The dreaded text neck! With a cellphone in almost everyone’s hands the shoulders are rolling in and the neck is going against its natural “C” curvature. When the neck and shoulders roll forward it can cause your posture to be out of alignment, muscles tighten and pull, as well as possible compression on nerves. It is important to ensure the body is in proper alignment, especially when our heads are down all day looking at our phones. When the head is in proper alignment it puts about 10-12 pounds of pressure on the spine, when the head is flexed forward 30 degrees it adds 30 pounds of pressure on the spine! Some symptoms can include headaches, neck pain, back pain and tingling in the arms or fingers. Instead of reaching for the pain relieving medications, which come with side effects, try giving yoga a try!
When doing yoga it is important to be aware of your posture and the alignment of your neck. I can speak from experience when doing certain poses if my neck is not properly aligned it can cause some added pain and pressure in my body. When doing sun salutations you are told to follow your forward fold with a “half way lift, flat back.” In this pose many students seem to bring their head up towards the ceiling or to view themselves in a mirror. This causes the neck to crunch up, make sure that your gaze is kept towards the floor and your neck is aligned with your spine. If requested, most teachers can come over and check your posture when in this, or any pose. Down dog is also a pose that is done in most yoga classes and can also contribute to text neck if not done properly. When you are in this pose make sure you head does not hang down, your ears should be in alignment with your arms and the gaze should be in between your legs.
If you are suffering from text neck or neck pain I would also recommend seeing your local San Deigo Chiropractor. Many San Diego Chiropractors can take x-rays and see if the structure of your neck has been compromised and give adjustments as well as offer stretches to help bring the neck back into proper alignment. Like any activity talk to your yoga instructor if you have any questions regarding proper neck alignment.