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  • Writer's pictureJohn K Maltby II, D.C.

Exercises to Help with Text Neck

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

Forward Head Posture
Forward Head Translation (aka Text Neck)

One of the troubling things that I have seen trending more and more in my office is the phenomenon of text neck amongst younger and younger kids. More and more people in general are coming in the office with forward head translation, aka text neck. This can lead to many issues, listed below, as well as that little hump that forms just below the base of your neck (the hump you really hoped would not happen to you). Also, there is some solid research that has shown the more forward your head is, the shorter your lifespan.

These are the several symptoms that have been shown to relate to having forward neck posture:

  • Neck Pain: your neck feels tight and stiff.

  • Shoulder Tightness: your shoulders feel tight, especially after a long day working at a desk.

  • Headaches: You may experience headaches that can start in your neck and travel upward.

  • Migraines: heightened sensitivity combined with poor posture may result in a migraine.

  • Jaw pain: you may experience clicking of your jaw or pain in the jaw.

  • Pain Down your Arm: pain that radiates from your neck down your arm and sometimes to your hand.

Also, some even more serious issues that can arise from this posture:

The stark reality of living today is that the majority of us are all plugged in to some kind of device that is causing us to look down, push our head forward, or slouch. There are several preventative things that can be done to slow down that forward head creep and keep that upper back hump from growing.

First and foremost you should be regularly visiting your Chiropractor. Get on a regular schedule that works best for you to keep your spine healthy. Not everyone is the same and here at White Pine Chiropractic we strive to figure out what works best for you to keep you healthy.

Second, take regular breaks. I personally like the 90/20 rule. For every 90 minute bout of work, you should take a 20 minute break (walking, looking long distances, not looking at a screen, etc). Even if you can only break for 5 minutes every hour, do that. Remember that this is a break from looking down, forward, and at screens(no phone).

Thirdly, do these simple 3 exercises to help.

The Chin Tuck

The Chin Tuck is an easy exercise you can do almost anywhere.

  1. Start by sitting with your spine straight.

  2. Slowly moved your chin and head back. DO NOT TILT YOUR HEAD IN ANY DIRECTION. You should see a double chin if you have done it correctly.

  3. Hold this for 10-30 seconds.

  4. Repeat this 3 to 5 times throughout the day.

(Yes, there is a chin under that beard)

Head and Neck Extension

This will help open up your chest muscles and fight that forward rolling of the shoulders as well.

  1. Start by sitting on a chair with your spine straight, both feet flat on the floor, and your hands on your thighs.

  2. Arch your back, look up and push your shoulders back.

  3. Round your spine and shoulders forward and look downwards.

  4. Hold each position for 10 seconds for 3 repetitions.

  5. Repeat this 3 to 5 times throughout the day.

Scapula (shoulder blade) Retraction

This can help strengthen those muscles in between your shoulder blades and help relax those muscles of the upper chest and in the front of the shoulders.

  1. Sit in a straight and neutral position.

  2. Pull your shoulder blades back together and squeeze them together. Try not to lift your shoulders up, only back.

  3. Hold for 1-30 seconds for 3 repetitions.

  4. Repeat this 3 to 5 times throughout the day.

Along with regular Chiropractic care, these three simple exercises can help keep your head from drifting forward and causing any one of those above mentioned issues that come from Text Neck, along with the little hump that can sneak up on you.

(For extra credit do all of these exercises with your core muscle engaged.)

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