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Bright Ideas · The Painful Injury You Can Get From Your Phone (& How To Avoid It)
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The Painful Injury You Can Get From Your Phone (& How To Avoid It)

If you've been suffering from neck pain, your phone may be to blame! Find out how to fix it (and better yet, how to prevent it) here.

Have you ever noticed your neck feeling painful or sore after spending a bit too much time scrolling through social media on your phone? Then you’re already familiar with the condition we’re talking about in today’s post: “tech neck!”

By the end of this post, you’ll not only know a lot more about what this condition is and what causes it, but you’ll know what you can do to fix it (and even how to prevent it from becoming a problem in the first place!)

What Is “Tech Neck?”

“Tech neck” is a term used to describe neck pain that comes from improper smartphone or computer use. When you hunch over your computer at work or stare down at your smartphone in your lap, your neck may be supporting up to 50 pounds of weight. Compare that to the 10-12 pounds your neck supports when your head is in an upright or neutral position, and it’s easy to see why tech use can end up being a literal pain in the neck!

If you suspect you may be suffering from tech neck, I have some good news for you. The solution to this particular kind of neck pain is actually pretty simple: strengthening your neck muscles!

Strong and well developed neck muscles won’t tire out as quickly, and they’ll make it easier for you to maintain good posture too. Here are 3 simple exercises you can do regularly to strengthen your neck muscles and leave tech neck behind.

3 Simple Exercises To Strengthen Your Neck

1. Exaggerated Nod

How To Do It:

  1. Start by kneeling on the floor with your shoulders relaxed. Your mouth should be closed, with your teeth lightly touching (but no clenching or tension.)
  2. Look up straight up at the ceiling, pause, then relax your jaw and open your mouth. See if you can drop your head back one or two more inches.
  3. Keep your head still, then bring your lower jaw back up to meet your upper jaw, closing your mouth and feeling the stretch along the front of your neck.
  4. Bring your head back up slowly, then repeat.

Why It Works:

The exaggerated nod pulls your shoulders down and back while elongating your neck—essentially, it’s the opposite of everything that’s bad about hunching over your phone!

2. Chin Tuck

How To Do It:

  1. Sit up tall and straight in a chair with your chin parallel to the floor, then gently draw your head and chin back like you’re making a double chin, feeling a gentle stretch along the back of your neck. (Be careful not to tilt your head to one side or jam your head backward.)
  2. Next, imagine there’s a string at the top of your head that’s being pulled toward the ceiling, as if you were a marionette doll. Actively elongate your neck, pushing the base of your skull away from the base of your neck, and hold the position for 3 deep breaths.
  3. Release your chin forward and relax your neck, then repeat.

Why It Works:

The chin tuck provides a gentle stretch for tight neck muscles, and helps build the strength necessary for your neck to correctly support the weight of your head.

3. Baby Cobra

How To Do It:

  1. Start by lying face down on the floor with your legs extended behind you. Position your hands directly underneath your shoulders with your palms pressed flat on the floor.
  2. Keeping your chin tucked and your face pointed at the floor, slowly squeeze your shoulder blade together and take your hands off the floor.
  3. While holding this position, slowly raise your upper body by pressing your thighs into the floor and contracting your glutes.
  4. Slowly lower your upper body back down, then repeat.

Why It Works:

Baby cobra is a yoga pose that can help to open your back, chest, shoulders, spine, and abdominals. The back-bending motion helps to offset the effects of all that hunching and slouching we do.

BONUS: 3 Useful Tips For Preventing Tech Neck In The Future

If you aren’t currently suffering from tech-related neck pain, or you have in the past but want to avoid it in the future, here are some simple tips you can use to prevent tech neck from becoming a problem in the first place:

  • Lift Your Phone. Whenever you use your phone, you should hold it high enough that you don’t have to look down at it. Imagine looking at yourself from the side—if you were sitting up straight and holding your head correctly, your ears would be in line with your shoulders. Keep that in mind when using your phone to help you remember to hold it higher!
  • Take Frequent Breaks. Try to avoid looking down at your phone for longer than 30 minutes without a break. Take breaks often (and for added benefit, use that time to practice the exercises described above!)
  • Try Practicing Yoga. Many people who struggle with chronic pain benefit from adopting a regular yoga practice. Over time, yoga will not only build your strength and flexibility, but you’ll also learn how to listen to your body, a useful skill for preventing pain and injury.

Do you have any useful tips for preventing or dealing with neck pain?


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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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