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    Tech Neck: Neck Strength Should Be Everyone's Priority

    If you continuously suffer from neck pain, then you are certainly not alone. Harvard Medical School estimates that seven in ten people at some point experience neck pain and one in ten people are in pain at any given day. Between 50 to 85% of adults with neck pain will experience a recurrence of the pain within five years. The leading cause of neck pain remains to be weak back and neck posture, especially when we sit too long on our computers or text on our smartphones.

    The solution to the neck pain problem is not a quick fix. Pain management and pain relief for neck pain involve a variety of therapies that include rehabilitation therapy, medication, self-help techniques and, in some cases, surgery. Patients today play a crucial role in their recovery by participating in strengthening and stretching exercises, as well as mind and body therapy.

     

    Modern Problems Solved By Modern Solutions

    “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If he were alive today, there’s no doubt Benjamin Franklin would be a fan of the Iron Neck! He clearly understood the difference in the cost of fixing a problem versus preventing it.

    Injury prevention is about fixing weaknesses before they become problems. Challenging the neck from every angle exposes weaknesses. It may sound too cliche to be true, but Iron Neck turns these weaknesses into strengths.

    This is relevant for athletes but is also important for all people. You can’t predict when you’ll be in a car accident or slip and fall. In these instances, a strong neck may be the only thing that can help. Iron Neck is a valuable tool that helps reduce whiplash and concussion risk.

    What is Text Neck?

    The text neck syndrome, also known as tech neck is a term that refers to a condition caused by hunching over your phone, tablet or any hand-held device for extended periods with rounded shoulders, a hunched back and forward bent neck. Medically explained, tech neck is a repetitive stress injury caused by bending your head down and forward for long periods. When you hold your head this way, a lot of tension is generated deep in the neck muscles and across the shoulders, which causes acute as well as chronic pain.

    According to the Spine Hospital at the Neurological Institute of New York, bending your head 15 degrees forward is as if the head weighed 27 pounds. This is approximately 2.5 times the weight of the average adult head, which weighs 11 pounds. The problem is not simply bending the head forward, but that you bend it forward daily as you scroll on your smartphone.

    Symptoms of tech neck appear in any area where pressure is applied to the muscles, nerves and joints. This leads to chronic back pain, which ranges from mild to very severe and regularly pinched nerves. After bending the neck for far too long, you can get tension headaches. A chronic joint strain may also cause an early onset of arthritis, as this stress causes inflammation.

    A text neck can also lead to an increased spine curvature, or lead to an upper thoracic deformity called dowager’s hump, which results in bone structure altering of the vertebrae in this area.

    Solution

    • The delayed or sudden onset of upper neck or back pain when handling a hand-held device
    • Postural fatigue or sharp or nagging neck pain in the evening
    • General shoulder tightness or pain
    • Permanent head forward neck posture
    • Constant or intermittent headaches that become worse with computer use

    Simple Text Neck Exercises

    Here are a few activities you can do at home to counteract tech neck:

    Chin Tuck

    This exercise straightens your neck and upper back curvature. Tech neck overstretches your back muscles and changes your posture. While standing, tuck your chin inwards towards your body’s rear. Hold this for ten seconds and do five reps for twice a day. Avoid looking downwards while doing this exercise. Keep eyes focused straight ahead at an eye-level point.

    Neck Extension

    While sitting up straight and with your shoulders back, bend your head backwards and look up into the ceiling. With some pressure, push down on your forehead. Hold this for 20 minutes and repeat for at least five times. Do this twice a day. Avoid tensing your shoulders and neck or forcing your head backwards. Your neck muscles need to be relaxed while doing this exercise.

    YWTLs

    These exercises stretch your pecs, front of shoulders, forearms and biceps.

    Y: While standing, extend your arms straight upwards. Extend the fingertips towards the ceiling and rotate your wrists with the thumbs pointing towards your back. Hold 30 seconds.

    W: Drop both your upper arms to the right and left so at their final position, they lie parallel to the floor, with elbows at a 90-degree angle, fingers pointing up and thumbs behind, sort of like a goal post. Contract the muscles of your upper back and hold this position for 30 seconds.

    T: Drop the lower arms so that the fingertips point outwards to either side of your body. Rotate your wrists with the thumbs pointing behind you and hold for at least 30 seconds.

    L: Drop your upper arms down to your sides and bend the elbows at a 90-degree angle. Contract your muscles that lie between the shoulder blades and reach the thumbs backwards, while keeping the palms face up. Hold the position for 30 seconds.

    Upright Chest Lift


    While sitting or standing place one hand atop the other. Put both hands on the back of your head. Press back your head gently into your hands. Holding your eyes forward, slightly bend your upper torso backwards and hold for 30 seconds.

    Side Neck Stretch


    This exercise stretches the soft tissue structures and muscles on your neck. Stand up tall and relax the neck muscles. Tilt your head to your right, moving your right ear towards your right shoulder. Hold this for 10 seconds and then repeat for five more times. Switch to the left and repeat.

    Computer Neck

    You can also get neck pains from hunching too much over your computer. Computer neck is similar to tech neck, except computer neck is caused by spending too much time at the computer. Computer neck, if left unchecked, can lead to multiple issues that go past upper back problems. These hours spent hunched over the laptop over time can result in compressed neck muscles and nerves, causing pain and discomfort.

