Masks and Neck pain
There has been a connection between people spending long periods of time wearing masks, and increases in neck stiffness and pain. Although masks have become the new norm, they’ve also literally been “a pain in the neck”! Our jobs sometimes require many of us to wear masks for hours at a time. This is often due to work. But it causes us to begin to feel discomfort and pain around the neck.
If a mask doesn’t fit you right then it can cause a lot of neck and jaw pains as well as headaches. It’s important that you find a mask that properly and comfortably fits you. This can help prevent neck pain along with any other pain caused by your mask. You may have to go through trying on many different masks. As long as you find the best one for you.
You must know the connection between masks and neck pain. Masks often have loops that rest behind your ears. But many of the nerves and blood vessels running near your ears might be getting tugged on by your mask. This contributes to neck pain. A helpful tip is to get a mask that has behind-the-ear loops or one that ties around the back of your head. This is to give your ears a break.
If your mask happens to be too tight around your face then it will push your head back and create compression at the neck. This can irritate your facial nerves which trigger neck pains. It’s also possible to experience referred pain through the shoulders and arms. This is because your head is being pushed back. It’s due to the network of nerves that connects several parts of your body.
How to Prevent the Pain
Be aware of your head, neck, shoulder, arm, and body positions while wearing your mask. It’s best to move as often as possible. This is especially if you find yourself sitting or standing in the same position for a long period of time. Position your mask in a way that optimizes your movements and posture, but also keeps you protected.
To offload tired muscles on your neck just swivel your chin down to your chest bone for five seconds. Do this about every three hours. You can do this to try and ease any neck pain you may have. Often take breaks to unwind and stretch. Try to relieve any cumulative pressure or tension. Also, try to take a walk outside for some fresh air. Allow yourself to move around and relieve stress.
It does appear we are entering into a period where mandated mask regulations are being slowly retracted. However, in certain situations, it may be a while before we can completely remove masks from our daily routine. It’s important that wearing one becomes comfortable for ourselves and our bodies. Masks and neck pain are not a good mix. If you think you’re experiencing any neck pain due to face masks, schedule an appointment today.