Our obsession with our phones and laptops is causing severe neck issues, pinched nerves, and headaches. Known as “text neck,” this inconvenient condition can even impede circulation and cause brain fog. Luckily, a few simple daily stretches can prevent it.
It’s pretty much impossible to avoid being glued to our gadgets all day, nor can we imagine our lives without them. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for that position of constantly looking down at a small screen to give you a neck or shoulder ache, or worse.
However, these six daily exercises (and regular massages) can save you from “text neck.”
Table of Contents
Opening the whole front side body works on all affected sites – shoulders, upper back, chest, and the neck area. Let your head fall heavy and allow your throat to open as well. Use the palms of your hands and the tops of your feet to push yourself away from the floor and create that much-needed spinal lift before curving to the back.
Use your breath to help you get more oxygen in and spread all over your body, stretching out all muscles, nourishing every cell, and maintaining a healthy blood flow.
Wide-Leg Forward Fold
Although this pose clearly stretches out the legs, the way it helps with releasing the upper body is impossible to neglect. All kinds of inversions work magic for the neck and shoulders as the blood flow towards these areas increases significantly.
Grabbing the legs or feet (depending on your flexibility level) helps activate the muscles, which sends signals to the brain and stimulates rejuvenation of muscle fibers. Actively send your shoulders away from the ears to stretch out the neck and release all tightness and tension.
You can shake your head yes or no to further relax your muscles and feel your whole body getting lighter.
Forward Fold with Shoulder Raise
Combining a big shoulder stretch with an inversion is the ultimate way to show your upper body some love. Being able to move your arms left and right gives you control and helps you feel which side needs to be worked on more.
Relax your head and let gravity pull it down as we don’t want to cause any extra tension. Legs are irrelevant in this position, so whether you choose to bend the knees or fully extend them, it’s completely up to you.
Include this amazing hip opener into your daily stretching routine and you’ll be tackling two major body parts at once—hips and neck & shoulders. Using your legs as leverage, push your torso through your thighs and place one hand on the outside of your left foot.
Push into your knee to open the hips and lift the other arm up and gaze towards it, stretching up the entire chest, upper back, and neck. Breathe deeply; use inhales to open up the hips more and exhales to get deeper in the twist, improving upper body mobility as you go.
Stay for a few breath cycles before resetting and doing the same thing on the other side.
When trying to find the most efficient poses which stretch out the neck and upper back, bow pose is one of those which definitely cannot be omitted. Once you’ve grabbed your legs, you’ll create a lift by actually pushing your feet into your hands, and not the other way around.
People usually think they need to pull the legs up, which causes unwanted and unnecessary back straining. Relaxing the glutes and focusing on internally rotating the inner thighs is the right way to tackle bow pose. Keep the neck straight and treat it as an elongation of the spine, which in reality, it is.
We often forget how our spines are supposed to be bent and twisted, but also kept elongated and straight. Working on all areas is key to maintaining healthy muscles and a well-functioning nervous system.
As mentioned above, all inversions are great. However, specifically for training the neck muscles and keeping them engaged and well nourished, headstands are absolutely amazing. Being able to stand still and maintain a good balance requires more than just core strength; the body works as a whole to go against physical forces that keep us walking on our feet rather than our hands.
Sending more blood towards the head creates a surge of fresh oxygen and nutrients which replenish all upper body cells, keeping them fit and healthy. Although a headstand is an advanced pose, it’s important to note it, although you’ll sometimes hear how standing on our head isn’t good for us.
As with everything, moderation is key, so after a few breath cycles, you’ve done more than enough to rejuvenate and energize your entire body.
Nowadays, we rarely walk, talk, or do anything without our phones or other gadgets in hand. The position these devices put us in is unnatural. However, putting in a little work each day right now can save you from dealing with prolonged pain later on.