Love wearing scarves, but you just don’t get why your neck always hurts after you wear your favorite scarf? Below, we’ll share some important insights into the reasons behind your neck hurting when you wear a scarf and also what you should do to stop the pain and discomfort. So, keep reading!
Why does my neck hurt when I wear a scarf?
As you will learn here, there are numerous reasons why your neck might be hurting whenever you wear your scarf or when you wear a specific scarf. These reasons are as follows:
The pain is from muscle spasms – This is one of the reasons why your neck might be hurting every time you wear a scarf. In such cases, the tightness of the scarf causes a muscle spasm around your neck muscles, hence the pain and discomfort. The affected muscle is known as the Sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM), and the good news is that the problem can be resolved easily when the affected muscle is stretched.
What you may not know is that all the layering in winter and when the weather is frigid might not be so good for your neck, especially because of all the extra weight that the clothes and the big collars put on your neck and the back. The muscles in the neck and the ones holding your head in place will be damaged over time, causing pain.
As mentioned above, these affected muscles are known as the sternocleidomastoid muscles – the weight and the strain of the layers plus the scarf will push your head forward, shortening and tightening these muscles and leaving you in pain as a result.
What you may not know about these muscles is that they are ropey, and they are also the lateral neck insert of the temporal bone, specifically at the Mastoid process. When the neck is stressed, the normal movements of these muscles are halted, and the fibers are overtaxed, leading to pain and tension at the back of your neck.
Posture – the other reason for the neck pain or discomfort is pain resulting from poor posture or the wrong positioning of the neck muscles from poor posture. In other cases, wrong or poor positioning of the scarf or maybe the jacket and the layers you have on. If, for example, you are wearing heavy clothes and, on top of that, a scarf, there is a chance that all those layers you have on will cause pain and/or discomfort.
Cervical Neck Pain – in some cases, you will be in pain when you have your scarf on because of the neck or cervical pain. The reason for this is that when there is neck pain from inflammation or anything else, the pain will radiate from the neck to the blades.
Limited range of motion around your neck – this is the other reason you could be feeling pain when you wear your scarf could be because your neck is a little inflexible and unable to therefore handle the full range of motion that is naturally expected.
How to deal with it?
First, ensure that there is the right level of balance for your SCM, which means that the muscles must be able to contract naturally and easily. To ensure balance, don’t overweigh or stress the neck. Stop wearing layers of clothes that put too much strain on the neck.
- Improve your posture to not just strengthen your neck muscles but also to improve the normal function of the neck muscles. Besides the clothes you are bundled up in, the technology overload all around us, and how we sit or stand affects our muscles and weakens the same muscles. As a result, even the smallest amount/ level of tension on your neck will result in pain and discomfort.
- Try yoga. Yoga is a powerful strengthening and flexibility form of exercise that is excellent for your entire body, but more importantly, it helps to strengthen and re-balance your neck muscles. So, even as you work on reducing the layers or how they sit on your neck, you should do yoga to boost the strength of the neck and for your comfort ultimately.
- Neck and shoulder strengthening muscle exercises. These exercises would increase your neck’s strength and improve your posture, meaning less discomfort when you bundle up. Your exercises should include workouts that target the sternocleidomastoid muscle.
- Reduce or avoid the heavy clothes you wear often.
- Talk to a physiotherapist for proper professional guidance on the exercises or the stretches you should be doing to enhance the strength of the neck muscles and to reduce neck muscle spasms and overall discomfort.
If you struggle with neck pain/ discomfort when you wear your scarf, especially during colder months when you have to bundle up, it often means that your neck muscles are a little out of shape, and you’d want to work out the muscles or reduce the heavy clothes, especially coats with very heavy collars.
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