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Bad painful neck

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
The muscles on the sides of my neck and down into shoulders get notted up and painful after I exercise. Would ice after exercise help me or am I supposed to use heat? Streching exercises dont seem to help.
Any ideas?


  • Hi hurstbrookes,

    Welcome to spine-health. As far as what would be better depends on the pain generator itself. If it is nerve related ice seems to work best for me. Now if the pain is muscle related heat does help. You need to get the muscles relaxed before the stretching will help. Good luck and welcome to spine-health.
  • I have exactly the same problem, leading to awful head/ neck aches, sore shoulders, sleep problems etc.
    My diagnosis was cervical arthritis, and when pain was stopping me from sleeping my GP referred me to a pain Dr, who suggested steroid injections. Had about 11 sets of these over 3 years, with some but patchy and inconsistent relief.
    This dr retired recently so I found a new one.
    He examined my neck- a first for any of my doctors-and found that I had very tight, sore neck muscles, and as the x-rays didn't show any real nerve impingement he said that my neck pains were most likely muscular in origin.
    This sounded very likely as I've had muscle tension problems for so many years, mainly from too much computer work.
    He referred me to a clinical physio, and one of the treatments that he put me onto was remedial massage.
    And what a difference that has made!
    My shoulder blades were a real mess, with knots and odd things happening. After a few weeks of regular massages to neck and shoulders, my neck pains have virtually disappeared.
    So many doctors and patients concentrate only on the joints and nerves, and ignore the muscles. Yet muscles are vital for any movement, and can also cause spinal problems, so must be included in any pain management program.
    So for you, try a heat or a cold pack, whichever you prefer, take some muscle relaxants and pain killers, then find yourself a remedial masseuse and have some regular treatments. You should get immediate relief, then more and more as the knots are sorted out.
    Your neck pain, if the same as mine, is actually stemming from your shoulders.
    So simple yet so effective.
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