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Neck pain caused by tight muscles

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2

Comments

  • That's a bit odd, isn't it? I would have expected the MRI report to be more informative than an x-ray, given that x-rays can be unclear. In mine, one of the side views was at a slightly different angle from the old one, so a direct comparison was not possible.
    Mine did show a marked degree of bone density loss between x-rays. I wonder if an MRI would have picked that up.
    I'm going into the new treatment keenly but also carefully, being on the lookout for psycho babble.
    I want a good exercise and stretching routine tailored for me, and some stress handling skills. It gets too hard to think or instigate exercises when you have chronic pain, so this may give me a bit of momentum.
    Funny thing is that about 20 years ago my then GP prescribed some medication for my muscle soreness. I was in a really bad way from work stress, agony all day.
    I started taking it, but then my wife, a nurse, expressed some concerns about it, thought it a bit strong and potentially problematic. So I stopped taking it.
    When i told the GP I had stopped, he was shocked and asked why? He said that all it was was a muscle relaxant.
    So all those years ago he was on the right track and I didn't trust him. Boy, have I paid for that.
    Perhaps he could have explained it better at the time.
    Still, I'm much more aware now of my problems so I can make these judgements myself.My body, my choice.
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,778
    Has to do to all the metal in my neck ...

    D
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  • I have 2 level fusion C4-5 C5-6. My family physician left it untreated for 3 years before I finally went searching myself. 4 years into it I finally was able to get the surgery. However, since it took so long I now have permanent muscle spasms in my neck/shoulder that causes chronic pain as well. I take 5 Tramadol a day, 3 Darvacet a day, plus 2 muscle relaxers, and ibuprophen and it still does not relieve the pain entirely. I've done the botox, acupunture, facet injections, myofacial injections - just about everything there is. Still no relief. And others just do not understand. Makes life hard. Anyone with any suggestions on how to retrain a muscle that thinks it's still protecting something??
  • Hi Stacy, sounds very painful and debilitating.
    I'm going to see a new chronic pain dr tomorrow, specifically to look at my muscle tension problems, so there may be something from that to pass on to you.
  • Thank you Peter for your response!! I await to hear the results of your visit.
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  • I too had neck pain and muscle soreness/tightness that got pretty bad in September. I thought it was stress, as did my GP. So she sent me for physical therapy. During therapy, I had two really bad episodes of pain and stiffness. After about 3 1/2 months of therapy, my PT suggested that I follow up with an OS. He felt that since I had not gotten any better with therapy that my muscles might be protecting something else that was wrong. The OS took xrays, and thought it looked like I might have a bulging disc. Meds, more therapy later with no improvement. I also started to experience numbness in my fingers. After having an MRI, it turns out that my "stress" was actually a herniated disc that is impinging on nerves. I have surgery scheduled for March 23rd.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that you never know what is really causing tight muscles. Your body reacts to protect injuries. Having an MRI is a good idea, just to be sure. And if your doc isn't willing to explore that, then I think I'd find another doctor. Just my opinion! :-)
  • So right.
    Is it the cause or is it the result?
    Necks are very complex.
    It also gets quite difficult trying to get to the bottom of it, talking to different doctors, reading about it all, trying to explain symptoms time and again-all the while with either a thick head or a pounding, all conquering headache.
    I went to my GP today and as luck would have it I was into my second day of Occipital neuralgia, so looked a bit crook and was able to describe it clearly.
    He said that they was no known cause or cure for ON, and that epilepsy meds have been known to help.
    He gave me some to try.
    None of the usual pain meds or muscle relaxers made a dent in it, and so it looks like it is not caused by tight muscles.
  • Seems like tight muscles may cause occipital neuralgia. Just found this:
    Occipital Neuralgia

    November, 2006

    Occipital neuralgia is a common cause of headache. It involves the two pairs of nerves that originate in the area of the second and third vertebrae of the neck – the occipital nerves. The pain typically starts at the base of the skull by the nape of the neck and may radiate to the back, front, and side of the head, as well as behind the eyes.

    Causes

    Occipital neuralgia is a headache syndrome that can be either primary or secondary. Secondary headaches are associated with an underlying disease that may include tumor, trauma, infection, systemic disease, or hemorrhage.

    Although any of the following may be causes of occipital neuralgia, many cases can be attributed to chronically contracted neck muscles/neck tension or are idiopathic (unknown).

    * Osteoarthritis of the upper cervical spine
    * Trauma to the greater and/or lesser occipital nerves
    * Compression of the greater and/or lesser occipital nerves or C2 and/or C3 nerve roots from degenerative cervical spine changes
    * Cervical disc disease
    * Tumors affecting the C2 and C3 nerve roots
    * Gout
    * Diabetes
    * Blood vessel inflammation
    * Infection

    http://www.neurosurgerytoday.org/what/patient_e/occipital_neuralgia_06.asp
  • Had a really bad sore neck/ shoulder episode,and went for a massage today.
    She found a lot of muscle tightness, knots etc in the neck and shoulder muscles, particulatly attached to the scapula.
    So my neck pain was caused by these shoulder muscles.
    Will have shorter weekly massages for a while until the muscles are sorted out.
    This probably also explains why I had patchy results from the facet injections, as the main problems were not being addressed.
    Sometimes there was very little improvement, others a noticeable one. But it may have all been related to my shoulder muscles and what I was or wasn't doing at the time.
    It's been over 4 months since the last injection and I have no sense that i need any more at the moment.
    I'm quite sure that my pain Dr, physio and masseuse are right when they say my chronic neck pain is caused by muscle problems, even though I have cervical arthritis, DDD etc.
    This may be of interest to others with neck pain that is not going away with injections.
  • Hi Peter,
    Thank you for taking the time to explain what you've learned.
    I don't know if I have what you are describing, but I do think my neck muscles and the nerves are all a part of what causes my pain. You've given me some things to think about.
    Thanks,
    Dee
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