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ok i'm done i'm ready to give up!

tammycttammyc Posts: 894
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Well my headache has finally gone away.HURRAY to that,but now my neck and shoulders are really killing me.My therapist did a massage on the back of my neck on friday that really seemed to help,it got rid of my nausea and eased my head,i had a massage that night and i relaxed most of the weekend ,affraid of the pain coming back again.I was at therapy today and he showed me how to massage my neck myself at home if i feel the spasms starting to come on and i feel like i'm getting a headache.Then instead of massaging my neck he decided to do a upper cervical stretch which felt really good and didn't bother the lower part of my neck at all where the fusion is. About an hour ago i got up because my neck was feeling like it was tightening up again and massaged it and stretched it and i sat at my computer just because it has a high back chair and it helps me sit up completely straight and i tried to move my neck from one side to the other and i noticed that my neck is getting really stiff now on the left side,i'm losing range of motion in a place where i wasn't losing it before.Friggin wonderful X( I'm sooooo upset right now,i just want to quit doing everything that i'm doing because nothing seems to be helping me.I had my massage therapist get mad at me on friday because i told him that i didn't think that either him or my therapist was going to be able to anything to help me.Which is exactly how i feel. I've been doing treatments and medications for whiplash now since dec. and i'm not seeing a huge improvement and i'm getting to the point where its time to call it quits.


  • Tammy, I know you're frustrated and it seems like forever that you have been dealing with this, but eventually it will get better or it will get easier for you to handle the situation. Don't Ever Give Up!!!!

    The stiffening up may be just soreness from doing the stretching. Try to use some heat on it and see if you can loosen things up. Also, doing some shoulder rolls may help. Do you do these in therapy?

    It is common for us neckies to have periods of stiffness in different places. One day I can turn my neck side to side, and the next day I may not be able to move it much at all. It all depends on what I have done, how tense I am, etc. You may want to do some very gentle stretches to see if it will loosen up. Sorry you are so frustrated. I'm here if you need me.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • One thing to keep in mind, is that the neck will normally stiffen up on the side opposite of the injury or insult. As Cindy mentioned, it is a common thing that a person with cervical spine issues will go through periods of neck stiffness and spasm after exercise or different movement. It is very common for traction (even passive traction)eg ... the stretch that was done, to cause a rebound type effect. Moist heat and taking the weight off (supporting the head by resting it) is normally what saves me.

  • Hi Tammy,

    It has been surprising to me how my neck symptoms change over the days and weeks. Just two days ago I woke up with another stiff neck, which was the first symptom of my herniation. This time the stiffness was on the opposite side from my surgery and by last night I was feeling nerve pain down my arm. But, this morning the stiffness is largely gone and no nerve pain.

    Hang in there. Take things one day at a time and don't let discouragement get you defeated and down. Oh, and keep sharing your feelings so everyone here can support you.

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • I know how frustrating it is after cervical surgery. The strangest things happen. Just recently I started feeling tightness at my incision site. I mean, really, it's been almost a year - what the heck!

    But, please don't give up. Try the things that Cindy and "C" suggest - heat can really help. It's definitely a journey, but keep going.

    I'm here for ya, my friend.
  • I feel your frustration. Just recently I had a flare up, lasted for a few days and worried the heck out of me. I used ice and warm showers and rested my neck. Therapy sometimes hurts more at first, especially when they do something not done before. Hang in there!

    Best to you,

    Marianne :)
  • No quitting allowed. I wish that I could say I know how you feel, but I can't. I suffer from setbacks on and off most of the time. I am trying to figure out what causes my problems and change what I do to help keep them from happening. Stay with it and I hope that things start to go in the right direction for you. You are not alone.

