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Neck Spasms

Kris-NYKKris-NY Posts: 2,207
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi All

It's been a year now since the car accident. My daughter started getting neck spasms about 5 months after the accident. Nothing seems to make them go away. We did all the tests and there doesn't seem to be a cause.

Any suggestions? I hate to think that she is destined for a lifetime of this.



  • Hi,

    I am sorry to hear your daughter is having so much trouble. Has she been evaluated by a pain management doctor?

    Have you tried trigger point injections? I get wonderful relief from my lumbar muscle spasms whenever I have trigger point injections, so I really recommend looking into this if you haven't already. You could also see if there is a physical therapist in your area who does dry needling. It's similar to trigger point injections, but without the lidocaine. I have had both and have found them both to be excellent for spasmy/tight muscles.

    Another option to look at and see if it could possibly be a more permanent solution would be botox or myobloc injections. I believe there are several people on the boards who have had shoulder/neck spasm issues that have been treated successfully with these.

    Finally, although you may have tried this, another option would be to find a good myofascial massage therapist or physical therapist. They can usually get at the more superficial trigger points, but if her spasms are coming from the deeper musculature injections may be the easiest and least painful solution.
  • Kris-NY said:
    Hi All

    It's been a year now since the car accident. My daughter started getting neck spasms about 5 months after the accident. Nothing seems to make them go away. We did all the tests and there doesn't seem to be a cause.

    Any suggestions? I hate to think that she is destined for a lifetime of this.

    Howdy Kris,

    Sorry to hear your daughter is going through this. I had this about 6 months after I crashed a helicopter, but most of it was thoracic. If she has had X-rays and hopefully an MRI, have you tried Chiropractor treatments? She probably is starting to tighten up in the muscles for her neck and shoulder. This sometimes causes slight misalignments in the affected area. My Chiro years back when I had this helped me immensely.

    I hope one of our suggestions help give your daughter relief. Take care. *hug*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Sorry to hear about your daughter having neck spasms. I have minor issues with my neck. I had whiplash before and took valium for a muscle relaxant for 9 months and some PT and then the pain stopped but this was my experience. This was 20 years ago so they may try something different for ways of treatment now but hope she gets better from this. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • You all have great info. She was supposed to go to the ortho today but her brother got hurt so I had to substitute him.

    Brenda I'm thinking about what you said about chiro. She had a few treatments back about 4 years ago to try to treat chronic ear infections(go figure). My ortho's partner is big into chiro and acupuncture. Maybe I'll ask him about these. She's only 13 so I want to try to stay away from injections but properly supervised chiro might be worth a try. They didn't find any problems in her MRI so it would probably be safe.

    I know the insurance is not going to let her continue PT but maybe we could get some time for chiro. I'm also wondering if part of this is "learned" pain meaning she expects it to hurt so it does. I also wonder if muscle spasms are common and most people never realize they have them.

    It's hard enough to figure out my own pains. Imagine trying to figure out a 13 yr old girl??? lol
  • Greetings Kris, :-)

    Glad to help. I wasn't "into" Chiropractors in the mid 80's, but the pain I was having - dang...almost couldn't move! The chiro took x-rays front and side along with flexation (sp). He then described a plan of action, and WOW I was amazed at the changes, even from the first treatment. :-)

    Ever since that, I have (and am still) a fan of Chiro providing there are NO physical issues such as disks, bone spur involvement etc. Alignment, wow did he fix me! Please let us know how it goes. I will send positive thoughts and energy for you and your daughter. Take care!! *hug*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi Kris,

    Your response gave me another idea. Going on the thought that the spasms could be "learned pain" it might be worthwhile to look into some of the postural re-education therapies. Like, if the way she holds her neck is contributing to the continuation of the spasms, and she is just more aware of the pain because of the car accident then maybe improving her posture could help? I think you're right that most people probably have tense/tight necks and probably spasms that they just aren't aware of.

    If you're in a big city you might be able to find a practitioner of Hellerwork, Feldenkrais, or Alexander Technique. You can go on their websites to search for certified practitioners in your area (probably only likely if you're in a big city). These therapies are all different, but they basically re-educate basic movement patterns and the way people hold themselves to reduce areas where there is excess muscle tension. I don't have experience with any of them so I can't personally recommend them, but I have come across them at various times. I'm actually currently considering giving Hellerwork a shot. Your insurance may or may not reimburse. I believe all three are considered "alternative medicine," so it depends on your coverage policy.
  • Well I love my ortho and his staff. Anyone on Long Island PM me if you need one.

    They fit us all in on Thursday. Doc wants to see my daughters MRI from December. So I'm sending out the disc today.

    We are also going to the ENT this Wednesday. No one is able to tell where the spasms are coming from. She does have mastoid problems on that side but it never seems to be consistant with the pain.

    I need to get back to PT so I think I will bring her under my private insurance for now. I'm not sure if it is so much learned pain as loving PT.

    I'll keep you posted.
  • I'm a lifelong member of the neck spasm club. From around age 15 I started getting bad spasms and back then they just got ignored. Even at times got dumped into the "growing pains" mix. No one ever thought that possibly my lifestyle (retraining soured horses) had anything to do with it.

    Anyway as a kid I found swimming to be a great help and as a young adult I found moist heat and osteopathic manipulation helped tremendously. One thing that the docs and PT's taught me, is that neck spasms are typically on the side opposite of where the problem is. So if the right side is in spasm, the left side is generally the cause.

    There have been some great suggestions here. I think being able to get her in to see your ortho on Thursday is great. If nothing else, she will feel better knowing that someone is taking her seriously and trying to help.

    Best wishes,

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