Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

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Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  pen on Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:06 am

My head was doing ok. So I went into the garden to cut down a few nettles.
I had to bend a bit to do it with the long handles cutters.
I lasted less than 15 minutes.
Have had to come in and take Pain Killers and hope they work.

I would like to ask if anyone can help me figure this PLEASE.
I think it must be my neck.

The pain came in my neck, under the occipital and into the back of my head.
I can also feel it in my eyes.
It is NOT one sided and I have no other migraine type feelings.

I know my neck has a problem but no X rays etc have told us what.
The neuro said it isnt right, but he told me to find a "manipulative physiotherapist."
I dont know what that is, and Brent told me it could be anything.
The neuro was at the worst I have encountered him....he was running over an hour late....he should have given me more help...but he didnt....

Please guys, can any of you relate to this? Can anyone suggest what might be best?
I am prepared to find the money and try to sort this, because it is I think what gives me the "daily" pain.
It hits in the car too...bumpy country lanes....I can get in the car (not driving) with my head ok and within 20 minutes, sometimes less it is pounding... always the same...in back.

If I take OTC it will usually fix it, but it can also resolve on its own if I can rest a spell.

Have I given enough info? I hope so.
If not, ask away.
Please throw in your ideas guys.
We have a wealth of knowledge here.

Physio. Osteo. Chiro......I dont know.
And what the Hell is a "Manipulative Physiotherapist"?

Thanks a lot.

Pennie

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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  Anna on Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:43 am

Hi Pen,
If you google "manipulative physiotherapist" you'll find a number of sites that explain what they do. There's even a couple with names you can look up. It seems to be more popular in Great Britain than in the states.

For another method you might also check out the work of Jolie Bookspan. I think her advice is terrific. Here's some info regarding neck pain:

http://www.drbookspan.com/NeckPainArticle.html

I hope it's helpful to you. Her methods are simple, but not necessarily easy. Despite this, I've helped several people with neck pain and postural issues using this information in my classes. It may help to have someone watch you while you do the exercises as it's easy to fool ourselves that we are doing it right. I hope this helps and you feel better soon.

Anna
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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  pen on Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:12 am

Thanks Anna.
I dont have to stand on my head do I?? Wink
I cant do that.

I will surely take a look at that link thanks.
As for the actual what they do.
It doest mean a lot to me I'm afraid.
No one has been able to tell me what the problem is.

I had an assessment at our local clinic and they said....sternocleidomastoid is tight?
I am sure I have trigger/tender points from the Fibro.

I dont have money to burn ,I need to find the right person and has to be nearby ans I cant travel
Partly because of my neck i think.

Not sure about trying to fix it myself as without a diagnosis I am clueless.
Well probably would be anyway.

Looking for a MP near to me, but so far nothing within an hour or so.
Keep looking.

thank you Anna.

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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  mxgo on Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:05 am

pen, the neck pain you describe, with the exception that mine is mostly one sided, is my problem. As the neck pain level increases, both sides of my neck hurts and the headache pain levels increases and vice versa.

As I previously posted, the most help I've had is with the trigger point massage therapist. It may be that in the U.K., another word is used for this kind of massage therapy.

Also, in my previous postings, I also mentioned I've been trying somatic and Feldenkrais exercises to deal with the tight neck and upper body muscles. To me, these exercises seem to work better than stretches.

Before I started this long road of physical therapy, the muscles on one side of my body were much much tighter than the other side. Any way that is what I attribute to my neck pain and headaches. Also, I have posted that the Lamotrigine and PT has helped with the chronic headaches.

However, as we all know, what helps one individual may not help another. But is interesting to me that your neck pain problems are similar to mine.

Martin
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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  moominamy on Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:15 am

link - Manipulative Association of Chartered Physiotherapists

You can also search by area. Guess you would need a GP referral to the named physio is based in a hospital, but could ring one and find out.


Last edited by moominamy on Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:16 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : migrainity)

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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  jwar on Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:39 am

Pen,

I would say about 85% of my migraine would disappear if I didn't have problems with intense pain/muscle tension in my neck. Once my neck starts up, it's just a matter of time before it progresses into a full-blown migraine. Interestingly (to me), whenever I get migraine with aura it is from a distinct trigger that I can usually identify (chocolate, dehydration, etc). When I get a migraine without aura it is almost invariably due to problems with my neck.

Two things that have helped me immensely: applying topical capsaicin to my neck every day. Capsaicin actually densistizes your nerves over time. So not only does it provide me immediate relief from my neck pain, but I apply it every day as a preventative measure to quiet down my nerves (by the way, I have seriously debated shaving my head so that I can apply capsaicin directly to the areas that hurt during a migraine - haven't gone that far yet though Wink ). You can buy topical capsaicin at any pharmacy.

The other thing that helps me with my neck is regular acupuncture. Unfortunately I can't always afford to go regularly, but when I can manage it I find a great deal of relief.
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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  jeselle on Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:04 am

Manipulative physiotherapists have advanced skills in the assessment, diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal conditions. These skills assist the medical practitioner with accurate, cost effective diagnosis and appropriate evidence based management. Manipulative physiotherapists have good expertise in the effective management of pain and other disorders related to the musculoskeletal system.

