Nerd neck: Why It Happens and How to Fix It

Nerd Neck

You might see moments when people look as if they have a hunchback and as if their heads have been placed in front of their shoulders. This might seem as if it has occurred due to a misshaping in the body; you might even think that it happened from birth. But do you know that it is a syndrome known as the nerd neck syndrome?

Do you know that it is caused by bad posture and can be fixed if you follow the best exercises to strengthen your neck muscles? Well, it might be a tough task, but you will have to follow all of these exercises if you are to make sure that you look beautiful.

This could be the one article that will provide you with all the details that are there to know about not only the nerd neck syndrome but also about the importance of correct posture. So enough talking and we shall move on with the article!

What is nerd neck syndrome?

The forward head posture, which is also known as the nerd neck or even the text neck, is when people’s neck slants forward. This causes the head to look as it is being placed not on your shoulders but in front of the joints.

Nerd Neck vs Normal Neck
Nerd Neck vs Normal Neck

This can be mostly seen in people who spend their whole day looking at a computer screen or reading or writing. Bending over a book for a long time, turning on the computer for a long time, or sitting in a bad posture for a long time could be harmful to you as well as your neck.

Nerd neck syndrome is also known as the iHunch because it is more common among the younger generation. The last decade has shown massive increments in the number of patients from the younger generation who had this disease and hence the new name.

However, if you have a habit of leaning over to the laptop, tablets, or even to your smartphone, then you should definitely read this article.

What causes nerd neck?

We have heard that we should follow the correct posture more than many times in our life. We have listened to this since we were very young and have probably read that in the school textbooks, in the television programs, and whatever you can think about. But we have almost always ignored the importance of listening to these things. We have always ignored what they said and never cared about the way we sat or the way we leaned over.

If you are a person who has not considered the importance of sitting precisely, then I am unfortunate to say that you have a very high possibility of getting this syndrome at some point in your life.

The main reason for bad posture to be the leading cause of the disease is because the human spine is designed to be in an erect and upright position. The blood rate and the heartbeat, as well as the muscles and the spine, all act in a rhythmic manner and get well- relaxed when you sit upright. But the second you sit in a lousy way; it all starts to go down.

Using Phone Neck Leaned
Using Phone Neck Leaned

Since most of the millennials spend their time seated, bent, and neck leaned in front of the shoulders, the spine is getting considerable stress. This causes an abnormal spinal loading, and hence the spine begins to show signs of thoracic hunching. This can start with a pain in the neck but will sooner or later demonstrate symptoms of a neck hunch.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The signs and symptoms of a nerd’s neck could possibly start with a pain in the neck and upper spine.

To see if you are really suffering from this disease or if it is something else you can do this small exercise:

Stand in front of someone in sideways. Stand straight with your hands on either side and the neck in the most upright position as you can keep. If you seem to have your head leaned forward from the shoulders, then you are suffering from the nerd’s neck.

Another symptom is when you lift your head upwards (look into the ceiling). If it seems that your hunched- forward upper thoracic curve does not change position when viewed from aside. This is a sign known as swan necking by the doctors to mark a significant symptom of the nerd’s neck.

What are the exercises to strengthen the neck muscles?

The best way to correct nerd’s neck is by keeping your head supported at all times.

You can follow exercises to get started with strengthening your neck muscles.

Given below are a few things that would be beneficial:

Exercise

Exercise is the main thing that will help you to strengthen the muscles and improve your posture. Given below are some activities that you can do at least two or three times a day for best results to correct forward head posture.

Exercise 1 – SCM

It is possible to do this while sitting or standing. But keep your neck in line with the spine while you do it. Here are the steps:

  1. Depress the chest with one hand (left hand when stretching to the left).
  2. Rotate the head to the opposite side.
  3. Bring your head back until you feel a stretch in the front of your neck.
  4. Hold for 30 – 60 seconds and then switch sides.

Exercise 2 – Stretching the Anterior Scalene

You can do this stretch while comfortably sitting with your spine straight. It is very similar to the previous stretch.

  1. Depress the chest with one hand.
  2. Bring the opposite ear to the opposite shoulder.
  3. Rotate the head to the same side.
  4. Point chin towards the ceiling.
  5. Hold for 30 – 60 seconds and then switch sides.

Exercise 3 – Suboccipital

This stretch is mainly focusing the back of your neck. You will have to lie down on the floor to do this exercise.

  1. Take a tennis or a lacrosse ball.
  2. Keep it under your neck on one side.
  3. Tuck the chin up and down and move the neck on the ball.
  4. Hold the ball with your other hand to prevent slipping.
  5. Do this for about 30 – 60 seconds and move to the other side.

Exercise 4 – Chin tucks

This exercise is mainly aimed at strengthening the weak muscles. You can lie down on your back and keep your knees up.

You can also do them while standing or sitting straight.

  1. Tuck your chin downwards and hold for about 2 seconds and release.
  2. Repeat for about fifteen reps.
  3. When you are confident of the chin tucks you can lift your head slightly up and start doing the chin tucks with an elevated head.

You can also use two fingers to guide your chin.

With the help of these exercises, you can provide a proper balance to the blood flow to the neck muscles and reduce the tension and the stress that is given to the neck.

Supportive pillow

Try using a firm pillow that supports the curve of your neck. Your neck is naturally curved, and the only support you need is to keep it straight. Many pillows have been produced, but you should make sure that you use the best pillow that supports the best posture.

Your pillow should be firm and stiff as well.

Ergonomic workstation

An ergonomic workstation would give you the ability to maintain a neutral posture while you work. It would be best if you keep your chair in such a height that your feet will touch the ground. Also, make sure to keep your computer in an arm’s length away from the rest of your body. This will help you to fix your eye level at the top of the screen and will avoid making you lower your head either knowingly or unknowingly.

Proper sized bags and backpacks

Backpack
Not a good way to carry a backpack

Never carry a backpack that is too heavy, and that will make you lean forward. It can cause neck, back, and shoulder pain as well as induces poor posture to your body.

Avoid the problems that could cause pain in your back. Also, keep in mind to not hang your bag over one shoulder.

How can you prevent text neck syndrome?

When it comes to preventing anything related to your spine (or body), the first method is by following the correct posture.

Sitting straight with your spine in an upright position while the head is kept straight and your eyes looking downwards or the head slightly slanted is the best posture to use the laptop.

The text neck syndrome is totally preventable through correct posture. But you can also add some exercises to your neck to be entirely sure that you are at no risk.

If your work makes you sit at a desk a lot, you can try relaxing your neck muscles at least once every two hours. You can do it while being seated at your desk. No one will look at you as if you have gone mad, and you can totally do it while in your office.

Just sit straight and move your neck sideways about three types, bend your head forward and backward without touching the back. You can also move your head in a circular motion. Doing these exercises around every hour or two will help you to release the stress in your neck muscles.

Some final words

So, we have brought you everything that is there to know about the nerd neck syndrome(Foward head posture). We all know that getting a job that would be healthy while allowing you to earn a lot is hard. Well, getting any job is pretty hard these days.

Hence, if your job involves you to sit in the same seat for about eight hours and keep on working on a computer or a book, then you should be careful. Your boss has nothing to lose; it is all about you. So, it will be best to make sure that you always try to follow the correct posture while doing exercises to your neck.

There is no limit to the exercises. Sitting in the correct posture is not tiring at all. Being in a neutral position that does not cause pain to your spine or to your neck will take you a long way when it comes to your own health. Therefore, make sure that you always be in your best position.

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