Reduce “text neck”
If there was ever was a reason to break from your smartphone, it’s the dreaded “text neck,” in which your neck juts out and down while viewing a small screen. “This is called forward head posture and it is absolutely terrible for your neck and your nervous system,” says Douglas Terry, DC, of Terry Chirporactic Boulder in Boulder, Colorado. “This posture stretches the spinal cord which can cause neck pain, disc degeneration, nerve impingement, and disease.” In addition to hurting your neck, this position can lower your levels of serotonin, the feel-good hormone, and pinches the vagus nerve, which is a major player in controlling your bowel regularity, Terry says. The fix, luckily, is easy—bring your phone up to eye level. Better yet, toss it aside and enjoy the world in front of you. Here are other sneaky reasons you’re making your neck hurt.
Sit up straight
When you plop down in a chair to work, eat, or watch a movie, how are you sitting? Are you slouching? Mom was right. You should sit up straight to improve posture and keep your spine happy and healthy. If you are sitting and need to look down, instead of slouching, lean forward at the waist, 15 to 20 degrees and bring your chest to your work rather than looking down from your neck or slouching in your mid-back, Dr. Terry says. Be careful to keep your lower spine neutral; overarching creates its own problems. These neck exercises can reduce neck pain by 50 percent.