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3 Tricks to Relieve Painful “Text Neck”

Do you know what your neck looks like when you’re scrolling through your phone? If I had to venture a guess, I would say it is probably at some sort of an angle, positioned downward to better stare at your device. This phenomenon is leading to more and more cases of “text neck” as I like to call it – which is stiffness and pain in your neck (and upper back) due to increased, chronic straining (AKA scrolling through news feeds, email, websites, etc across all of our super convenient devices). 

I know that I’m not immune to this problem! Practically every day I catch myself tilting my head in some weird way while absorbed in something on my screen. Today, it’s a normal and common problem, but it shouldn’t be something we all just accept as appropriate and healthy posture. All evidence points to this sort of posture creating really problematic stressors and strains on the spine. Over time, this can only lead to problems and pain. Consistency and commitment to taking care of your neck is key, as is adjusting your posture when you are on your smartphone or other devices.

In a study conducted by Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, it was found that as the head tilts forward the force place on the neck dramatically increases. When we hold our head in a healthy, neutral position, the forces to the cervical spine are about 10-12 pounds and evenly distributed, which is normal. But as we tilt our head forward the force increases:

Repetitive forward head posture and frequently hanging your head may lead to all sorts of neck problems, including early wear and tear, degeneration, nerve root impingement, herniation/bulges, and possibly the need for surgery. Imagine having a consistent force on your cervical spine that is the equivalent of 30-60 lbs? The results from that long term force cannot be good for anyone.

This graph from the study described above shows the effects of the tilt that accompanies cell phone use.

Be sure to use these best practices to decrease the strain you are putting on your neck and spine:

1. Be aware of your head and position

As shown above, even just a slight tilt away from a neutral spine practically doubles the force your cervical spine is feeling. Good posture isn’t just “shoulders back,” in this day and age we all need to be sure we are keeping our chins away from our chest and maintaining a healthy, neutral spine. 

2. Use simple neck stretches throughout the day

Even just gentle, slow, alternating ear to shoulder movements can stretch each side of your neck to prevent stiffness and cramping. This is even useful for those of you sitting in desks and around conference tables during the workday. Or students in lecture halls and classrooms! Just as you might get the urge to stretch your legs, be sure you are giving your neck some much needed time for gentle stretching throughout the day. 

3. Practice yoga poses that target neck and shoulder mobility

Naturally, as a yoga teacher, I am a huge proponent of yoga (shout out to my Yoga Prehab™ tribe!). But only because it actually works

In today’s busy world, I find that the countless clients I have worked with over the years really do have time to invest in their health and well being, even if that means just practicing a few minutes of yoga per day. 

My favorite poses (asanas) to target problematic neck and shoulder stiffness are the much-beloved downward facing dog and the ever-popular, super stretchy cat-cow. These help to stretch out and relax the neck, shoulders and even provide tension relief for both your upper and lower back. 

Pop into these even just for a few minutes when you feel that text neck tension creeping up on ya’ – bye text neck!

For a proven method to release, stretch, and strengthen these problem areas and heal from “text neck” once and for all, check out my course The Text Neck Fix. Better to spend a few minutes a day with me, than to need weeks of expensive rehab for nerve damage, disc issues, or other neck, shoulder, and cervical spine-related issues.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

Why So Tense? The TOP 2 EASIEST Ways to Combat Painful Body Stiffness

Want to guess what one of the best ways to prevent body stiffness is? It is actually by moving. Seems a bit counterintuitive, but I swear to you, it makes perfect sense. 

Think about it like this – if you aren’t moving (or grooving) and your muscles and joints are just hanging out with nothing to do, they will very likely get stiff. And with stiffness, sometimes follows soreness. And then discomfort. So, the key is to keep some movement and mobility – even just a little – into each and every day. 

An easy way to break it down is to remember that motion is lotion – no joke! If you are stiff and sedentary at work or during your commute, it is extra important to get more mobility into your daily routine. The more movement and mobility you are able to do, the better lubricated your joints will be. This means easier movement, less stiffness, and less pain. If you are not moving, your joints will not be as supple, and you’ll likely experience tightness, soreness, and discomfort. 

