips to Prevent Text Neck Syndrome during Lockdown Period
We all are well aware that cell phones and laptops are highly used technological devices. Using these devices is not at all wrong. Many of us use electronic devices for purpose of our work. But what matters is the way you use your phone and electronic appliances and how your body alignment is while using them. On the top of that, due to lockdown people are busy working from home and faulty body alignment while doing the work causes increase in the amount of neck problems. And this is the reason you should know about 'Text Neck Syndrome'.
What is Text Neck Syndrome?
The term 'Text Neck’ was first coined by a US chiropractor Dr Dean L. Fishman. He referred Text Neck to be an injury caused by repetitive stress or overuse syndrome where head and neck posture is stuck forward by looking at your phone for long hours. It is a cause of habitual and continuous alignment of ‘head-down’ or 'forward-head' posture. Eventual pain and incorrect posture leads to Text Neck Syndrome.
How does Text Neck Syndrome affect us?
Text Neck Syndrome causes further complications of posture like thoracic kyphosis which is increase convex curvature of upper back, protruded shoulders due to habitual posture, spasm in upper neck region muscles and weakness in lower neck muscles. Due to this compensatory and incorrect posture, the spine at neck region becomes painful. Over a period of time, this habitual posture might lead to formation of permanent deformity. Also forward head posture can be a cause of severe cervical spondylosis. Hence it is important to correct it with proper ergonomics and exercises at the earliest.
For how long do you use your phone or laptop continuously?
Ways to get rid of Text Neck Syndrome
Can you stop using your phones and laptops forever? No! But there are solutions to which you can prevent Text Neck syndrome. Pain at the neck region can be an important sign to look after your posture when you are performing different activities. Before this posture turns into a deformity, it is necessary to correct something that you are doing wrong. So let us see how can to prevent further damage to our neck. Here are three simple techniques to heal your neck pain.
1. Be aware of your Posture
Posture is the most important aspect to work on. Be aware of your posture while doing your work on laptop and while using cell phone. When you hold your phone, hold it in a way that it is in line with your eyes. Hence, you won't have to bend down to look at your phone. Same goes while doing work on your laptop.
A confident person posture is always a straight spine and chin up!
2. Neck Exercise
One of the most important exercise to correct the forward head posture and to reduce pain is tucking your chin behind. This exercise cause correction of cervical spine posture and realigns the muscles reducing its spasm. The compensatory tightness and weakness of neck extensors and flexors is corrected. There are different ways to do this exercise.
- Sitting in upright position with or without back support and tucking your chin inside and neck and head behind as demonstrated in the image. It is advisable to take a back support like a low back chair so as to prevent leaning behind.
- If difficult to perform this exercise as above, stand against the wall and press your head behind so that the back of your head touches the wall.
- Another easier way to do this exercise is lie on your bed and have a towel roll or thin pillow underneath your head. Press your head against the pillow.
Tip: Performing exercise in front of a mirror gives you a feedback if you are doing the exercise correctly.
Stretches are for tight muscles around your neck and shoulder girdle region. Due to the faulty alignment, the forward head posture causes tightness of anterior shoulder muscles and posterior neck muscles. Hence, these self stretches relieves the tightness and simultaneously does active strengthening of your shoulder girdle muscles. Performing these stretching exercises with holds for 15–20 counts is always beneficial.
During lockdown, you can take time out for doing these simple exercises. But once lockdown ends and routine work starts, it might seem difficult. But these are very simple exercises and can be done while you are at your workplace or whenever you take a break from household chores. Taking out 10–15 minutes for your body will benefit yourself in a longer run. For severe pain or any medical conditions please consult your physician and physiotherapist personally for a medical clearance. Take care of your health and stay safe!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Natasha Tungare