Continuous Neck pain

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Continuous Neck pain

Post  lissy on Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:49 am

Does anyone else have neck / shoulder pain that almost never goes away? The pain starts at the base of my skull then runs down my neck and across both my shoulders. Regardless of whether I have any other migraine symptoms or indeed a full on migraine, the neck / should pain really never goes away. Even when I have what I would term a "good day" - ie no nausea, visions, light sensitivity or headache, my neck seems to just continuously tense up and get tighter and tighter until I have some form of treatment to release the pressure.

I've had xrays, bone scans and MRIs and there is nothing wrong with me in terms of structure. Physio / Acupuncture relieves the pain and pressure but only for 1 day. After that, it begins to build at a steady pace and within a few days I'm back to where I was and need treatment again. If I let it go too long without treatment, then this seems to trigger another migraine (this is not my only migraine trigger though).

I've improved my posture, use heat packs and do regular exercise to help strengthen the muscles but nothing seems to really make any major improvement (although these things do help sometimes). Does anyone else have any tips for dealing with this or found anything that helps?

Thanks,
Lissy
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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  pen on Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:35 pm

I can relate to the neck pain Lissy.
I have had physio.
All are agreed there is "something" wrong with my neck, but no one seems able to say what.
Nor can they fix it.

I can never figure if it is cause or effect with the migraines.
No pain killers touch it.

I wish I could advise you. I would like some advice myself.
Sorry I cant help, but at least you know you are not alone.

Pen

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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  Migrainegirl on Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:49 pm

Lissy, I had the same problem with severe neck and shoulder pain for years. I thought the headaches were a result of some problem with my neck. Turns out it was the other way around. Once I got my daily headaches under control, the neck and shoulder pain has pretty much disappeared. I was amazed. It was quite unexpected.
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neck pain

Post  charmed quark on Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:23 am

I have constant neck pain and shoulder pain on one side. In my case it is due to lesions on my cervical spinal cord from a neurological disorder and/or spinal spondylosis. I always have a moderate level of pain nomatter what I do.

The neck and shoulder area on that side tend to spasm and then lock up. The spasms can be extra painful, even excruciating. I use a TENS device to help with the pain. I do daily stretching exercises for my neck and shoulder that help quite a lot. When it gets really bad I use a home neck traction device or go to physical therapy.

Acupuncture helps but only for about 12 hours.

When I get a migraine, my neck on that side gets "crinkly" and the pain and stiffness starts ascending up the back of my skull. But interestingly, the throbbing on the side of my head is on the opposite side.

The whole thing is a real pain in the neck! ( sorry ... Smile )

I would recommend looking into stretching exercises even if yours are not caused by an underlying condition. I think the ones my physical therapist recommended work better than the yoga ones. I'll see if I can dig some up on the interwebs.

-Peter

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neck problems

Post  lentils on Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:31 am

When I was living in Sydney I went to this fabulous physio clinic near Bondi. They did something called "spinal manipulation", but they worked on muscles, particularly upper back and neck. Sometimes I would go in in prodome and leave feeling great, I never got the migraine. This clinic was an hour's train ride from my house, but worth it, because I tried other physios and they weren't even close.

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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  pauljackson on Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:48 am

i had the same problem due to sitting job long hours when i consulted a Chiropractor it helped
The main chiropractic treatment technique involves manual therapy, including manipulation of the spine, other joints, and soft tissues you should consult an expert.


Chiropractor Lawrenceville GA

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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  lissy on Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:12 pm

Thanks everyone. Its nice to know I'm not alone! Having no other underlying cause for the neck pain has frustrated me so much but I am resigned to the fact it is in some way linked to the migraines. I suffered the neck pain for a long time (nearly 2 years) before getting the migraines but perhaps it was just a gradual build up to them. I have bowen therapy on my neck / back which for anyone that doesn't know is a German technique that works at stretching the muscle fibres. This also helps but again only temporarily.

I would appreciate knowing the specific stretches that have helped you too Peter as I don't think the ones my Physio has given me really help.

Thanks.
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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  mxgo on Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:00 pm

Here are three exercises that might help keep the muscles stretched:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo99aLekHCc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMIxfCSoLX4&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbEj67qDDc8&feature=channel

Do them very very slow and only to the point where the muscle starts to hurt, at that point breathe out and stretch slightly more. I think the Anat Baniel youtube videos explain the slow movement and the breathing.