     

    Your mid and lower back muscles can stretch to an uncomfortable limit, throwing your lower body and hips into dysfunction. When the head and neck are not in postural alignment, this dysfunction works its way downwards in a chain.

    Symptoms of Computer Neck

    • muscle spasms
    • muscle stiffness
    • tightness of muscles
    • difficulty turning your head
    • pain that worsens from certain positions

    Treatment of Computer Neck

    To relieve the tension in your neck muscles, you can try various neck stretches. Some yoga poses may benefit your neck muscles, but to exercise the neck muscles, you can do a few home exercises. If the problem is severe, visit a physiotherapist, who will recommend treatment according to the severity of your computer neck.

    Simple Computer Neck Exercises
    As with tech neck, some exercises done at home can alleviate the pain and discomfort and improve posture.

     

    Seated Neck Stretch
    Sit upright comfortably in a chair, either with feet touching the ground or on the floor in a cross-legged position. Tuck your left hand under your bottom, with the right hand placed on top of your head. Gently, pull your head towards the right, ensuring your ear almost touched the shoulder. Hold for at least 30 seconds and repeat for the opposite side.

     

    Chin to Chest Stretch
    Clasp your hands on top of your head with the elbow pointing outward, while seated cross-legged on the floor. Pull your chin gently towards your chest and hold that position for 30 seconds.

     

    Cheek Push Stretch
    Sit or stand, then place your left hand on your left cheek. Turn and look over your shoulder, gently pushing your left cheek as far as possible. Try and focus your eyes on a spot behind you. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.To relieve the tension in your neck muscles, you can try various neck stretches. Some yoga poses may benefit your neck muscles, but to exercise the neck muscles, you can do a few home exercises. If the problem is severe, visit a physiotherapist, who will recommend treatment according to the severity of your computer neck.

     

    Simple Computer Neck Exercises
    As with tech neck, some exercises done at home can alleviate the pain and discomfort and improve posture.


    Seated Neck Stretch
    Sit upright comfortably in a chair, either with feet touching the ground or on the floor in a cross-legged position. Tuck your left hand under your bottom, with the right hand placed on top of your head. Gently, pull your head towards the right, ensuring your ear almost touched the shoulder. Hold for at least 30 seconds and repeat for the opposite side.


    Chin to Chest Stretch
    Clasp your hands on top of your head with the elbow pointing outward, while seated cross-legged on the floor. Pull your chin gently towards your chest and hold that position for 30 seconds.


    Cheek Push Stretch
    Sit or stand, then place your left hand on your left cheek. Turn and look over your shoulder, gently pushing your left cheek as far as possible. Try and focus your eyes on a spot behind you. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

    Tips on How to Prevent Neck Tension

    There are various treatments for neck tension, but you also need to know how to prevent it from recurring. You may need to adjust your habits to help relieve pressure from tech, text and computer neck.

    Here are some tips to prevent and manage neck and shoulder tension:

    Become Ergonomic

    Becoming ergonomic means adjusting your workspace to ensure your computer is at your eye level at all times. Adjust your seat and desk height until you can find the perfect fit.

     

    Consider Your Posture

    Improving your posture while sitting or standing is crucial to neck tension prevention. Keep your shoulders, ears and hips in a straight line. Consider setting the alarm throughout the day to check on how well you are holding your posture.

     

    Take Breaks

    Take breaks as you work or travel. Stand up, move around and stretch your upper body and neck to relieve the tension. This also benefits your eyes as well as your mental health.

    Improve Sleeping Position

    Improving your sleeping position helps to prevent neck tension. Look for a smaller, firmer and flatter pillow.

     

    Exercise

    Ensure you get adequate training every day. Getting at least two and a half hours of moderate exercise every week will help you stay healthy and fit.

     

    Meditation and Yoga

    Practicing meditation and yoga can significantly help in reducing physical and psychological stress. Yoga counts as exercise, so taking it up increases your weekly exercise ration.

     

    See a Doctor

    If you experience chronic neck pain and you cannot pinpoint the cause, ensure you visit a doctor to rule out other conditions.

    How a Neck Workout Device Helps

    The neck naturally stabilizes itself. When you put the neck through a lot of strain because of craning downwards and forwards for long hours, it becomes unbalanced. The joints and muscles weaken from many years of strain.

    Neck strength training helps to overcome text, tech and computer neck pain. Get a simple routine that only takes a few minutes a week to complete, but gives you all the benefits of relieving neck and back pain relief.

    Using a neck workout device can strengthen and bring back the balance to your neck and alleviate pain. The exercises like the ones listed above require nothing but just a comfortable place to sit.

    Conclusion

    Text neck, tech neck and computer neck all refer to neck tension or repetitive injury caused by hunching for extended periods over hand-held devices or your computer. To alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by these conditions, you can either see a physiotherapist for a comprehensive treatment plan or do self-therapy at home, and after healing, you can do some exercises to prevent the issue from recurring.

    In essence, these neck issues are similar in their causes and treatment. Everyone has at least one gadget and we should all make strengthening our necks a priority to avoid significant problems later on in life.

    Doing neck strengthening exercises using a neck workout device will help you to strengthen your neck and prevent future injuries.