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Text Neck

Tips to Improve Text Neck

The following tips are for any of you who spend long periods of time working on mobile devices such as a cell phone, iPad, computer, and even reading-anything that causes forward head posture and the chronic muscle activity associated with that posture.

  • Hold the phone correctly in front of you and move your eyes, not your head.
  • Improve computer ergonomics by increasing the monitor height and applying some of our other tips and recommendations setting up your workstation, outlined in our Workstation Ergonomics Section on our Patient Portal.
  • Increase font size to avoid eye strain and to stop leaning in towards the monitor.
  • Stretching the overactive neck muscles (Use the video footage done for “Stretching the Upper Cervical Muscles – Neutral Position) that result from text neck and forward head posture.
  • Do these tips as much as you can throughout the day

Be sure to check out our other sections for more stretches and useful tips!

Chin Tucks

You can realign your entire body just by moving your head. One of the most effective posture exercises is the basic chin tuck.

  • To stretch these muscles, stick your head out like a chicken, keeping your head horizontal, holding this position for 1 to 2 seconds.
  • Now tuck it back in, keeping your head horizontal and holding this position for 1 to 2 seconds.
  • As your neck comes back in, imagine a book resting on your head, so you are not just pushing the chin in, you are also lengthening the back muscles in your neck, pushing the imagined book towards the ceiling.
  • Repeat 10 to 20 reps at a time.
  • You should only feel a stretch.

Chin Tuck and Turn

In this exercise we start with a basic chin tuck, followed by a turn and a push.

  • To do this stretch, do 10 of the chin tucks we just reviewed in the previous video.
  • Follow this with some neck turns, also doing 10 to both sides.
  • Now turn your neck to the left and push further left applying pressure to the right of your chin with your left hand.
  • Hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds. Repeat to the other side.
  • When you do this, make sure you are not collapsing your shoulders and you are not twisting your body-all movement is coming from your neck.
  • Repeat 10 “turn and push” reps to each side.

Don’t worry if you hear a lot of sounds in the neck (i.e. grating and grounding), as those are the ligaments and muscles often just rubbing over the vertebrae. If you are only able to turn 20 or 40 degrees to each side, just go with what you are comfortable with.

Chin Tuck and Extend

In this exercise, we start with a basic chin tuck, and add neck extension. This is an advanced exercise so please talk to Dr Oertel before you try this one at home!

  • To do this stretch, sit comfortably in your office chair.
  • Gently extend your neck backward.
  • Hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds and come back up.
  • You can use your hand to lift your head back.
  • You will feel a stretch in the front muscles of your neck and maybe a little bit of pressure at the bottom of the skull bone; that is normal. Repeat 5 to 10 reps.
  • Now do a neck extension, followed by a chin tuck, holding this position for 1 to 2 seconds, before returning to neutral position.
  • Again you can use your hand to lift your head back. Repeat 5 to 10 reps.

Don’t worry if you hear a lot of sounds in the neck, (i.e. grating and grounding), as those are the ligaments and muscles often just rubbing over the vertebrae.

Regain Neck Lordosis

This is an advanced stretch, so please talk with Dr Estelle about this before attempting it for the first time at home.

The problem with text neck is it causes forward head posture where the ears are in front of the shoulders, causing your ideal neck curve which you see on the left to straighten out which you see on the right. To regain our curvature, we are going to do this stretching exercise.

  • Let’s start out by warming up the neck, turning it left and right 15 to 20 times, then side to side.
  • Then lie on your back on your bed, knees bent, hands on your stomach, head supported right at the edge of the mattress.
  • To begin extension, you are going to move an inch backward until your chin slightly elevates. For most of you this will be easy enough.
  • If after 20 seconds, you are finding no difficulty, e.g. no dizziness or nausea, move an inch back, even further.
  • This is quite a bit more challenging, and you will hold this position for 60 seconds.
  • To take out the round shoulders, bring your arms up to 90 degrees, and allow them to rotate back so the palms face the ceiling.
  • Make sure your arms stay supported by the mattress.
  • To move into the final position, you are going to support the weight of your head with your hands and move back even further.
  • Now your head will feel even heavier.
  • When you are ready, slowly remove the first arm, and then you are ready again, remove the second hand and allow the head to come back until the back of the skull touches the mattress.
  • This is very intense. You’ll work up to 1 min to begin with over several weeks with the goal to get to 5 minutes, if you can, add in the arms, palm side up to really deepen the stretch through the shoulders.
  • To come out of the stretch, lift the head with your hands. Don’t try to do this without your hands, as your neck muscles will fatigue.
  • Let the head come to rest back on the mattress for 30 seconds before attempting to get up.
  • Roll onto your side, allow the knees to swing, and push yourself up to finish the exercise.

Please stop if you feel any pain, and talk to us at your next appointment.

Happy Stretching!

If you feel any pain while performing any of the stretches or movements demonstrated in the videos, please stop and talk to us at your next appointment


Text Neck
Rhapsody’s Chiropractic and Wellness | 09 217 3693