Can you challenge yourself to text with your neck in the correct alignment?
Caspian Helm Dip. Remedial Massage
Imagine a 5 kg bowling ball balanced on a pole, fastened with ropes at the back and front. The ball is your head and the ropes are your muscles and tendons. As the ball tilts forward the ropes on the back lengthen, stretch and tear, the ropes at the front shorten. This weakens the structures designed to support your “bowling ball” head and overtime this may contribute to various problems; nerve compression, muscle stress and tension, decreased lung volume capacity, and spinal disc compression, leading to pain, stiffness, numbness and tingling amongst a whole host of other, seemingly unrelated problems.
‘Text neck’, otherwise known as Anterior Head Syndrome, comes about by the chronic use of a handheld device with an increase of forward head posture and incorrect set up of a desk pc. Both of these can increase the load on the cervical spine as the degree of tilt increases.
Here are a few steps you can take if you don’t want to join the text neck club:
1. Raise your device to eye level.
It’s amazing just how much this small change in habit can make. If at work, an ergonomic assessment to ensure your workstation is set up correctly with your screen at eye level can be very helpful. This will minimize the load on the cervical spine and surrounding, supportive structures.
2. Exercises to counteract text neck.
Exercises to counteract ‘text neck’ such as ‘the chicken’ – gliding the head back and tucking the chin in to create a double chin, and holding for 10 seconds and repeating 3 times, together with neck extensions (looking at the ceiling) are both very helpful. In addition, it is a good idea to minimize time spent staring at a computer screen (easier said than done) but these exercises will assist .
3. Massage, Chiropractic and Acupuncture.
Book in to see us. Whilst a lot can be done on your own, some of these chronically tightened muscles may need a little extra help, so you can then have confidence you need to move on with your own exercises and work towards being pain free. Think of it like helping out your future self. It’s self-care, it’s not it the least bit selfish to take care of yourself now.
As your remedial massage therapist, I will complete a careful physical examination and assessment to determine which is the best area to treat. Generally, the shortened, tight muscles at the front of your neck would be worked on to help stretch and release the tightness you may be experiencing. Deep tissue massage may also be applied to the muscles at the back of your neck to help break down any adhesions within the muscle tissue and to increase circulation in that area. As well as this, some stretching or strengthening exercises may be prescribed for long term improvement. You will also need to put in some work yourself to help achieve the best results. You can do it!
So, the moral of this story is to look up every once in a while, especially whilst crossing a road, notice other people’s postures, the good and the bad. Notice your own posture and try to make slight adjustments to correct it. It won’t happen overnight, but you will notice small incremental improvements over time and with continual effort, you will notice positive change. Sure, you may revert to the old habit of humpback technology every so often and resume scrolling social media – but over time, with perseverance and effort you will notice change, and this may also seep into other areas of your life.
So hold your head high and we will see terms like ‘text neck’ become a thing of the past.
As you can see, full muscular and spinal healthcare extends beyond just massage. To understand more, have a chat to our massage therapist, Caspian Helm, at your next appointment.
To make an appointment with Caspian you can conveniently book online @ www.blackwoodvillagehealth.com.au or call us on ph 8178 0181.