Research has shown that manipulative physiotherapists are highly skilled in their examination such that they are able to form a diagnosis similar to or better than those determined by sophisticated imaging processes. For example, studies have shown that manipulative physiotherapists are skilled in the diagnosis of symptomatic facet joints, symptomatic intervertebral discs and lumbar instability.

The British Association of Chartered Physiotherapists
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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  Brent on Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:53 am

Have you ever had any previous neck injuries? Scar tissue can cause a lot of problems and increase the potential for future injuries. It's not flexible and thus will cause more micro tearing of healthy muscles and tendons above or below.

It usually won't show up on x-ray or even MRI an CT. In my line of work I rarely see someone that does not have a load of scar tissue in their necks. Women are far more susceptible to neck injury since it structurally is smaller then men's are but their heads only weigh slightly less. That equals more torque and strain on the neck vertebrae and muscles.

Our necks are just to compact to have any type of inflammation going on. It's far easier to keep scar tissue more supple by working it right after the injury. When it's forming it's very fragile and it's easy to put tears in it which is good since that makes it more flexible. But when it heals as a solid lump then you have problems. It can be stretched out and made more rubbery but it takes a lot of time and effort.

Scar tissue is permanent and the problems it causes will also be if not treated. But you can do very gentle stretches several times a day and it doesn't matter if it's injured or not. All muscles will benefit from stretching.

However most people do it too aggressively. If you stretch to the point of burn or pain you are just creating more micro tears. Only do it until you feel resistance. Neck stretches can be done almost anywhere, in the car, behind a desk, watching TV etc.

I spend a lot of time teaching them to patients hands on and tricks to make them ten times more effective.

The most effective one is to stretch the trapezius muscle. It's the big one that causes most neck tension and is responsible for most tension headaches. Just clasp/interlock your fingers behind the back of your head. Take a big deep breathe and gently pull forward and try to get your chin to your chest. You quite often will hear/feel some crackling or popping since the cervical vertebra also gets stretch. Always stretch on exhale.
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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  pen on Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:36 pm

Brent,

I did hear a crack, felt like actually in my head!!!
I have had a couple of head things occur.
Long time ago.

When I was about 6/8 (less than 9), I got bashed from behind in a bumper car by my dear cousin showing off to his friend.
It caused a terrific nose bleed and when I was in my teens subsequent to a lot of sinus problems a dr asked me when I broke my nose. I told him I hadnt and he said yes I had. We assumed it was that and being quite young it had just set itself back...
I dont know what if anything that did to my neck.

Also had quite a few bad falls from horses between ages 11 to 14. No sustained injuries though.

When I was about 35 or so I got a sort of whiplash thing from one of the teacup rides like Disney has...I know they are tame, but when I got off I had a severe headache which I still had the next day. The migraines didn't start in earnest for another 5 years though.

Other than that Brent, I have no idea.

Thank you.

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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  Brent on Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:04 pm

Any one of those injuries is all that's needed to make things very uncomfortable. Necks are very unforgiving.
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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  mxgo on Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:15 pm

Brent said:
"All muscles will benefit from stretching.

However most people do it too aggressively. If you stretch to the point of burn or pain you are just creating more micro tears."

Brent, that has been my problem with stretches, no wonder I did not make much progress. I believe you said that you worked with chiropractors, good for you. I always thought that a chiropractor should be working with a therapist. How about the possibility that some us may have the C-1 vertebrae out of alignment, due to injury or simply tight neck and upper trap. muscles, and that may be causing the headaches?

Martin
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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  Guest on Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:19 pm

A cervical MRI taking a look at your neck would be helpful in guiding the doc what type of therapy, medication, etc. would be the most helpful.

Can you ask your doc to order one?

-mgb

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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  pen on Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:33 pm

Thanks for all of the advice. I have already made some calls and looked on line.

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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  Brent on Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:01 pm

mxgo wrote:Brent said:
"All muscles will benefit from stretching.

However most people do it too aggressively. If you stretch to the point of burn or pain you are just creating more micro tears."

Brent, that has been my problem with stretches, no wonder I did not make much progress. I believe you said that you worked with chiropractors, good for you. I always thought that a chiropractor should be working with a therapist. How about the possibility that some us may have the C-1 vertebrae out of alignment, due to injury or simply tight neck and upper trap. muscles, and that may be causing the headaches?

Martin

Any of the seven cervical vertebrae can cause us living hell. All though the higher up the more problem. Especially as you mentioned the C-1,C-2 are the real problem child for most.

Muscle stretching is best done on warm tissue with adequate blood flow. First thing in the morning is not a good time. I see so many people getting ready for a sport or marathon stretching and grimacing in pain. "Gotta feel the burn" "No pain no gain" This is what gets people into trouble.

An even more efficient stretching technique is called PNF stretching. That is flexing/contracting the muscle first, relaxing it then taking it into the stretch. That creates a momentary confusion in the autonomic nerves which allows the muscle to go a bit farther before it reflexively wants to contract/stop.