  • i feel like i'm going in circles most of the time.None of the doctors i have seen seem to have any idea of other treatments i could be doing,sometimes i feel better when i'm finished my therapy for the day and sometimes i feel worse.i had two massages and four days later i can barely move my neck.It took two muscle relaxants to relax me enough so that i could sleep and when i woke up i was hoping that they might have loosened up my neck a bit so i could move it but they didn't.The doctors where i am say the standard treatments for whiplash are therapy and massages,which i've been doing for eight months now.In the beginning i was seeing some improvements though slow they were still there.but for the last few months there doesn't seem to be any differences to the good,everything seems to be negative,like the numbness in my legs and feet,tingling going down my leg.my ribs throb day and night sometimes i can't sleep because of it and of course my neck getting tighter instead of the range of motion getting better.When i go for the massages the therapist says that sometimes he can get my muscles to relax and sometimes they just won't.You'd think after being massaged for an hour there would be some kind of relaxation.The times he does get some more range in my neck it doesn't take more then a hour or two and it tightens right back up again and i lose the motion.I've tried massaging it myself at home when i feel it tightening back up but my hands just aren't strong enough to do the job.There explaination for everything is they think there is a herniated disc in my thoracic spine where my ribs are throbbing caused by the car accident,i was told that the tightness in my neck could be from that because tight muscles can go in any direction.If this is true then my neck isn't going to get any better until they do something about the herniation.They did have my therapist working on trying to get it back into place but thats when my bladder went into spasm and i had a difficult time go to the washroom,so they had him stop until i have the mri done and they see the result which isn't until the middle of september.thats a long way off and even though i'm still doing things to help keep my muscles from tightening up too much there still not loosening up any and its so very frustrating knowing that i'm supposed to be getting better and just not seeing it.Also i'm supposed to be exercising three days a week to build up my muscle strength but i keep putting it off because i don't want the pain to get any worse then it already is because the meds. that i'm on now are barely working to cover the pain.If i over do it anymore then i'll be in pain wihtout any way out.
  • I found that massage actually set me into spasm more than just heat and rest. When I quit trying to massage the knots out and quit doing acupuncture and went strictly to moist heat, I was able to get better control of it. Zanaflex helps keep things manageable for me, but I still cannot do any kind of massage therapy on my neck or shoulders.

    When I exercise I have to be careful that I am not doing anything where my neck is having to really work to hold my head up (like leaning forward riding a bicycle). Even doing Yoga was making things worse because the good muscles I have were working overtime. It's kind of a catch 22. I can get away with doing some isometrics, but even those can kick my behind if I'm not careful.

  • Tammy, sometimes part of the problem is a catch 22. You're getting spasms, that gives you stress, the stress makes your spasms worse, and on it goes. It's like blood pressure. Pain actually makes our blood pressure go up. The stress of pain can add to the many problems we already face and it's not easy to control it.

    I can see the stress in your last post and it worries me that it's making things worse for you. If I were PapaRon, and I'm not - I just sometimes think like him, I'd suggest taking a breather and relax in a comfortable position in a dark room with some scented candles and soft music on. Then just concentrate as hard as you can on relaxing and visualize the stress leaving your body like smoke rising into the air. Or doing the same thing in a nice hot, oil-scented tub.

    It may not help but I think it might be worth a try. I hate seeing you hurting so bad so I thought I'd approach this from another angle.

  • Thats true i realized today that i was feeling very stressed out and depressed about the whole situation.I took a muscle relaxant at noon and went into my bedroom,closed the door and spent the afternoon by myself.It hasn't helped my neck any,i had hoped it might loosen me up but i do feel some calm in my stomach now and my over all body feels more relaxed then this morning.I really needed just some down time to do nothing and be left alone just to relax.Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions in helping me,i can always count on the people here.
  • I agree with Cath111. There is a lot of stress in your writing and that will cause tension in your body. If you're going to give up, what are you going to do then? I would suggest some meditation and relaxation exercises. If you could learn to relax your body, you might lose the tension and stress that you obviously feel. Best of luck. Let us know what happens if you do decide to give up.

  • maroseone said:
    No quitting allowed. I wish that I could say I know how you feel, but I can't. I suffer from setbacks on and off most of the time. I am trying to figure out what causes my problems and change what I do to help keep them from happening. Stay with it and I hope that things start to go in the right direction for you. You are not alone.


