Too much of anything can be a pain. Nowadays, even too much of texting creates unavoidable pain – the pain in the neck, that is. It even has a medical term which is called “text neck”. An epidemic that has affected millions of smartphone users.
According to Dr Kenneth Hansraj, when we stare into our phones by tilting our neck, we are increasing the weight of our heads which will cause serious stress to the neck. Without realising it, this will result in neck pain. Effectively, our head when we look straight ahead weighs about 5.4kg on our neck. When we drop our head 15° down to look at the phone, it weighs 12.2kg on the neck. The lower the head, the heavier it weighs. It will strain the neck further when the head is lowered to 60° when it will weigh 27.2kg. Imagine your fragile neck and spine are carrying the weight of a 4-year-old child for over one hour, how long before you get a neck and shoulder pain?
People are texting an average of two to four hours a day with their heads dropped down, with 700 to 1,400 hours a year of excess stress on the cervical spine, no wonder many people are suffering from head pain, neck pain, arm pain and numbness.
To ease the effect of dropping our head to text, what else but to text less. To take that extra care for our well-being, nevertheless, is to be cautious to find time to relax, especially the neck and shoulder areas. If you can’t find time to book yourself a massage with a therapist, work out the knots on you own with these exercises:
This is an exercise you can do whenever you feel drowsy or give yourself a short break to refresh. Just place the heel of your palms close to your ears but not cupping them. Hold your head at your temples and push scalp upwards. Hold a few seconds, and release.
Place your right palm facing up on your thigh, push the heel of your left palm slowly along the right forearm towards the direction of your wrist. Use enough pressure to feel some heat but not burning. Continue to brush on your open palm all the way down towards your fingertips and lastly, towards your thumb. Repeat a few times, and switch hands.
Drop your shoulders and let loose. Slowly tuck your chin to your chest to stretch your neck. Place two or three fingertips on the back of your neck where your neck and shoulders meet. Press firmly and hold, releasing when the muscles feel more relaxed. Roll your shoulders forward and back slowly. Repeat as needed.
Perhaps it is good to schedule your time for a regular head and shoulder massage at Thai Odyssey. At least three times a week for a rejuvenating time after work. Do remember that for a one-hour foot massage, you will feel more relieved with a ten minute head and shoulder massage at the end of the foot massage therapy. Be rest assured that this will leave you feeling light and refreshed even if you intend to go back to work.