So the above neck stretch can be more efficient if you first contract the trapezius muscle by bending your head straight back. Then hold it for five seconds, deep breath and then pull it forward with your hands to get your chin close to your chest.

It's effective enough that you very quickly start feeling the muscle relax. Then you start doing it more and more.

The gentle passive pain free stretching modalities are what makes yoga, tai chi etc so very effective for most people.

I also use Tragger which is gentle vibration of the muscles while under a stretch. It works well on necks and many other body regions. But you need a partner to do it.
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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  tdu on Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:49 am

I get the same problems, except as with others in the thread it causes pain behind one eye. In my case, pain meds barely numb the pain. I get a few type sof headaches, but these 'neckaches' that cause headaches are generally the worst. It literally feels like I had a tennis ball pressing on my occipital nerve.

One thing that had helped a lot for me is ART (Active Release). I think it's similar to a therapy someone else listed earlier in the thread under a different name, and similar to what Brent mentions above. It's like a combination of trigger point work, stretching, and massage. It seems to be the only thing that can get into those muscles and provide instant relief.

ART is starting to become pretty common as a treatment for sports injuries (or for prevention of them). So it's not hard, at least not in this area, to fine someone who practices it. A lot of Chiropractors who use the "Activator" technique (which also works well to provide relief since it's low impact) tend to combine the therapies.

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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  pen on Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:21 am

Thank you all again. Sorry to brief (head) but just wanted to say thank you.
Pennie

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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  30yrsofheadache on Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:38 am

Pen, I have the exact same problem and pain location. This is more if a problem for me than migraines, because migraines mostly respond to meds. These are very difficut to treat and mostly have to wait it out. Last year, I did find a PT assistant that was excelent at craniosacral therapy.

I told the PT right at the start that I had been through PT at least 7=8 times and I knew what helped and what didnt. What helps: massage and gentle manipulation and heat (sometimes). Not stim, ultrasound or intensive exercise. I only alowed them to show me very gentle stretching and strengthening exercises.

Anything that increased pain was promptly eliminated. After about 6 sessions, I noticed great relief from these headaches. I really need to go back to this person as these headaches have creeped back. I have been scanned, x-rayed, etc. Just a little bone spur and arthritis seen. I was in a maor car accident with severe whiplash when I was young and also have had a few other neck injuries and conussions, so no wonder...
I hope you can find someone to help. Be firm about what you need and can tolerate.
Hugs,
Cindy
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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  pen on Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:06 am

Just resurrecting this because I got sent this from Teri Robert.
So I get neck pain because I don't get nausea??


http://www.healthcentral.com/migraine/understanding-migraine-523911-5.html?ic=6018

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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  Guest on Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:38 am

"If your pain starts in your neck and then seems to travel to your head, you may have a cervicogenic headache." (caused by a problemlocated in your neck, upper spine or shoulders.) "This form of headache could be caused by excessive muscle tension, a spinal disc problem, arthritis, whiplash from a car crash, or several other major causes. " Hope this helps Pen. It is from a book called The Headache Cure. Written by two neurologists.

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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  newtothis on Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:46 am

Brent ~

I shattered my C5 in an auto accident 25 years ago and was left paralized for a couple months. I had a bone grafted from my hip and have wires in my neck still. I spent months rebuilding my muscle and re-learning to walk and do simple tasks again. I made a complete recovery and have enjoyed a life full of horses, family, swimming, 4-wheelers, bikes, boating, etc. I do however have some lower back issues due to a not so fancy dismount from a bolting horse in training several years ago.

When these never-ending neurological symptoms started they ordered an MRI and CatScan and thoroughly checked my neck to see if that might be a cause. They showed me the pictures and indicated that that was not the cause of my problems. Again, I have had no issues related to the accident.

I just did the simple chin to chest stretch you explained and it felt great! Do you have any other stretch suggestions I can try for my neck or my lower back?

Thanks!
Debbie
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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  pen on Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:23 am

Aggg!! Just ventured out. Made it to Costco, but the journey back, my neck just cant survive these road over here.
I have come back with an awful pain in the side of my neck and it is referring to top back and my top teeth.
I have tried wearing my soft collar and it helped a bit, but I have a 250mile trip to try to make.
There must be something I can do. I have always had a dodgy neck, well for years, but this is just too much.
Mad Mad

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manipulative physio

Post  lentils on Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:36 pm

I've seen a manipulative physio who was trained in Ireland and she's been a great help. She asked on the first visit if I thought my migraines were caused by neck problems and I said I didn't think so, but now I'm thinking that some of them could be caused by my neck.

If I go into physio feeling migrainey, I leave feeling great, like I can get away with indulging in my triggers. The therapist presses so hard on my back sometimes I feel like I'm going to faint, and I wonder if she's just getting my pain endorphins going, but whatever, it works for me.

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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

Post  pen on Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:04 am

Thank you Lentils and all. This is getting to be a constant problem. The only clue I have is that it is exacerbated by movement so must be a physical content. Also still getting the pressure in my teeth...
GP yesterday "I dont know".!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Twisted Evil

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Re: Need to post this whilst I am feeling it. Need some advice. About my neck.

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