Every day, all day, you are carrying a bowling ball with you.
Not literally of course. Hear me out.
You wake up, you go to work, you care for your kids, and the entire time you have this massive ten pound object sitting on your shoulders for which you are responsible! It’s propped up by a few supportive structures, each of which are organized and arranged to be wonderfully supportive of this object.
You can probably guess by now, I am talking about your head and neck. Your head being the bowling ball and the neck being the structures that support it!
Now if I was to tell you to arrange this head and neck in an ideal way, you would likely put the head perched nicely on top of the neck without much lean. Intuitively as well as seen in the research, if you see a neck that’s leaning, you know that neck is likely working harder than a neck that is more upright.
We are living in a world that is more phone-focused than ever, and in the world of physical therapy, we are seeing a HUGE uptick in phone and screen related pain. So what are a few things you can do to help alleviate this “text neck” that we see so often at Athletes’ Potential? Try a few of these things and see how you feel after a week:
1. Foam roll your upper back 1-5 minutes 1-2x/day. These will help relieve tension in your upper back that can throw your neck and head forward. Enjoy these!
2. Chin tucks 3x10-15 with light effort 1-2x/day. These will help align and exercise your neck by putting it in the right position. Be gentle! Feel the deep muscles lightly working to pull your chin down and back. Aim for a “double chin!"
Moral of the story: care for your bowling ball. Over time, you will lose strength, coordination, and mobility if you don’t work on them occasionally. These two simple exercises can help start to get you out of your text neck positioning. If you are still having problems, feel free to reach out to us at any time to help you improve your neck issues.
Thanks for reading,
Dr. Marcus Rein, PT, DPT, CF-L2
Dr. Danny and staff's views on performance improvement, injury prevention and sometimes other random thoughts.