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Chronic neck pain into back of scull

ms61612mms61612 Posts: 2
edited 04/10/2015 - 3:12 AM in Chronic Pain
Greetings! Hoping that somebody may be able to relate to my ongoing struggle/challenges with chronic neck and head pain.

I am a relatively healthy 32 year old male. Used to be in fantastic shape, but balancing work/life has become a full time job.

About a decade ago, I fractured my C7. No surgery, was told to use a collar for a period of time and went on my merry way. I also have a straight cervical spine.

About 2.5 years ago, I started having a tight /tender feeling in the back, right side of my scull. The pain ran from the base of my neck up and stopped in that location (behind the ear). I'd compare it to an overly stretched rubber band.

As time went on, it became progressively worse and expanded to both sides of the head and neck.

Today, the pain and tightness is always there and my daily question isn't will/won't I experience pain, it's just how tolerable will it be. It worsens with weight training and is starting to seriously take a toll on my quality of life. Also, occasionally, the pain will cause pressure on the my eyes and cause me to squint.

I feel that I've tried everything to this point, including : trigger point injections, anti-inflammatory, physical therapy, chiropractic, occipital nerve block and spinal steroid injection. None of which resulted in any relief.

Would love to get back into hardcore exercise mode again, but can't compel myself to deal with the additional pain/tightness. Would also love to get my positive attitude back - seems like I can turn it on (positivity) at work, but it shuts off when I walk through the door at home.

I appreciate and related experience that the group might have!

Have a great weekend.



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  • I have been suffering from similar issues. The pain in the back of my head and neck becomes unbearable at times. Most of it is just letting my head rest back against anything or having a hat or headband on or a ponytail. I have to wear a bump cap at work so it definitely doesn't do me any favors. It also seems to trigger my cervicogenic headaches, migraines and external pressure headaches. I have been going to PT also. He has tried dry needling and it doesn't do anything for me. I cant have the steroid injections because I am allergic to them. I was told by my neurologist that it is from the degradation of my cervical nerves. I had acdf surgery on C5/C6 last September. I haven't gotten much relief from the pain. The only thing I got rid of was the nerve flare ups that cause the muscles to flare up in my neck and shoulders every other week. I have had a couple of flare ups since then but not too bad compared to before. I am a 36 yr old female. I was in reasonably good health before this all started 4 yrs. ago. Now I feel old and tired.
    Tracie C
  • The pain you both are experiencing sound a lot like me. I want to say about a year ago when I stopped working out regularly I started experiencing right, stiff, and sore pain on my upper neck and lower back of head. It feels like I need to stetch or something but when I stetch it just hurts more. I deal with this pain every day for the past year. I haven't tried much medically to relieve the pain. I went to a chiropractor for about two weeks and felt more uncomfortable and I experience more pain so I stopped going. I have now been trying massage therapy which seems to work for about a day until the pain returns . Anti-inflammatories work for a short period time as well and I've even tried putting icy hot on the back of my scalp see if that will relieve the pain . I often feel very fatigued and I'm wondering is it because of this pain? I don't know what to do and I am scared to see what diagnosis I will get if I go to a doctor . Consistent exercise is the only thing I have found to relieve the pain for a long period of time. However, if stop the regiment the pain immediately returns. I don't want to live like this forever ! I am only a 25 year old female! Ugh!
    Emilia k
  • I am a 25 year old female and I feel like I'm 75 years old. About a year ago I went from working out and weight training on my own consistently. I was in great shape and really toned. I stopped for what ever reason and gained a few pounds.This is when I started experiencing a sore consistent pain in my neck and and back lower part of my head. When i touch my lower back of head on the right and left side there is a certain spot where it hurts incredibly bad! It feels very tender and tight like it needs to be massaged. I have been trying massage therapy but it doesn't seem to relieve the pain. I tried a couple of weeks with a chiropractor and started feeling more pain. I didn't expect this to become a chronic issue and I am starting to get worried. No one seems to understand why a young healthy girl like me would have this pain. Obviously there is something unhealthy going on in my body. Xrays revealed that I have a straight neck. The Chiro said once i get my natural curve back I will probably expererience relief. The only problem is, he couldn't help in that department. I know I need to do something about this. Whenever I stretch is hurts more but yet the pain feels so tight as if i need to be stretched? I don't know what do and nothing works. I would love to know what I need to do to fix this instead of running in circles. I started to think it stemmed from when i stopped exercising. I have found when I exercise consistently the pain goes away for a while. If i stop for a week or two the pain comes back. It shouldn't be like that. I mean i understand exercise is important, but i should feel this unbearable pain just because I stop working out. If anyone has any suggestions of a plan of action for this new addition to my life I would really appreciate it.

    Emilia k
  • the back of my head and neck muscles are very tight. EK. You mentioned exercise helped.
    What exercises did you do?
  • Ek88. The first steps should always be see your GP, get diagnostic tests (MRI) & have a consult with a specialist (Board Certified Spine Surgeon). They will advise the best course of treatment depending on your diagnosis. If there's a possibility of structural spine damage you should NEVER allow chiropractic adjustments unless a true specialist recommends them. Without a proper diagnosis everyone (including chiropractors) would just be guessing what's causing your pain.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Dotty9953DDotty9953 Posts: 1
    edited 04/19/2015 - 4:54 AM
    Go to a pain management doctor - there is a procedure where they can burn the nerves leading to where the pain is. I had it done last fall in my lumbar spine and it worked really well. I had cervical spine surgery 6 months ago and I am still in pain - have an appointment next week to have the procedure done on my neck. It lasts about a year.
    Dotty VanPelt
  • I've been to a pain management doctor and have had two procedures. 1-steroid injection into spine. 2-occipital nerve block. Neither did anything.

    Quite honestly, the biggest issue/challenge right now is the fatigue. It definitely seems like the pain and fatigue are related. Starting to feel like I'm mentally exhausted from thinking/worrying about it too much.

    Does anyone know of a specific test that can be performed to diagnose? I've had a MRI, CT scan, and a few other exams, but no dice. All of the above show everything to be normal, which makes me more frustrated.

    It's becoming extremely difficult to focus at home and work. I wouldn't mind the pain without the fatigue.

    Side note, does anyone notice relief from an occasional glass of wine (or alcohol in general)? Clearly not recommending this as a solution, but curious as to why the relief - other than the sedative effect of alcohol in general.
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