Nothing makes me sadder than to see young people with Text Neck. Also know as Turtle Neck posture or anterior head syndrome, Text Neck is characterized by a rounded upper back and a forward jutting head. I have seen for myself how text neck can cause pain and headaches, as well as respiratory problems and early degeneration of the spine.
Practice Good Posture
We can’t get away from the necessity of using a computer or cell phone so we have to take extra time and care to work on reversing the effects of our repetitive forward folding motions like texting and watching our mobile devices. It’s easy to help preserve your cervical spine, by prevention. Start out with practicing good posture; track ears over shoulders and draw wing bones together.
A wonderful stretch, you can do anytime, is a simple standing or sitting C-Clasp Stretch. To begin, clasp your hands behind your back, then expand and lift your upper chest as you pull down with your arms arms and shoulders and lift your chin, looking upwards. Another exercise that can be done sitting or standing, is the Chin Tuck. Do these exercises as often as you can. Set a timer to remind yourself.
As a yoga instructor, I take myself and my students much further, into deeper toning and stretching.
Muscle balance and strength in the neck, chest, back and core is key to good health and healthy posture.
Train Your Muscles
Think about it, your head is like an 11 pound weight. Holding your neck down or forward for extended periods of time creates muscle fatigue and imbalance. The muscles in the front of the neck and chest need to be stretched and built up, to prevent long term physical and mental damage.
Yoga and Pilates moves like: table top, reverse plank, bow, locust, cobra, bridge, fish and camel pose are very good to do. Start with mild backbends. There are even more exercises you can do with weights to improve text neck. Consult your trainer.
Apart from neck pain, Turtle Neck posture can also cause shoulder pain, upper back pain, weight gain and increased thoracic kyphosis. Correcting hyperkyphosis will give you increased energy and better lung capacity. (1) It will also protect your spine from wear and tear. (2) You know the saying, “You are as old (or as young) as your spine.”
So, with that in mind, I celebrated my birthday this month by sharing one of my fast flow yoga combinations. This sequence of inversions and heart openers has multiple health benefits for posture, muscle balance, the cardiovascular system and brain. Just doing this vinyasa a few times on each side, will get your blood flowing and your joints moving to instantly refresh and revitalize.
Downward Facing Dog Flow – Step by step instructions for an experienced yogini.
- Start in Downward Facing Dog and lift leg to Three-Legged Dog.
- Abdominal crunch two times by bringing your forehead to knee & knee to forehead.
- Open your hip up towards the ceiling and crunch again.
- Lift leg and lower, lining up feet with baby toes touching and flow into a Side Plank.
- Bend the knee of your free leg and place your foot on the floor behind knee.
- Reach back with your free arm and arch into Wild Thing.
- Return to side and revolve to Plank.
- Chaturanga down to a Cobra.
- Firm your core muscles and lift to Up Dog (or Plank).
- Return to Cobra and repeat again starting with Downward Facing Dog.
How far will you go for good health? My friend sent me this great quote from Abraham Hicks for inspiration.
“You are Beings who intend to come forth and to continue to expand and grow and change. What is the perfect age? Well, it’s the age where I finally understand my freedom, and I finally understand that I am free to create, and it’s the age that I am at my most beautiful.”
“And we say, by whose standards? In other words, who gets to decide the perfect age? And we say, rather than determining what the perfect age is, why not decide what the perfect state of being is—and then discover that you can find the perfect state of being at any age.”Abraham Hicks (Excerpted from Tarrytown, NY on 5/10/03)
In health, Linda
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”Phillippians 4:13
Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor before practicing any new fitness routine.
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- Han J, Park S, Kim Y, Choi Y, Lyu H. Effects of forward head posture on forced vital capacity and respiratory muscles activity. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2016;28(1):128-131. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.128. Kim MS, Cha YJ, Choi JD. Correlation between forward head posture, respiratory functions, and respiratory accessory muscles in young adults. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2017;30(4):711-715.
- Wickstrom BM, Oakley PA, Harrison DE. Non-surgical relief of cervical radiculopathy through reduction of forward head posture and restoration of cervical lordosis: a case report. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2017;29(8):1472-1474. doi:10.1589/jpts.29.1472.