One of my clients was complaining about her neck the other day. As she described, after staring at her phone for an extended time, "My neck speaks!. Why does that hurt so much?" she asked.
In a study about two years ago, researchers looked at the burden on the neck when bent forward for extended periods. The chart below shows the results. A 45 degree forward head is the equivalent of a 49-pound weight on the neck muscles.
Adding to the burden is that muscles, when held in a constant contraction, endure a constantly decreasing blood supply. This can lead to headaches, as the muscles involved are well known to refer pain to the back of the head.
What is the solution? There are times when you need to look down but, if possible, minimize the length of time you hold your neck in that position.
As often as you can, sit up straight and look at the ceiling. Giving your neck frequent breaks and moving it as much as possible will do wonders for the musculature of your neck. In addition, seek out someone with training in hands-on treatments (such as Precision Neuromuscular Therapy) to target exactly the muscles most involved in this condition.