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Neck strain won't heal

mt2mmt2 Posts: 1
edited 06/22/2015 - 11:07 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I just found this forum and it looks like some people have had similar issues to me, so I'm going to share.
I 'm 37 and strained my neck badly 10 months ago (Aug 2014) when a slipped on wet grass trying to execute a fast turn playing with my niece/nephew while on vacation. The back of my head smashed against the ground and jerked my neck back. I was later told it was basically whiplash. I was in severe pain and went on ibuprofen/muscle relaxers/prednisone. I got an x-ray which was negative. I was mostly in bed for a week but it gradually healed and within about four weeks I was back to mostly normal activities. However some pain remained and my range of motion turning my neck to the left was limited.
Fast forward to this spring and I reinjured it. I had gardened hard for like 4 hours and done other physical tasks that day, and just felt very tired going to bed. The next day I woke up with my neck stuck to the right, torticollis the doctor said. I assumed since there was no real trauma like before I would recover faster. But instead, the injury worsened the first couple weeks. It's gotten slightly better the last few weeks and I've improved my range of motion significantly through stretches/exercises, but it still hurts severely to stand up or sit for more than 5-10 minutes. Even taking ibuprofen/muscle relaxers. So I still spend most of my time in bed. I've seen a chiropractor, acupunturist, and medical doctor. The medical doctor prescribed rest and physical therapy since it's a muscular injury.
I've been told to get an MRI by family members and have previously discussed it with my doctor and turned it down because I'm on a high deductible plan and it wouldn't be covered. And the doctor said that all it will likely do is possibly not show anything, or else confirm that I have a severe strain, or at most a disc issue, but the prescription for that would also probably just be conservative treatment of waiting it out and gentle physical therapy. I'm really starting to get worried now though since it's been 8 weeks with little improvement and I can't stand for more than 10 minutes without severe pain. This is quite a change for me because I'm used to being extremely active, running 60 miles per week, etc. By the way I don't have any numbness/tingling/radiating pain outside my neck, so it seems to not be nerve damage. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
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  • Hi, There are a couple of things you wrote about that I can address.
    When I had my 2nd Neck Injury, it was also from something that seemed insignificant ( just repetitive motion from work) but the severe level of pain lasted about 6 months, lessening very slowly, then my neck has stayed at a worse level since then.
    That was when I discovered that I had a major Cervical problem, which I had not suspected before.
    I understand the MRI is not covered, but it is the starting point for understanding what is going on in your neck. I don't know of any other way to assess your Cervical Spine, the MRI is always the first step (or a CT with dye but that's not done as much).
    An MRI won't show anything about a strain. It will show your discs, spinal cord, etc. and how much damage there is.
    I'm not trying to scare you, but its possible you had a Neck problem that was going to come out anyways.

  • Sounds like you need an MRI. Your health is worth it.

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

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