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Ouch!!! Neck Pain, Big Time


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I've never had this happen before, and am hoping for some general information or advice, please. I woke up and everything was fine, then about half hour later my neck, shoulders and upper back just completely spasmed and now I can barely move my head in any direction. I'm in so much agony. I almost feel like if I could only pop my neck in the right way I'd get some relief.

 

What happened and how do I make it go away?

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Oh, god I had this happen to met alot of times. Maybe its the way your sleeping. Have you tried changing your pillow? What I did was go to CVS and bought one of those hot patch that could releive the tension the back of my neck. Probably take a warm bath and try to massage your neck at the same time. If your in that much pain take Advil and should at least bring down the pain a little. Hope this helps.

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Sometimes cold drafts can do that. Is your bed situated near a window? Maybe you did something quite rigorous/strenuous the day before? Even just doing the usual stuff like carrying heavy bags of groceries can trigger off neck and back pain, I've been there. Used to also get serious bacck and neck pain when I used to dance, felt paralyzed..loads of rest and gentle stretching (yoga)helped though!!

 

If you can't figure out why the pain is there, maybe you should go see your GP? Hope you get better.

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Thanks coolgirl, I took some Advil -- I'm not big on taking meds but I would take anything to relieve this pain! How long does this type of thing usually last, for you?

 

It's weird, I've seen people who've said their back or neck is out and it looked awful, but I had no idea how awful and immobilizing it is. I guess I could've slept wrong, but I felt completely fine when I woke up. I was kind of twisting and looking behind me a little when it suddenly spasmed, that's all I know.

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Do you spend a lot of time hunched over a computer? If so, poor posture can set the stage for that to happen. If you slept with your head and neck in a weird position, that can also cause that to happen. Have you slipped and fallen recently? Any sudden and/or awkward movements of your head? Under a lot of stress?

 

All those things can cause or contribute to what you describe.

 

I am a huge fan and firm believer in Chriopractic. Been going to one since 1989 and the various docs I've seen have all done amazing things in regards to relieving/managing/eliminating neck, shoulder and back pain for me.

 

Moist heat (like standing in a hot shower) will help relax your muscles, as will a massage/shoulder rub (either professional or non-professional) and an anti-inflammatory (such as ibuprofen) will help reduce swelling, but if your underlying problem is a spinal mis-alignment, all that is only going to help symptoms and not get at the underlying problem.

 

The muscle pain you are experiencing now will likely resolve itself in a few days even if you do nothing, but I'd strongly recommend an evaluation and treatment by a chiropractor to get at the underlying problem that caused the muscle spasms.

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Thank you banju and shes2smart. No cold drafts, and no heavy lifting or falling or anything lately. Yes, I spend lots of time in front of a cumputer, and have been stressed. It feels a bit better when I'm not in front of the computer...keeping my hands in the typing position worsens things.

 

I think the advil has helped, just a few degrees of relief.

 

Ok, moist heat. I've never been to a chiropractor, maybe I'll go, I don't know.

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Thanks coolgirl, I took some Advil -- I'm not big on taking meds but I would take anything to relieve this pain! How long does this type of thing usually last, for you?

 

It's weird, I've seen people who've said their back or neck is out and it looked awful, but I had no idea how awful and immobilizing it is. I guess I could've slept wrong, but I felt completely fine when I woke up. I was kind of twisting and looking behind me a little when it suddenly spasmed, that's all I know.

 

 

The last time I got this pain only lasted for 3-4 days and tried not to move my head around to much. There was also one time it lasted for about a week and a half. ( dont mean to scare you or anything) just tried to relax and take it easy. if you can try to take a damp towl and put it around your neck. That should help. Also there is a lotion I think called Icy Hot or Icy Cold. That does a help a bit.

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You may also want to look up some gentle yoga stretches or physical therapy stretches for neck/shoulders/upper back. But remember -- you're not trying to get a workout or force anything -- the operative word is GENTLE stretches.

 

LOL or Cry out loud, my neck was feeling a bit better so I used the opportunity to stretch by pulling back my arms with hands clasped, low, behind my back. Felt ok, then a minute or so later, a lot worse. Won't be doing that again. Duhhhhhhh.

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The last time I got this pain only lasted for 3-4 days and tried not to move my head around to much. There was also one time it lasted for about a week and a half. ( dont mean to scare you or anything) just tried to relax and take it easy. if you can try to take a damp towl and put it around your neck. That should help. Also there is a lotion I think called Icy Hot or Icy Cold. That does a help a bit.

 

uggggggggg. I'll survive.

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Yes, Advil is an anti-inflammatory and will dull the pain.

