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Seemingly complex problem, please help!

Mack.hatcherMMack.hatcher Posts: 1
edited 07/26/2015 - 10:15 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello all. I'm new to the forum and am seeking advice. First a bit of background:
I am a 24 years old male, who spent the last 6 years of my life working as a cook in a busy restaurant. 4 years ago I was diagnosed with a chiari malformation type 1, which was causing me to have headaches due to pressure in the occipital area. I had a decompression surgery 3.5 years ago and was 100% symptom free. Needless to say it was a complete success. About a year and a half ago, I started experiencing an achy feeling running along my left shoulder blade. It wasn't all the time, and being young and believing myself to be invincible, I brushed it off as normal aches and pains that come with getting a little older. I should mention as well that I was into weightlifting on and off for most of that time. Now this progressed to include major tightness in my mid/low back, especially on the job when I would be carrying heavy soup pots, etc, as well as a very stiff and sore left shoulder, stiff neck muscles (seems like all of them), as well as a slew of other areas of tightness I will list at the bottom. I then started getting headaches again. Now being the hypochondriac that I am, I immediately thought it was my chiari acting up again. I had an MRI done and the findings showed nothing to do with the malformation, as confirmed by the neurosurgeon who did the operation. The only thing they found was I had an extremely minor disc bulge at the c4-c5 disc on the left side and the c5-c6 on the right. Since then I've seen a handful of chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, trigger point therapists. These have proved ultimately unsuccessful, with any relief only being very temporary. I've tried nerve blocks, trigger point injections, you name it. I've also stopped lifting weights quite some time ago as I didn't want to aggravate the symptoms further. I was hoping that SOMEONE would be able to shed some light on what is going on, and what I can do to fix it.

In summary, symptoms are headaches (which vary from temporalis, occipital, behind the eye, scalp, and what feels like "inside" the head), very tight back muscles from the bottom near the pelvis all the way to the top of the trapezius, shoulder tightness (levator is extremely tight) and pain, very tight oblique muscles on the left side, upper pelvic (iliac crest) pain and tenderness on the left side, very tight hamstrings and hip flexors, and tight pectorals.

Lastly, things that seem to aggravate the headache specific symptoms are: standing up or walking for an extended period of time, looking down for an extended period, holding my head in anything but straight position, as well as any moderate to heavy lifting. One thing that does actually make the headache fade away is stretching my trapezius, levator and back of the neck by placing my hands on the back of the head and pulling the head towards the chest until I feel a stretch. This makes me think it's something to do with tightness of the sub occipital muscles, maybe related to all the other tension in my body? Or maybe it's the other way around. Seems to be a chicken and egg rye situation.
Anyways sorry for the essay, I just didn't want to leave anything out. Look forward to the responses, thank you!

Nobody on the forum is medically qualified or permitted to give advice any responses will be based on members personal experiences only


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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