Many of us would be shocked if we realised how many hours per day we spend on our phones – with recent studies suggesting the average person spends more than four hours per day on their phone.
Before you brush this off as nonsense, consider everything you do on your phone: from reading articles and emails to scrolling instagram and sending text messages. In fact, if you’re intrigued you can track your phone usage through an app like Moment (the results are often very surprising).
Not only does all this phone browsing waste a lot of our precious time – it’s actually causing a lot of health problems, one of which has been dubbed ‘text-neck’. Physios around the world are reporting a significant increase in the amount of people presenting with neck pain from strained muscles caused by looking down at our phones.
It’s important to learn how to manage ‘text neck’ if it arises and prevent the pain from occurring – here are some things we suggest you do.
Keep your phone at eye level
Obviously, one of the best ways to prevent text neck is to reduce how much time you use your phone – being mindful about when you pick it up and putting it out of sight for extended periods of time.
However, inevitably there will be many times throughout your day when you pick up your phone. When this happens try lifting your phone a bit higher. Raising your phone to eye level, even if you’re scrolling through Instagram, will take a lot of pressure off your neck.
Keep your neck and shoulders moving
When your head is constantly leaning over to look at your phone, the muscles in your chest and neck shorten and become tight.
Performing simple neck and shoulder exercises can really help to loosen up tight muscles. Every hour or so roll your shoulders a few times and do some neck stretches to keep the blood flowing and the muscles limber. These exercises are great because you can do them anywhere – even standing in line at the supermarket.
Strengthen your abdominals muscles
Strong abdominal muscles are key to keeping your body fit and healthy. More than that, a strong core will help you improve your posture and make you less likely to slump over your phone – helping ease the load on your upper body and neck.
Yoga and Pilates classes are particularly effective at helping strengthen your core and posture. However, if you can’t get to a class, even core exercises you can do yourself at home will make a big difference.
See a professional
Don’t suffer through neck pain silently. Neck pain is increasingly common in the modern age and physiotherapists are skilled at helping you identify where the pain comes, treating your symptoms, helping you manage the pain and preventing it from reoccurring in the future. If your life is being disrupted by neck pain a physio can help you get back on track.
Are you looking for a long-term, effective treatment of neck pain? Make an appointment with a physiotherapist at Fairfield Physiotherapy to have the source of your neck pain diagnosed and managed with appropriate treatment.