    Mark wouldn't let me give up awhile back either. I had a cervical laminectomy in June and i still don't feel good and have wanted to give up. Venting should help some. I have been venting since June. After starting therapy I want to Vent more because nothing really works. I am sorry for what your dealing with. Everyone in this forum can relate. If there is anything that brings a smile to your face or something you can do to help keep your mind off things I would do that. Good Luck :)
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • Does the place where you have therapy have a jacuzzi tub or pool? For me that helps my muscle spasms the most. You can move muscles better in water, due to the boyancy of your body.

    I would be VERY careful of letting them do any surgery on the thoracic area. If you read up on it, it is a long, painful, recovery period. Most surgeons will not operate on a thoracic herniation unless there is no other choice. Hope you're feeling better soon. Sept isn't too far away now. Maybe once you have some answers, they can address the problems better.

    (((((((((((hugs)))))))& prayers
  • Tammy,
    Sometimes we do need to take time for ourselves, I know it sounds sellfish, but when our body says STOP, we really need to listen. I helped with re-doing three rooms in our house this summer, guess what I overdid it, now I am paying the price for doing so. It has just reminded my wife and family that I am never going to be the same, and they are learning what I can and can not do for them and with them. Try not to stress the little things, we all do, but we have to let them go and be someone elses problem for a little while. It can get discouraging, but we have to try. Hope things get better for you, remember time is on our side.
  • no the therapy place that i go to doesn't have a pool,but i do have a membership for the Y and they have a big one.I tried the pool before i had my surgery and it always seemed to feel great at the time i was in it but a few hours later the spasms always came back with a vengance.
    I have read some on the thoracic surgery and i'm sure if i didn't need to have it done my surgeon would never consider it. I don't even know at this point if thats a possibility,i have to wait and see what comes of the mri.I'm sure there would be a lot of therapy involved before they'd even consider doing it.
    I talked to my therapist this afternoon about my neck getting stiffer and he said he wasn't to concerned about it because he was more interested in calming the spasms down that was causing me to be sick,he said that the more he stretched those muscles the more they would loosen up.
  • You and me both are having crappy days, I'm so sorry. I don't know what else to add since everyone have posted wonderful advice. But all I can say is keep fighting and stay strong. Better days will soon be here. Hugs, Meydey >:D<
  • I hope your feeling better soon too!! I'm not much better,my headache has finally gone away,but we've had some good rainstorms here and its wreeking havoc on my body.I can't wait for the rain to be gone.Having arthritis sucks big time LOL.
    C i tried to find doc. in my area that specialize in whiplash case but i didn't find anything.Maybe there just isn't anyone in my area that does it.
  • HI Tammy

    I have a similar injury. I have a herniated disk at c12/t1 but not the symptoms for it. I do have the super stiff neck with pain through my should blade and collar bone and up into my head causing sinus infection type headaches.

    My spine surgeon blew me off because my arm doesnt hurt. He says it must be nerve damage from the whiplash so I'm off to the neurologist now.

    What I find interesting is that when I take the muscle relaxant my arm starts to hurt. My PT says it might be my neck muscles guarding the herniated disk. So mine may be a two part (or more) thing.

    I guess what I am learning is that when they say that the doctor is practicing medicine they mean just that. The doctors don't know everything and everyone is different. One side benefit of the muscle relaxant is that it is helping me slow down and calm down. Now if someone could just tell my boss and my family this. lol

    Good Luck with your MRI. And yes September will be here very soon!!
  • I know its very difficult to explain and actually have friends and family understand what your going through unless they have actually been in your shoes.When people say they have back pain most people think oh that pain will eventually go away or you'll feel better tomorrow,but for alot of us that isn't the case unfortunately.Even a lot of doctors seem to take that attitude which doesn't help a lot of us that need tests done quickly,it just makes us suffer longer.
    I understand what your physio is saying about the muscle relaxants,there just making your muscles tighten up even more trying to fight the medication.When i started taking the muscle relaxant it would only last a couple of hours and then my muscles would tighten up worse then before i took it.It was an awful feeling and for a while i stopped taking it because i couldn't stand the pain of my muscles tightening back up again.I told the doctor that i would rather go around with the spasms and tight muscles then to keep going through that kind of pain every day.
    I hope that you have a lot of help from you neurologist when you see him or her. Good luck and post back and let us know how you make out ok!!
  • Am I reading your bio correctly? You had your ACDF in April last year and then got hit by a car in October? That was 6 months after surgery? Wow! That had to be tough. It looks like you damaged your upper back and lumbar from the accident. The whip lash traveled down your back? Did it affect your cervical spine? You must have fused really well.

