“Text neck”

Posted by on Aug 23, 2011 in Trigger Points | 0 comments

“Text neck”

With school starting back, there are a lot of us stuck in the “foward head posture” postition, more recenlty referrd to as “text neck”. Students from age 5-55, and teachers alike are back at their computers and desks looking down most of the time. This position causes symptoms that may include tightness across the shoulders, headaches, and neck soreness. It can lead to irreversible arthritic degeneration if left untreated. Translation: you will feel a lot older than you are. There have been studies showing that for every inch the head is shifted forward off center, it actually increases the weight and the demand on the spine by 10 pounds. So just a head shifted forward an extra inch to an inch and a half, is going to be applying 20-25 pounds of extra pressure around the neck area which is essentially like wearing a truck tire around the neck.

To alleviate symptoms, you must be sure to sit properly: try to have your computer screen, or whatever you are reading, at eye level so you don’t have to tilt your head down. Be aware of your posture throughout your day and change the way you are sitting/standing if your spine is not straight. Try sitting on a small soft pillow. Also, be sure to take plenty of stretching breaks. You only need 30-60 seconds to do a few shoulder and neck stretches–do this several times a day.

It’s a good idea to receive regular massage, at least one session a month, to keep your body limber and pain-free, and decrease your changes of pulling a muscle in your neck (or anywhere else). What’s important to remember is that is you’re experiencing severe neck pain you should receive massage to the connecting structures, shoulders and upper back, first. Massage of the neck itself may exacerbate symptoms at first, but gentle massage of the arms, chest, legs, and back proves to reduce pain in the neck. Trust your massage therapist if they give you a treatment plan that includes this protocol.

Locate a massage therapist trained in advanced massage techniques. These include Myofascial Release, which unwinds tight fascia (the web of material joining all the body’s muscles); Active Isolated Stretching, whose practitioners help clients perform specific stretches; and Neuromuscular Therapy, which targets specific problem areas.

To self-treat, use ice on any inflammation and use heat on any muscle that feels tight and achy. If you are experiencing headaches, you will be surprised to find how helpful a heated rice bag placed on the neck and across the tops of the shoulders can be.



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