What is Text Neck?
Scrolling through your phone all day can literally be a pain in the neck.
We have grown up being constantly reminded that incorrect posture at a desk can injure us for life, and the reminder that sleeping in a weird position can twist and bend our necks in such an odd way that we feel jammed for a while.
But a relatively new phenomenon popping up amongst the population is an injury that is difficult to avoid: the dreaded text neck.
As we develop a deeper and more intimate relationship with our lovely handheld devices, we may not realise it but our posture is being destroyed by something as simple as a head tilt.
As we tilt our heads forward to inspect Instagram, we are really throwing our body out of whack. Did you know that for every inch forward you hold your head, the weight carried through the spine can increase by 10 pounds? Looking downwards places pressure on the front of the neck and creates a gap on the back, and strains the muscles as they contract in an attempt to remain in position. Your back, shoulders, and neck all strain as they work together to keep your eyes peering at your phone.
Strains, pulls, cramps, and even permanent injuries can creep up on us without us even realising. Pretty high price to pay for a hand held device, right?
If your pain is getting too much to handle, or after taking a break from your phone you are still in pain, we recommend seeing a professional to make sure that you haven’t done any real damage. Health is wealth!
How do I know if I have text neck?
Do you have unexplained chronic back pain, which can be sharp intense spasms or just baby niggles? At the end of the day do you find yourself rubbing your neck and flexing your shoulders around unconsciously? Or maybe you stood up after spending all day on the couch on your phone and now you can’t look upwards?
All of these injuries, and some which you have yet to experience, are probably related to your addiction to your phone. Whoopsies!
How do we defeat this demon?
It can be difficult to cut down phone time, so instead lets look at preventative ways that you can stop injury before it happens:
Stop your head from getting jarred in a forward position by simply tilting your head back all the way. It should sit comfortably in a back position, without your shoulders shrugging up to support it. Hold this position for a nice deep inhale and exhale, and then slowly release. Repeat as necessary or until you a pigeon mistakes you for a friend (maybe you have a pigeon friend, we don’t know).
Yes, we agree that this is a good one!
Sit comfortably in the correct sitting posture position. Gently nod your head to see how much motion back and forth, checking to see how much movement you have. Hold the downwards part of the nod creating a nice big double chin (we don’t suggest you do this on a first date), and hold for ten seconds breathing deeply.
This one can be done either sitting or standing. Clasp your hands behind your head like you are relaxing on the beach, and open your elbows outwards while squeezing your shoulder blades backwards. You should feel some stretching in your chest. To get more of a stretch, bring your head a little back and slightly arch the middle back. Hold it for 10-20 seconds breathing deeply and gently release.
This is also a great one for correcting a messy posture. Sit on the edge of your seat with your legs about hip distance apart and your feet turned out 45 degrees. Next, hang your arms loosely at the sides with your palms facing forward (like you are going in for a big bear hug with someone) and then bring your head back so it is directly in line with your shoulders. Take about 10-20 deep breaths here and release slowly.
In addition to doing these exercises, we also recommend getting a good neck, shoulder, and back massage to help loosen up tight joints. Our favourite places across Hong Kong are:
In need of a bit of Zen? You probably are after all that phone time. Specialising in traditional Thai massages, Zen Massage is one spa where the staff are not afraid to get in there and remove those knots. Their interior is cosy and the atmosphere is one of relaxation, so that you know the moment your hobble in with your neck craned forward from being on your phone all day your muscles will sense they are in a place of relaxation and begin to release.
Ideal for the back, opt for the Traditional Thai Massage which you can book in for 45, 60, or 90 minutes at $268/308/438 before BloomMe discount respectively.
Address: Flat B, 4/F, Hyde Park Mansion, 53 Paterson Street, Causeway Bay
Feel good and smell good at Le Spa Caudalie. We recommend heading here for a break from text neck not only because the massage will release tension in a jiffy (not to mention all the free grapes, herbal tea, and almonds, yum!) but because it is a wonderful spa for detoxing from technology. Something about the chic interior or something to do with the French vibes, Le Spa Caudalie can release any knot you got. For maximum body repair, try the Crushed Cabernet Scrub & Sculpting Massage which lasts for 80 minutes at just $1,150 before discount. They use their famous Cabernet body scrub which is heaven for stress, and their brisk range of motion is surprisingly invigorating and relaxing at the same time.
Also, remember to check out their products on sale if you’re feeling like spoiling yourself a little. Skincare to die for.
Address: 3 Gough Street (Sheung Wan Station, Exit E2), Central, Hong Kong
If you’ve recovered from text neck but feel like what your upper body needs is a good workout, then maybe give our upper body workout a go. How can you expect to support your phone and head without some head turning muscles?
What is Text Neck? Scrolling through your phone all day can literally be a pain in the neck. We have grown up being constantly reminded that incorrect posture at a desk can injure us for life, and the reminder that sleeping in a weird position can twist and bend our necks in such an odd…