May 30, 2023
United State

Why Do Tight Neck Muscles Cause Ear Problems?

Neck Muscles Cause Ear Problems

The major cause of tight neck muscle causing ear problems is the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle, which is located at the base of your skull on either side of your neck, behind your ears. On either side of the neck, each muscle runs down the front of the neck and splits to join the top of the sternum and collarbone. The functions of this long, thick muscle are:

  • Turning the head from side to side
  • Turn your neck to bring your ear to your shoulder
  • Bend your neck forward so that your chin reaches your chest
  • Help with breathing and breathing

It also helps with chewing and swallowing and stabilizes the head when you drop it back.

Some Common Of Sternocleidomastoid Pain

SCM pain can have a number of causes that are often related to some type of muscle tension. Tightness in another part of your body can cause referred pain in your SCM. It can also become tight and shortened from repetitive activities such as:

  • Bending forward to type
  • Looking down at your phone
  • Turning your head away from the center while using a computer

Causes of SCM pain can include chronic health conditions, such as asthma, and acute respiratory infections, such as sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and the flu. Other causes of SCM pain include:

  • Injuries such as whiplash or falls
  • Overhead work such as painting, carpentry, or hanging curtains
  • Poor posture, especially when your head is forward or turned to the side
  • Shallow chest breathing
  • Sleeping on your stomach with your head turned to one side
  • Sudden movements
  • Tight chest muscles
  • Tight shirt collar or tie

Sternocleidomastoid Pain Symptoms

You can feel SCM pain in a few different ways. Your neck, shoulders, or upper back may be particularly sensitive to touch or pressure. You may feel pain in your sinuses, on your forehead, or near your eyebrows. A dull, aching pain may be accompanied by feelings of tension or pressure. Turning or tilting the head can cause sharp pain. More serious injuries can include swelling, redness, and bruising. Muscle cramps may also occur. You may have some of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty holding up your head
  • Crick in neck
  • Disorientation 
  • Dizziness or imbalance
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Pain in your jaw, neck, or back of your head
  • Pain in your ear, cheek, or molars
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Scalp irritation
  • Stiffness
  • Tension headache or migraine
  • Unexplained tears
  • Pain in front of neck
  • Visual disturbances such as blurred vision or a light appearing dimmed

How Tight Muscle Causes Ear Problems?

Contrary to popular belief, the position and movement of your spine and neck can have a profound effect on the function of the inner ear. This is because the upper cervical spine is indirectly responsible for controlling the tone of the muscles near the eustachian tubes. The twin eustachian tubes connect the middle ear with the upper throat and nose (the area known as the nasopharynx). When the lining of these canals is under pressure, the eustachian tube may close or fill with fluid.

Four Causes Of Ear Problems:

Here are some of the most common causes of a blocked ear, or tight neck muscle causing ear problems from most common to least common.

  • Wax Formation In The Ear Canal

A buildup of wax in the ear is the most common cause of a blocked or blocked feeling. The only accompanying symptom may be a slight deterioration of hearing. In most cases, it is easy for an ENT doctor to remove the accumulated earwax in the office.

  • Fluid Behind The Eardrum

An ear infection or a secondary problem from a nasal or sinus problem can cause fluid behind the eardrum. This fluid may appear clear or infected and may be accompanied by ear pain and/or fever. It can also be preceded by an upper respiratory tract disease. A doctor is able to diagnose this through a physical examination.

  • Muscle Tension Or Jaw Problems

Cervical arthritis, muscle tension, and clenching or grinding of the teeth can cause the ear to feel blocked. This is because the jaw joint lies directly in front of the ear and the base of the skull lies directly below the ear. If these areas become inflamed due to excess pressure, the sensory nerves that connect to the ear can also become inflamed and ear problems can occur.

In these cases, the pain may extend from the ear to the neck pain in fort worth or jaw. If your dentist has warned the patient about teeth grinding, this should be taken into account. If warm compresses don’t help the problem, your ENT doctor may refer you to physical therapy.

  • Hearing loss

Sometimes hearing loss can manifest as a “clogged ear” sensation in a perfectly clean ear. A patient with hearing loss may otherwise not notice hearing damage and may only feel a sensation of pressure or fullness. A comprehensive hearing test can help differentiate hearing loss from other conditions that can cause a blocked ear.

Small Adjustments To Relieve Sternocleidomastoid Pain

  1. Posture And Ergonomics

Treatment may be as simple as making changes in your posture, especially if you are working or doing certain activities in a painful area. You can change the position of your chair or desk and use the headset instead of holding the phone between your ear and shoulder.

  1. Clothing And Sleep Comfort

Make sure you have enough space around the neck of your shirt and tie. Consider wearing a seat belt while sleeping to keep your neck in good condition. You can place a folded towel under your neck to support the curve under your skull.

  1. Massage

Consider getting a massage several times a week. This can help to alleviate muscle tension and stress, although the effects may be temporary. You can even massage your head, neck, and shoulders for 10 minutes a day. You can also use other therapies such as chiropractic acupuncture.

  1. Heat or cold packs

Hot and cold treatments are an easy way to treat pain at home. This can help relieve inflammation, relax muscles, and reduce pain. Apply an ice pack or heat pad to the affected area for 20 minutes a few times throughout the day. If you switch between the two, keep a cold treatment.

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