    Life can really throw some tough stuff our way. One of my best friends and I say on our tomb stones it's going to say "WHAT?" I surely don't get it.

    I'll put good thoughts your way and hope you are able to make use of the great tips all gave you above.

  • You got it right i was on my way to therapy after my surgery and was rearended. Somehow the accident didn't shift any of the hardware in my neck and i've had three mri's since to look at my cervical spine.They said all is healing well in my neck but the whiplash is really doing a job on me.I think i need to join your WHAT club :D My physio couldn't believe it when i came in for my apt. the day i got hit what bad luck i seem to have.I was doing so well after my surgery and things were looking up then in a second everything changed again.I was so afraid to get into a car after my surgery because of the fact that i might end up in an accident and my neck wasn't healed and it actually happened.I guess i have to just take it one day at a time now and hope for the best. ;)
  • I had my first accupuncture treatment yesterday and i slept last night all night long and i actually felt rested when i woke up.What a change ,it was so nice i didn't want to get out of bed.The first of many treatments,she told me i had very tight muscles in my back and lots of inflammation still.I'm still doing my therapy and massage,hopefully between the three of them i'll get these muscles loosened up.
  • tammyc glad to hear the accupuncture helped...
  • yes i felt very relaxed after my treatment,my back felt tight again today when i woke up but i can't expect much from just one treatment.my therapists assistant did mention that one side of my back did feel a little looser to her today then it has been.she said that normally it feels like a rock.LOL hopefully i'll get some relief from this,i go again for the accupuncture on friday so i'll let you's know next week if i'm feeling even better.
  • Hi Tammy

    Thats one I never thought of. Went to the neurologist yesterday. I LIked him alot. He took his time.

    His diagnosis is that the whiplash put all of my nerves in shock. So now it's neurontin and trigger point injections to try to calm that. He thinks that will relax the nerves and the muscles.

    I asked how long this would take and he said "longer than you want it to take". At least he's honest.

    Now I guess it's time to talk to the lawyer again. I layed out $500 for meds and I am wondering what happens when the 3 years of no-fault insurance runs out. Will my insurance pay for this?

    I do like the idea of accupuncture. Keep us posted about how that is going.

    Good Luck
  • a pain-free day! Hoping to encourage you to keep putting one foot in front of the other! Never give up! ;p)

  • Hi Tammy-

    I am so sorry you are in such pain and so frustrated! I had a a fusion surgery back in 2007 and I remember the days of being totally and utterly beside myself during the recovery. But dont give up! I did get better and I am currently pain free..still suffer from stiffness and my neck certainly lets me know if I'm trying to push things. I'm hoping for the best for you!!!! Stay strong!
  • I've never heard of anything like that before.Nerves going into shock! Huh. I was talking to my massage therapist this morning and he said that if it was just whiplash that was my problem with all the therapy that i've had it would be a lot better by now. I've only had one session of accupuncture so far but i'll let you know how it goes.hopefully i'll keep seeing some progress.
  • All I can say is this post has helped me think of new ways to approach my spasms in my face and stomach and the ones that look funny to watch in my hands.
    I feel your pain and understand the wanting to give up. There are times that even breathing seems to be a struggle for me and I get choked on bites of food and think that this is it.
    I'm glad I found this place and I hope that answers are found because the questions are many when you don't understand your own body.
    I try to watch the sunsets and dream myself into the clouds. I sit on shore and wash mt soul in the Gulf of Mexico. When these are not beautiful to me I sit or lay in my room and wish it would just end. I keep on waking up and each day seems a little harder than the day before. But one foot keeps going in front of the other even on auto piolet. The pills only mask my thoughts they don't take the pain away. Just my thoughts is all. I hope you get to where you can find your smile again,
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