01 Mar Stop being your own cause of neck pain
The advancement in technology has helped us in many ways but has also been the caused a lot of neck pain. We are able to communicate with the other side of the world within just a few seconds, we are able to organise our whole lives with just one small hand held device and we are able find out ground breaking news almost instantly. However as great as technology is, it does have its downfalls. Constantly looking at our smartphones has drastically affected our posture, especially through our necks and makes our head feels like it weighs a tone. With these 4 simple steps we might not be able to solve any major issues like “why is that guy not texting back” or “how long should I wait before I reply” but we will be able to help relieve the pressure and stress placed on your neck whilst you are making these big decisions.
Step 1: Decrease the distance between your face and your phone but don’t drop your phone on your face
Whilst you are scrolling through Facebook for the 100th time today, instead of having your phone in your lap bring it closer to your face. Stopping your head tilting down whilst you look at your phone can relieve the pressure you place on your neck muscles by 4.5kgs. This will make it feel like your head doesn’t weigh the amount of a bowling ball and reduce the amount of stress placed on your neck to support it, a major cause of neck pain.
Step 2: Give your thumbs a rest
I don’t know about you but the only phone calls I make these days are to the doctors for when I need to make an appointment for neck pain or to my grandparents and that’s simply because they don’t know how to use a mobile phone. This lack of verbal communication is such a loss as now a day we have lost the ability to make positive relationships and genuine connections with people. Younger generations will never understand the stress of making that first phone call to the person you want to ask out which sure, makes it easier, but they will also not experience that feeling of accomplishment when they say yes. Set yourself out from the crowd and start using your mobile as a phone rather than a screen to hide behind. Who knows, it might even win you a few brownie points here and there.
Step 3: Tuck in your elbows
At the end of a hard day’s work there is nothing better than coming home and putting your feet up. Odds are your phone is still firmly attached to your hand as putting it down for longer than 10 minutes can cause some of us anxiety. So whilst we are flicking through the latest Instagram pics tuck your elbows into your body. This means your arms are rested firmly on your body and not dropping down. This dropping down movement is the one we want to avoid as when we drop our arms down without any support, our head and neck naturally follow. Supporting your arms allows you to support your neck which helps decrease neck pain. With such an easy fix, it’s a no brainer to start doing this immediately.
Step 4: Working out fixes everything…or so my gym instructor tells me
Constantly texting all day makes muscles around the front and back of the neck weak. This combined with working all day these muscles tend to tighten up causing neck pain. However, through building up the deep neck flexors with stretches it will make these muscles stronger. This simple process will help your build up those muscles in no time.
1. Start lying on your back
2. Tuck your chin in slightly (rock that double chin look)
3. Lift your head slightly, so you feel like you have to contract the muscles in the front of your neck a small amount
4. Slowly continue to raise your head
5. Hold for 60 seconds if you can. If not hold for as long as you can
6. Repeat 6 times a day
If you are like me and can’t even fathom the thought of being separated from your phone then at least make these small changes to help your posture and neck pain, they are simply and easy to implement into your daily life. As easy as it is to send a text message, is it really worth it ending up with a slouched neck for the rest of your life? Or you could go from one extreme to the other and instead of sending a text message you could mix it up and send a letter. It might take a couple of weeks to get to the intended person but imagine their surprise when they receive it. Just don’t forget, the stamp goes in the top right hand corner!
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