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pokemon go neck cramp

#PokémonGO: Catch Them All Without Catching a Neck Cramp

by Athletico1 Comment

Pokémon GO has taken the world by storm. In fact, data from SimilarWeb shows that within two days of the app’s launch, Pokémon GO was being used for an average of 43 minutes and 23 seconds a day, which is higher than time spent on popular apps like Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat and Messenger.

Although Pokémon GO has been applauded for its ability to get people up and walking around, there are risks associated with keeping your head down while looking at your smartphone all day. One of these risks is “text neck.” Text neck refers to the posture that occurs from people hunching over with their heads lowered and shoulders rolled forward to look at their phone (usually to view incoming text messages).

This unnatural posture can lead to a variety of injuries that impact the neck, back, shoulders and arms. Fortunately, there are four exercises that Athletico’s Dave Heidloff recommends to counteract pain that could occur as a result from text neck.

chin tucks1. Chin Tucks

Chin tucks are a very simple exercise that can be done virtually anywhere. While looking forward, simply tuck your chin toward your neck. Doing this should feel like your head is gliding directly backward. This exercise can also be done with your chin tilted slightly upward.

2. Looking Up

Look UpTo counteract looking down at your smartphone for long periods of time, simply start looking up. This neck-stretching exercise requires you to tilt your head back, which encourages better posture. It is important that you don’t stretch too far back, however, as doing so can result in pain or a strain on your neck. This exercise can be done while either sitting down or laying on your back. That said, make sure to prop yourself up with your elbows if performing this stretch while laying down.

3. Corner Chest Stretch

corner stretchSince the shoulders, chest and back can all be impacted by text neck, it is essential to practice exercises that will open up (and loosen up) these muscles. The corner chest stretch is a good place to start.

To practice this stretch, place your arms on the wall while standing upright in a corner. From there, step forward into the corner until a stretch is felt across the front of your chest. Holding this pose for 30 seconds, for five or more times a day, should help counteract pain associated with text neck.

4. Shoulder Blade Squeezes

shoulder blade squeezesAnother way to stretch the muscles in the shoulders and chest is with an exercise called the shoulder blade squeeze. To perform this exercise, pull your chest back by squeezing your shoulder blades together when standing up (imagine holding a pencil in place by squeezing it between your shoulder blades). When done correctly, your shoulders should pull back and your chest should open up. Repeating this approximately 30 times once or twice a day should help keep those muscles stimulated.

Catch them All!

By taking breaks from Pokémon GO throughout the day and practicing these exercises, you will be better positioned to become a Pokémon master without compromising your posture. If you feel like you need to take an extra step to relax your muscles, consider massage therapy. Not only is massage therapy a great preventative care option, but it can also help improve posture, reduce muscle pain and enhance flexibility.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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