Yoga 2.0: Relief for Tech Neck

in #yoga4 years ago

Good day, Steemians! 

In my last yoga post, I promised to share my passion for yoga to address a common problem many Steemians are facing: tech neck. Here we go!

Americans spend an estimated 9 hours engaged in screen time with a large percentage of that time being on portable mobile devices like phones and tablets. The position most people take is putting a tremendously dangerous amount of stress on their spine, day after day. Failure to modify activities and REVERSE the damage that has already occurred will eventually lead to a crisis situation if not addressed. -- Dr. Daniel Jacobazzi

What is Tech Neck?

Hunching over a screen all day puts a considerable amount of stress on the neck, spine, and shoulders. 

According to Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, MD,  “When your spine is in neutral position, the head weighs about 10-12 pounds. At 15 degrees [forward], the neck sees 27 pounds. At 45 degrees, it sees 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees, it’s 60 pounds.” (source)

Given that most Americans are spending more than half their waking hours on computers, phones, and other mobile devices, that's a whole lotta extra weight for the spine to bear! This leads to:

  • neck pain
  • shoulder pain
  • upper back pain
  • chronic headaches
  • spinal curvature

And as we all know, life sucks when you're in pain! Thankfully, there are simple remedies that you can do to bring yourself back into alignment.

What can I do for tech neck?

A bit of awareness and some simple stretches for the neck, shoulders, and upper back can bring massive relief to this condition:

1. Neck Rolls
Drop the chin to the chest. Slowly roll the head in a clockwise circle. Take a second to align your breathing: inhale as the head comes forward, and exhale as you roll back. Repeat 5-10 times, then switch to counterclockwise circles for 5-10 reps.

2. Neck Stretch
Reach the left ear towards the left shoulder. Use the left hand to gently pull the head a bit deeper towards the left. Extend through the right arm as you do so. Breathe 5-10 times, then switch sides.

3. Neck Twist
Look forward, then inhale and turn the chin to the left shoulder. Exhale and turn the chin to the right. Inhale to the left, exhale to the right for 10-20 reps. 

4. Eagle Arms
Extend the arms in front of you, and bend the elbows so fingertips point to the sky. Cross the left arm under the right at the elbows. Squeeze together at elbows to wrap left forearm around the right; the hands come together. Breathe 5-10 times, squeezing into the midline of the body. You can also lift the arms higher. Unwrap the arms and switch sides, crossing the right arm under the left for another 5-10 breaths. 

5. Hands Behind the Back
Clasp the hands behind the back. If this is too intense, bring the arms together behind the back, palms facing each other, and imagine that you have a beach ball between the hands. Reach back through the hands for 5-10 breaths, then life the hands towards the sky for 5-10 breaths. 

It really is just that easy to find relief! Of course you can go much deeper into a yoga practice to strengthen the neck, shoulders, and back, but these are easy stretches that can be done right in your office without looking like too much of a weirdo. 

You can also:

  • Take a break from your device for some time each day.
  • Consider using a standing desk, chair with a headrest, or mobile device holder to achieve a more beneficial angle.
  • Remember your posture: sit up tall, extend through the crown of the head, and roll your shoulders back to open the chest.

Pain is an indicator that something is out of whack, and it's an opportunity to check in with ourselves and alter a behavior before it becomes dysfunctional habit. 

💛 Sara! 


"Pain is an indicator that something is out of whack, and it's an opportunity to check in with ourselves
and alter a behavior before it becomes dysfunctional habit. "

THAT is a great quote and I could not have said it better myself. I have always reflexively felt this way myself; any time I had pain, I wanted a solution and a rational, not treatment of my symptoms. It's been very important for me to understand how to fix things up; not just take a pill..

Solutions fix it and treating symptoms do not fix it.

Thanks for your comment, @surfyogi! I think all physical "problems" have something deeper behind them, and pain is trying to point us in the direction of getting to the real root of things. For example, a sore throat is really about some difficulty in communication, maybe swallowing anger or stifling authenticity or some such. Taking a pill could temporarily get rid of the sore throat, but the condition will manifest again and again (likely getting worse and worse) unless the real energetics behind it are addressed.

I really didn't touch on that aspect of things at all in this post, because I recognize that these theories are a little "out there" for some. But maybe it's time to share that perspective anyway...

I have a feeling that my comment from a couple of days ago may have inspired this article ... I'm sure others have asked the same thing too :) Thanks for writing this article, I'm going to bookmark it for future reference. I'm back at work this week so I'm going to give these moves a try, I'll try and comment again to let you know how im feeling, thanks again!

It sure did! Tech neck was one of the most common issues I saw in reply to how can I help the Steemians through yoga. Thanks for the inspiration, @britt.the.ish, and I would very much appreciate an update on how you're feeling when you give it a shot!

You're making me feel guilty because I know I need to be doing these, and don't.