 

If you go to a chiropractor, I recommend you only have them assist you in identifying the specific spasming muscle(s), and tell you how to stretch it/them. I know it FEELS like its "out" and needs to "pop in".. but that is HIGHLY unlikely.. it actually comes from a spasming muscle.

 

Last year I had my first and only experience of this (other than the classis "crik in the neck" thing which everyone gets from time to time). Stress, combined with always holding my baby on one side, combined with poor workout form during exercising led to me putting a very small muscle into spasm (one that horizontally connects your shoulder blade to your spine). It was really, really bad.. at one point it went full into spasm and I started freaking out because the pain was so intense and it wouldn't stop (it gradually lost intensity after 10-15 minutes).

 

I went to the doctor (as I don't like chiropractors), and he identified the muscle and showed me how to stretch it (stand and hold on to a desk with your arm straight out, and gently turn your body against it). Combining stretches with muscle relaxants and Advil for pain, I was better in around 3 or 4 days.

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Just like to say a big thank you for all the great help regarding my horrible neck/shoulder problem... I'm feeling 80% better today, thanks to all the advil and gentle stretching. I still get mild muscle spasms on the right side of my neck if I move a certain way, and have some burning sensations now and then, which I guess is the residuals of a pinched nerve?

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Nerve pain is different from muscle pain.

 

Symptoms of nerve pain include numbness and tingling and (here's the key differentiatior, IMO) - nerve pain does not let up. NOTHING helps it - not heat, not ice, not different positions, not massage, not narcotics (they only make you care less about it)...NOTHING.

 

Muscle pain can be temporarily allievatied by heat, cold, stretching, massage, anti-inflammatories.

 

I had a herniated disc in my neck about 10 years ago. Prior to surgery I had nerve pain for 2 solid weeks. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy....it was that bad.

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Nerve pain is different from muscle pain.

 

Symptoms of nerve pain include numbness and tingling and (here's the key differentiatior, IMO) - nerve pain does not let up. NOTHING helps it - not heat, not ice, not different positions, not massage, not narcotics (they only make you care less about it)...NOTHING.

 

Muscle pain can be temporarily allievatied by heat, cold, stretching, massage, anti-inflammatories.

 

I had a herniated disc in my neck about 10 years ago. Prior to surgery I had nerve pain for 2 solid weeks. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy....it was that bad.

 

You're right, absolutely. I did lots of research, and consulted with a pain management/physical rehab doc. It seems that swollen muscle, tendon, ligament etc., can compress a nerve, as well as can disc problems. It was concluded that since this has never happened before, and due to my age, that's probably what I'd done, pulled something, that swelled, and pinched a nerve, given the severity and duration of my muscle contractions. I've been told to watch out for specific indicators of disc problems, due to injury or arthritis, that would show up in a few weeks, if that was my problem. The relief I've experienced is apparently primarily due to the anti-inflammatories, decreasing the inflammation of my muscles and tendons, allowing the nerve to re-continue the flow of necessary fluid.

 

A friend of mine recently had back surgery due to herniated discs, and I know what you mean, it was awful. I'm sorry you had to go thru that, shes2smart. He's now beginning to learn, thru physical therapy, how to re-learn to walk approriately, because he'd been making up for his disc problems for so long, once they were corrected thru surgery, he had major problems walking due to muscle reasons.

 

One thing leads to another.....

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A friend of mine recently had back surgery due to herniated discs, and I know what you mean, it was awful. I'm sorry you had to go thru that, shes2smart. He's now beginning to learn, thru physical therapy, how to re-learn to walk approriately, because he'd been making up for his disc problems for so long, once they were corrected thru surgery, he had major problems walking due to muscle reasons.

 

One thing leads to another.....

 

Not sure if it's attributable to "lucky" or simply "good attitude" but my only lingering issue from my disc surgery is a little numbness in the tip of my left index finger, which I don't even notice anymore unless I really think about it.

 

I went head first into a cement block wall in an equestrian accident. Took a bad jump during an indoor riding class. Cracked my helmet in two, but that piece of plastic & styrofoam is responsible for me being alive and having full use of all 4 limbs today. The disc didn't herniate til...oh....6-7 years after the accident (I think that's attributable to regular chiropractic treatment). I think it went when I was helping someone move a couch up a flight of stairs, because I remember a sharp pain when we got to the top of the staircase. A few weeks later, my left arm started tingling. 3 months after that, I was sitting in a neurosurgeon's office looking at an MRI film and the doc showing me the portion of disc he was going to remove and asking how soon did I want it done.

 

Of the surgeries I had, it was the one I freaked out most about prior to having it....and it was the one that was the quickest/easiest to recover from. Weird, huh?

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