Have you been having more headaches lately?
What if I told you that wearing a mask has been taking a toll on me? It is, and I bet it’s having an effect on you as well. Sure, it’s helping to keep us safe, (and I fully support wearing them) but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come at a cost. Here’s my take on it all:
- Masks are obstructing some people’s vision (either because of fogging glasses or blocking your peripheral vision) so you are holding your head and neck differently
- You are probably mouth breathing more which is changing your overall oxygen/carbon monoxide/nitrogen balances internally
- The biomechanics of your jaw is off when you are talking/breathing with the mask on which leads to neck muscle imbalances
More importantly, what to do about it
- There are various soft tissue massage techniques you can do for yourself to relax tissues in your forehead, temple, and jaw area
- Working to open and close your mouth several times during your mask breaks, with “normal and neutral mechanics” can be very helpful
- Place the tongue on the roof of your mouth and open/close 8x, 3 times/day
- 12-16 soft deviations with your jaw left and right (while your mouth is opened) just enough to keep your teeth from scratching
- Address your head/neck postures to minimize long term effects of wearing the masks.