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Side-effects of headgear leading to neck pain.

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wtc101 +0 points · about 5 years ago Original Poster

Since 1995 I have used a CPAP. Currently, I have a Resmed S9 with an Airtouch F20 mask / head gear that I have been happy with for about 10 years. Like most of you, I am very pleased with my CPAP for it does help me. However, I might have a proplem concerning neck pain and wonder if anyone out there sees the same?

Just a bit of background: To avoid a loose fit, I need to tighten the straps hard for I sleep primarily on my stomach forcing me to bury my face into my pillow. Consequently, the mask might easily shift if not for being tight. I further have fashioned a chin strap primarily to stop me from bitting the mask's seal at the chin. I have gone through several F20 masks, some only two weeks old, because it tends to slide up into my mouth an bingo...another mask on order. Since the chin trap. I have completely stopped this nightmare.

The neck pain appears to be in the very base of the skull at the very top of the neck. This is the sweet spot for the headgear as this is exactly the area that the headgear strap crosses when I tighten it down. So, for roughly 23 years, I have had some sort of pressure applied to this area of the neck. And, for about the past two years I have had some nagging pain. Occasionally, this pain feels like a heavy pressure in the base of the skull accompanied by sharp pain in the tender neck muscles and causing me to feel light-headed or dizzy. Now, I am no doctor so I really can't say for sure it if these are related. So I wonder if anyone has experienced this too?

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Sierra +0 points · about 5 years ago Sleep Patron

I have not experienced the neck pain issue you describe, although I do use a chin strap (BreatheWear Halo). I am somewhat familiar with the equipment you have as my wife has the S9. I have the AirSense 10 version. I have tried the F20 mask with the silicone cushion, but could not get it to stop leaking, and gave up on it.

I am curious what pressure you are using and how you ended up using a full face style? Just wondering if you could use a nasal pillow type. Also there is new style of full face but minimal contact masks out now. ResMed just released one called the F30. Very similar to the DreamWear Full Face. Also wondering if a switch in mask type could let you stop using the chin strap...

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wtc101 +0 points · about 5 years ago Original Poster

My pressure setting is 11. As to full face...just snored too much with the basic nasal mask. At to newer masks? I suppose I should look into something new. I really did like the quietness of the F20. Will look at the F30...thanks.

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Sierra +0 points · about 5 years ago Sleep Patron

A pressure setting of 11 is not that high. That is what I used with a P10 nasal pillow mask. I have now switched to a Swift FX nasal pillow which is very similar to the P10 but with better headgear. My wife uses a F&P Brevida nasal pillow up to 14 cm pressure. We both mouth tape however. She gets away with just mouth taping, and I have to mouth tape and use a chin strap. If you do go down the nasal pillow route, I would suggest using the 3M 2" Micropore tape. I am trying to get to the point I can use mouth taping only and ditch the chin strap.

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bonjour +0 points · about 5 years ago Sleep Commentator

I've not had that kind of pain either. A couple of thoughts. A pillow similar to a massage table's to allow face down.

A P10 Pillow mask (a fit kit because it contains 3 different pillow sizes), it is the lightest, least intrusive out there, and some hose management to go with you. A Mirage Activa nasal mask as it allows for a phenomenal amount of movement because of its design, though by todays standard it is fairly bulky.

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wtc101 +0 points · about 5 years ago Original Poster

Thanks for the ideas...I will look into this.

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Ruby +0 points · about 5 years ago Sleep Commentator

I have had the same issue--the headgear causes neck pressure and pain. I have a full mask because I am a mouth breather and the chin strap just did not work for me. I don't think I could tape my mouth shut either although I haven't tried that. I sleep on either side and sometimes on my back. I don't have the pain all the time but when I do, it's not good and I also end up with a severe headache. Hopefully someone will post on here some ideas that might help.

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sleeptech +0 points · about 5 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Some of my patients use padding to prevent this. Some use a folded up flannel. Others have cut up a piece of sheep skin to use as padding. It works for some of them.

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Ruby +0 points · about 5 years ago Sleep Commentator

Good ideas. Thanks!

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Lbaylis +0 points · 8 months ago

I've had my machine coming on 2 years and I've always had this issue because of 1)I was born with fused vertebrae in my neck and 2) I have some nerve damage in my neck due to small injuries say while skiing, falling off a ladder, little things like that. Anyways, if I tighten my mask so it's snug, I get tingling in my arm, my neck hurts immensely, I have headaches but it just hurts so much I can't tighten the mask tight enough to sleep throughout the night, it's almost as bad as no CPAP at all, but that's not an option since I stop breathing 90 times a minute and my pulse ox is 45 while I sleep. So I roll up a facecloth now to put under that back piece and today I'm going to Joann Fabrics to find some different foams to try to make something that will be even better. I know I can figure it and if I do I'll take a photo and post for you all.

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Sierra +0 points · 8 months ago Sleep Patron

There are many types of pillows and masks for CPAP, so there are almost limitless combinations. I think one has to experiment to find out what works best for them. What I have found is that a down alternative pillow that compresses without pushing back combined with a satin pillow case that is slippery and lets my mask move easily on the pillow works well for me. But, that is just one combination, and there are likely many others that work well.

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