Your grandmother didn’t have to worry about “text neck” in her day, but she may warn you to watch your posture if she sees you hunched over your phone or device for hours on end! If she does, she is correct. Text neck, a new but very common problem, especially among young people, can cause a variety of pain issues and even long term skeletal problems. Natural remedies for text neck include improvement of posture and technology habits in addition to herbs and supplements to decrease acute pain.
What is Text Neck?
While very common among young people, more and more middle aged people suffer with text neck as well. Sitting or standing with your head bent forward while you use your phone or device can cause temporary or even permanent damage to the spine, muscles and nerve. This is of particular concern for teens and preteens who are still growing.
In addition to the pain in neck that results from text neck, headaches, upper back pain, and nerve pain that radiates down the arms can also result from this poor posture.
Develop Habits to Reduce Text Neck
Pay attention to posture. Picture a vertical line. Your hips, shoulders and ears should all be on this imaginary line. Train yourself to hold your phone up in front of you when you use your device to maintain a properly aligned spine.
Sitting on a comfortable chair with your body curved in a “C” position causes text neck and lower back problems as well. Get an exercise ball and sit on that for some time each day to train your spine to be in its natural position.
You may plan to use your phone for “just a minute,” and find you spent an hour hunched over it. Set a timer to remind you to take a break every 15 minutes and straighten up and take a walk.
Take a walk (without texting on your walk!) and make an effort to keep your eyes looking forward to keep your head up and not down.
Swimming is a wonderful exercise to combat text neck. Not only must you leave your device behind, many swimming strokes encourage the neck to stretch back instead of forward.
Pain Relief for Text Neck
The solution to text neck is not chronic use of over the counter pain medication. In the long term, these drugs can have significant side effects. Start with simple stretches to relieve tension in your neck.
Watch Earth Clinic’s video with simple but effective myofascial stretches to bring immediate relief to the pain in your neck.
Castor oil is a great topical pain remedy. Simply massage castor oil onto your neck and shoulders.
Fill a large sock half full with rice. Keep this in the freezer and you will have a comfortable ice pack to use on your neck.
Bromelain, derived from pineapple, is a natural anti-inflammatory and pain relieving supplement.
Turmeric is another herbal anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in capsules or in Golden Milk to reduce pain and inflammation.
A chiropractor or physical therapist may be needed to help with a chronic text next problem.
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