Open Mon-Sat · (03) 9859 5059 · BOOK online OR call Reception
Open Mon-Sat · (03) 9859 5059 · BOOK online OR call Reception
neck pain | ppe neck pain

Do you have mask neck?? 

What is mask neck?  

We have seen a rise in neck pain since face masks have become the norm through the pandemic. Specifically, pain and stiffness at the base of the skull. Some people even experience dull headaches from the tension. As consistent mask wearers in the clinic, we can definitely relate! It took us all a little while to get used to face masks with this pandemic and even though the old face mask has become more familiar, it doesn’t mean that it’s not affecting us. We’ve heard many stories of annoyance and irritation wearing masks. Even in clinic we find that no disposable mask is identical and might be a little offset on the shape of your face. So you change how you use your body to accommodate these differences…and maybe for 8 hours! That’s a long time.

What causes mask neck?

Wearing masks are a must to protect us through this pandemic. When we wear them for long periods, we tend to compensate in the way we move the head around, the way we project our voices and the way we look over the mask itself. You may find yourself subconsciously trying to “hold on” to the mask with your chin. Sounds silly, we know, but next time you’re wearing a mask, make note and see if you do this too! 

This leads to a pretty common posture of jutting out the jaw which in turn compresses the base of the neck. All the small muscles at the base of the neck contract, restricting the range of motion in your neck. This may lead to not only headaches, but jaw tension as well.

Then we have the irritation of the elastic around our ears. Many people find themselves struggling with the sheer tension of loops compressing the small muscles across our skull. This is a common cause of tension headaches. In fact, some people even experience this by wearing sunglasses, hats or a headband!  

On top of this it’s been a pretty stressful time which will only amplify the effects of the mask with the stress and neck pain relationship.(we wrote an article about this too!)

If I remove the mask, will it go away? 

Usually, when you remove the headband or sunglasses, the tension reduces. Because we are wearing masks consistently, what we see is a build up of tension. This results in neck pain and headaches that become harder to manage at home. What compounds this even more is that sometimes when our neck is really, really tight, stretching can feel ineffective. Have you experienced this? If so, then it might be time to get a helping hand! 

Your osteo will work to release the tissues at the base of the skull, at the back of the neck, front of the neck and even around the jaw. Relaxing the tension also means your regular stretches become more effective going forward! 

So is it time to give your neck some TLC?

Give us a buzz on 9859 5059 or click here to book online!  

cranial osteopathy | cranial