The good news is you do not need to have an intensive exercise routine that you adhere to daily. The solution to these issues and the prevention of pesky muscle and joint pain is not hours of laborious work and training. The effort you put in each day – even just 10-15 minutes – can dramatically improve your health, comfort, and wellbeing. Over time and with consistency, you’ll experience more comfort and less pain. 

This is the whole concept behind Yoga Prehab™, which I developed to help your muscles and joints stay healthy. Before falling victim to rehab due to injuries and chronic pain, I help people take preventative action to actually strengthen their muscles and joints in order to prevent injury. Makes sense, right?

So, over time and with a dedication to movement and mobility — stiffness and discomfort will decrease. In situations where you need some immediate relief for sore and stiff spots, try this Super Soothing Shoulder Cure! It’s quick and requires only 2 minutes, 2 ingredients, and 2 simple steps!

Super Soothing Shoulder Cure

  • A couple of drops of Peppermint essential oil 
  • 1 or 2 tbsp Coconut oil (or other mild body oil of your choice such as almond or jojoba)
  1. Mix your ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Rub the mixture onto your shoulders and experience cooling, soothing relief for tight, sore muscles!

See? Easy, right? Peppermint has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, making it a great solution for aches, pains, and muscle spasms you might be feeling in your shoulders. (and you won’t smell like grandma’s Bengay cream)

Did you give the Super Soothing Shoulder Cure a try? Let me know how you liked it!

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

 

6 Tips To Naturally Rebalance Your Chakras To Relieve Neck + Shoulder Pain

The heart chakra (Anahata) is the area of energy in your body that is related to love, care, and compassion – both for yourself and others. The throat chakra (Vishuddha) is the area of energy in your body related to feeling heard, communicating with others, and honestly vocalizing your needs. When these centers of energy are out of balance, encumbered by stress or other emotional factors, you can actually carry those feelings of imbalance as tension in your body. 

This naturally can contribute to aches and pains in your neck and shoulders, right where those energy centers are found. Because the throat and heart chakras are next to each other, many rebalancing methods for one also benefit the other. So convenient! 

Remember that sometimes a chakra might be either blocked or overactive. Either way, these easy tips will help to rebalance your heart and throat chakras if and when they are out of sorts and imbalanced. 

  1. Speak Your Mind! Sometimes the throat chakra can feel blocked when you feel unable to express yourself. If there is something you’ve been meaning to get off your chest, do so in a gentle, honest, and mindful way. You deserve to feel heard!
  2. Go Green! (or Blue) The color associated with your heart chakra is green – specifically, emerald green, while the throat chakra is all about blue. Try surrounding yourself with these hues, or wearing something in these colors to lift and unblock those chakras.
  3. Give Thanks! For the people in your life who you couldn’t live without – let them know how thankful you are! Show your appreciation and support to those who support you – even if it’s just a quick hello, text, or email to let them know you love ‘em. Acts such as this will allow your heart chakra to really radiate. Your throat chakra is all about vocalizing and communicating, and positive words to those you care about can lift your mood and open up your throat chakra in a powerful way.
  4. Yoga It Up! Do some yoga! I love a good cat-cow sequence for healing the throat chakra. For some poses (asanas) that will target both your heart and throat chakras, join me for my Heart Reset Flow, suitable for every skill level.
  5. Turn It Upside Down! Other quick yoga-based practices for opening up the throat and heart chakras include inversions, which help stimulate the blood flow to your head, neck, and chest. Pop into a quick, gentle downward facing dog to relieve those blocked chakras and get the energy flowing. My 7 DAY CHAKRA CLEANSE is perfect for getting things realigned using physical therapy-based mobility and yoga techniques!
  6. Pamper Your Heart! Practice some self-care to help open your heart chakra. Whether it’s snuggling in to watch your favorite movie, taking some time to settle down with a face mask, or preparing your favorite healthy meal, showing yourself some love will help rebalance your chakras and get some much-needed relaxation.

Looking for more neck + shoulder remedies? Try the NEW SPINAL RESET FOR NECK + SHOULDER PAIN.  Get all my secret tips + tricks for instantly improving pain and stiffness in your neck and shoulders…you won’t find them anywhere else!