Whether someone is using their mobile for Facebook updates, using a computer for work, or watching Youtube on the tablet, they’re spending a lot of the day staring at some kind of technological screen.
Hence, the famous tech neck arises. As people keep on looking at smartphones, neck pain in our community has grown tremendously as a consequence.
What causes your neck pain?
When looking down at your phone screen, your posture follows your gaze line. Head angles down, straining the upper back, forcing the thoracic spine and shoulders to round forward to cope.
This, in essence, disperses excess weight to your hips, which are then pushed to adapt by lowering your lower back curvature. As one minor movement leads to another the entire body is misaligned and pain eventually emerges.
A recent study shows an adult head weighs between ten to twelve pounds in a neutral position. However, if the head is pushed out of neutral alignment and bent forward by just 15 degrees, the weight skyrockets to 27 pounds. At 60 pounds, it weighs in at 60 pounds, 49 pounds at 45 degrees, and 30 degrees at 40 degrees.
Here’s How to Fight Tech Neck
Clearly, the more the head weighs, the more pressure it creates in muscles and the entire body. Second, limiting them is the best way to mitigate tech neck impact. Try to keep your phones at the head-level and keep your spine neutral when looking at any display devices.
However when you experience the discomfort of bad body posture, fortunately, yoga can assist!
Yoga Postures to Relieves Neck Pain
The following 5 yoga positions and yoga-inspired poses help stretch and strengthen the muscles in and around the neck that are either strained or enlarged by shifting our necks out of neutral alignment.
Practice each pose with caution and step within your limits. Consistency and persistence are key factors in minimizing tech neck pain, so be patient.
Learn these 5 postures for relieving the tech neck pain:
Although stretching is necessary for tech neck, it is also vital to focus on strengthening exercises. To build a stable foundation for the (heavy!) head to rest on in a balanced alignment, Dolphin acts to both stretch and reinforce the muscles around the spine.
Here’s how to do it:
Again in a tabletop position, begin on all fours. To ensure your arms are shoulder-width apart, lower your forearms to the ground and take hold of opposite elbows.
When you position your forearms parallel to each other on the mat, hold the width. To raise your chest up and away from the earth, stretch your fingers wide and push tightly into your forearms.
Tuck your toes from here and raise your knees off the mat and continue walking your feet in the form of a Downward Facing Dog while keeping your forearms on the floor. Try to bring your feet as close as possible to your hands (feel free to bend your knees here).
Keep pressing into the floor with your forearms and stretch your shoulders into your thighs. Relax the head’s weight and let it hang high with gravity. Hold for 5-10 long full breaths.
A lot of the slack left over by the neck is taken up by the shoulders, and since the tech neck will so badly misalign the spine, shoulder stretches are often necessary to reduce neck pain.
Here is how it can be done:
Start on all fours with your shoulders positioned over your wrists and your hips aligned over your knees in a tabletop stance. When you inhale, reach up into the sky with your right arm and open your chest toward the right.
When you exhale, reach your right arm under your left shoulder while you drop your right shoulder and right cheek to either the board, a block, a bolster or a blanket as “threading the needle.”
You can sit where you are, or you can wrap your left arm around your lower back if you want to intensify the release (maybe even tieing your fingers into your hip waist) to turn your chest open more towards the left. Before doing it, on the other hand, hold for around 5-10 deep breaths.
Whenever anyone encounters a tech neck, muscles are strained. Working to relax and elongate these overstressed muscles may help relieve some pain.
How to do this?
Sit in a comfortable place. Try to align your head’s crown over your shoulders and your hips. Find length in your body by sitting up nice and tall.
Keep this pose, extend your right back arm and hold your left bicep (if this feels out of reach for you, you can wrap a yoga strap or a towel around your left bicep and then hold onto that with your right hand). Enable your left arm to settle in your lap and relax your shoulders.
Inhale your head while facing toward the sky and exhale to softly release your left ear toward your left shoulder. Loosen your shoulders and chin as you extend through your neck’s entire right side. You can try turning your gaze (and chin) down or finding the angle that better suits you.
Keep for 5-10 deep breaths, then continue on the other side, alternating the arms and head tilt.
Front Fold with Stretch of Shoulder & Chest
Using your body weight in combination with the force of gravity will bring you further into stretches, as noted in the previous pose. To release the shoulders and chest, this stretch works (which are both highly contracted as a result of tech neck).
Here is how it can be done:
Begin with the previous forward fold, but interlace your fingers behind your back this time and move on straightening your arms above your head as far as possible. First, stretch your arms straight up and then cause them to surrender towards the front of your mat with gravity.
Draw your shoulder blades in the direction of each other and expand your chest. Allow relaxing your torso and brain. Keep on for 1 minute or so.
Front Fold with Neck Stretch
It will help to lengthen the cervical spine and relieve some built-up strain in the neck and shoulders by allowing gravity to help bring the weight of the head and torso back towards the floor.
Here is how it can be done:
Place your feet apart from the hip-distance and hinge forward into a standing forward fold or classic Uttanasana from the hips. Feel free to bend as much as you would like to bend your legs. Relax the weight of your head and torso and let gravity surrender everything downwards.
Place your fingers behind your neck and soften the weight onto the floor of your arms. Be careful not to force or pull your neck here instead, simply encourage your arms to shift you forward into your release with the added weight. Keep on for 1 minute or so.
You can find some relaxation from the tech neck by doing these yoga poses to alleviate neck pain. Note, when you use technical devices, the poses and stretches themselves are just as critical as restructuring your posture.
The best way to relieve the pain from the tech neck is to avoid it simply, but yoga can certainly help along the way!