Your neck hurts occasionally. Every couple of months you get this pounding headache right behind your eyes. Could your problem be text neck? According to Physiopedia, “text neck is overuse syndrome, usually resulting from excessive strain on the neck from looking down at any handheld mobile device, which can lead to headaches, neck pain, shoulder and arm pain, and breathing compromise.”
Text neck looks similar to forward head posture. If you’ve been told you have either one, what can you even do about it? We’ve all seen pictures of it, and warnings about how we use our phones, but yet we continue to text all day and look down at them. I mean, is it even realistic to hold your phone at eye level whenever you use it? It’s really not, and luckily for you, there is a better solution.
20 Second Text Neck Test
First things first. You only need 20 seconds to find out if you have a forward head or text neck. Find an empty wall or door, and do the following test described by Courtney at Functional Fitness, a PTX Licensed therapist:
“Stand at the wall with your heels up against it. Allow your body to settle against the wall. Notice if your shoulders and head rest against the wall or if you have to push your head to get it to the wall (please don’t force your head) just notice where your head is.”
My head is Forward, Now What?
Once you’ve stood up for a moment at the wall, you will know whether your head is touching or not. If it’s not touching the wall easily, then chances are, your head, neck, and/or shoulder pain is stemming from your forward head or text neck posture.
How To Fix “Text-Neck”
Do you want to fix your text neck? You could try to lift your phone up to eye level when you use it. You might try to change your phone habits, but that probably won’t last. Fortunately there’s a much easier answer. You can correct your forward head position, and still be able to look down and use your phone all day. You see, the body just needs a little bit of ‘reverse’ stimulus to keep it in the right position. All you really need to remind the head and neck to stay upright are a few gentle exercises done up against a wall. When performed regularly, this will be enough to keep your neck from reverting back to text neck with a little phone usage.
The most important thing you can do with the confirmation that you have “text neck” is to do SOMETHING. Anything. It’s worth 5 minutes of your day to reverse what’s happening to your head. If you don’t do anything, the pain will only get worse and more irreversible as time goes on. Your head and neck will continue to shift forward even more as gravity pulls it forward. Don’t let this be your story. A little prevention now will save you years of head and neck pain and medical expenses.
Try this exercise from Functional Fitness to get your head back over your shoulders and fix text neck. If doing this one exercise daily isn’t enough, and it might not be depending on how bad things are, then you can get a custom-tailored program to straighten things faster at PTXTherapy.com or from the staff at Functional Fitness.