I guess I'll start tomorrow morning off with a few sets of these. Thanks for putting some of the best stretches in one place!

Hmmm, well...I'm happy to be of service with the stretches, but there's something more to look at if you're willing:

I know that's a common phrase ("you're making me feel guilty") that you may not be giving much consideration to using, and I have no judgment on it nor am I offended, but I'm not making you feel anything. Blame isn't helpful when you want to make lasting change within yourself.

You are activating guilt because you hold some idea of what you are "supposed" to do, and you're falling short of that ideal. In my experience, guilt isn't a very helpful feeling to indulge, and it actually causes a chemical reaction within the body that leads to disease. Plus, it's addictive. It's one of those reactions that's programmed into the subconscious and will just keep on playing out unless you consciously address it.

I'm really glad you're going to give the stretches a shot, and I hope it brings massive relief to your physical body. Of course, yoga is about much more than what's on the surface! I also hope you're open to taking a look at guilt and blame to see if they're serving you, and if not how you might let them go.

Thanks for reading and commenting, @justinchase! I think yoga is really about self-empowerment, and that's what I really aim to illuminate 💛

Ah! I could have saved you some time on your reply - I'm well aware I'm falling short of my ideal when it comes to taking care of my body. I've been travelling lately and am staying 3000 miles from home - it's challenging to take care of myself the way I normally do.

I'm not REALLY feeling guilty. Let me be more precise: I'm inspired by your poses and going to act on my beliefs (taking care of myself!).

I bet you like that version better ;) No more posting late at night for me...

I like self awareness and personal responsibility quite a lot, yes. Hooray for making yourself a priority and taking care of yourself!!

Can you actually lose weight by doing Yoga? I have heard this before but didn't know if it was true or not... any thoughts?

It's definitely possible, @splatterhaus. Of course it depends on what style you choose to do, and how fully you commit to it. I would suggest something like ashtanga or bikram if weight loss is your goal.

Informative post...... Its looks a simple exercise with huge benefits,I will try it.upvoted

Awesome, I hope it helps you feel better than ever, @sa6231!

TY Sara for sending this to me by DM.

I have been doing some of these to some extent for years, you will be happy to know, but you know how it goes some days.

Have a good night out there sister, thanks again for being a friend.

You're welcome! 😄

These are super great for nursing mamas too! All that looking down while watching our babies precious little faces. 🤗

Aaaaawwwww 💕

Me encanta el Yoga! Constantemente publicas sobre el?

Me encanta tambien! Si, es mi tema favorito.

Oh muy bien! Estaré pendiente de tus publicaciones para poder leerlas! Saludos desde Venezuela!

Probably not the comment your looking for, but I love the hair! Love the yoga and post as well :) Namaste! Upvoted and followed!

Sweet, thanks for your support, @rawpride! ૐ

We need this! lol, thanks for sharing!

I'm happy I can help!

best post for Yoga lovers...and for me too....

Wow !!

. Eagle Arms
. Hands Behind the Back

are really good.
i usually sit in front of computer. now I do from 1 to 5.
4.5 are better than 1.2.3 for me.
thank you for sharing

I been developing a sharp.pain on my neck late , might be from weightlifting and constantly being in front of the computer .. will try this out later . Thanks for the guide !

I hope you find very quick relief, @bryanlai98! Please remember also to take rest if that is what your body needs.

This is great advice for fixing tech neck! So many people are staring down at their phones or computers that they don't realize the strain they're putting on their neck. As long as you remember to get up every once in a while, stretch, breathe, and try to raise up your computer or phone to eye level, then you can minimize the strain on your neck and keep the longevity there. Thanks for sharing :)

You're welcome, @cryptodata! I'm amazed how few people make the connection between how they're holding themselves day in and day out and why they have pain. It's very important to take a few conscious moments every day to offset the strained positions we put ourselves in!

Very useful thanks for sharing.

Excellent post. I am an Olympic weightlifting coach. I encourage all my lifters to do yoga in order to improve their flexibility and be able to hit proper positions in the snatch and cleans & jerk.

That's awesome!! I believe yoga offers benefits for every other sport as well. I'm glad you and your athletes are finding value in it too, @norwichgrad97!

Nice is very healthy for ur health
I m from India my mom's reduced around 10 kg in 3 months simply by yoga
Keep doing yoga
Celebrate international yoga day

Nice photos

I love that last position you picture. I've done a 15 min. exercise called t-tapp and they use something similar. I always feel amazing when I finish it.

thank you for your article 😀 😀😀
we are new on the platform and will be blogging about health and fitness please follow us @healthlovetravel

Good post and totally agree with you
also it's good to take a break in every two hours for who is sitting all day like me.
upvoted and followed you !

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Thank you for serving in this way. I am sure these exercises will help with my driver's neck as well.

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