Martin
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exercises

Post  charmed quark on Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:59 pm

http://www.livestrong.com/article/104567-exercises-forward-neck-posture/

The one where you push your head straight back by pushing back with a finger on your chin really helps for some reason. The doorway stretch is really good, too. and
http://www.neckpainsupport.com/2009/01/fast-and-easy-neck-stretches-for-pain-relief.html

the side stretches but not neck rotation, which seems to bother my neck.

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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  tortoisegirl on Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:35 am

Yes I had the neck pain similar to you describe (with tightness & spasms) start up after my 24/7 headache started 5 years ago. Only things that have helped me are massage (by someone who works on whiplash patients through a physical therapy clinic, paid for by insurance, not regular massage which is way too rough) and muscle relaxers and narcotics. I've tried the occipital nerve blocks with no help, but those are worth a shot too. Posture help from a physical therapist helped me too, but more with head than neck pain (I was doing a forward & up posture with my neck, probably my body trying to compensate for the pain, so consciously trying to keep my neck straight and looking down more helps me, especially if I catch myself doing this during a pain spike). Chiro made me way way worse. The stretched and exercises from physical therapy didn't seem to help me, but didn't make me worse (they were trying to strengthen my neck muscles). There are huge links between the head and neck, both cause and effect, but its very tricky to try to treat. Good luck and best wishes.

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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  Migrainegirl on Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:49 pm

Somehow the neck exercises always manage to induce a migraine with me. In fact extreme movement of the neck (such as looking at the ceiling for 20 seconds or looking behind me) will start up a migraine. So you may have to be careful with the neck exercises.
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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  lissy on Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:29 am

Thanks for the tips and stretching suggestions everyone. Not sure if they are helping at all but I like the Anat Baniel stretches. They feel good so I will try doing them every day for a while and see if I notice any changes. Anything is worth a try.

I had a massage on Thursday afternoon then had a wonderful day yesterday. No migraine or neck pain. Was absolutely wonderful to have one day like that (unfortunately its started to come back today Sad ). I've recently started to realise how much I took for granted over the years before the neck pain and migraines started. Having a day or 2 free of pain now is the most exhilerating experience.
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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  greent on Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:15 am

I can relate... My neck and shoulder hurt on a pretty daily basis too. I can tell it's migraine related since whichever side of my head hurts is also the same side I have the neck and shoulder pain. It alternates sides every few days or so. I too can't remember what life was like before this pain. For a while I thought I had tmj since my jaw on the same side as the head pain also hurts. After countless dentist visits though, I've realized this is all related to my migraines though. Some medicines that have worked for a short while on my head pain also caused my neck and shoulder pain to go away. It's so hard to avoid it though. Even if I carry a bag on my shoulder for a short while, I feel as if that shoulder will start to hurt, then the pain moves up that side of my neck and to my head. So frustrating! I hope you get some relief and will be curious to read if anything works for you!

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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  mxgo on Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:29 am

In my previous posting, I forgot to mention that you are suppose to do the exercises three times a day.

Martin
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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  lissy on Sat Dec 25, 2010 5:40 pm

Certainly sounds interesting but making the device seems a little beyond me! What I can't seem to find is what / where the actual 3 pressure points are so I can try them. I haven't read all of the text as its hurting my eyes at the moment but I couldn't see a specific demonstration on where the points actually are?
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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  annabella on Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:26 pm

Thanks Martin for posting the videos links. The neck one looks especially helpful.

Annie

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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  lissy on Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:19 pm

I was surprised when I did the shoulder one how much longer my arm is after!!! Guess the muscles must be really tense. I really like that one. Still doing the neck ones but my neck is so painful and tight today.
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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  mxgo on Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:46 am

Here is another somatic exercise for the neck and shoulders:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdcfA5tqIsM

This man a good series of exercises on YouTube and on his web site.

Martin
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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  Mini on Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:47 am

There is also a good evidence that a direct injection of steroid plus a painkiller into the base of your skull can be highly effective trietment, provided it is done by a highly expererinced doctor. I know some people here have such injection and although not all are equally long lasting (the relief) it is worth trying.

Doing gentle exercises is a good idea anyway as we all get very tense in this area specially when in pain. But do not do anything forced, or over do it since this is very sensitive area and you can do some damage. Also be extremely careful with any chiropractors - any such manipulation are just too risky.
Massage on the other hand shouldl not do much damage if done gently and specially if you enjoy it.

I hope you are feeling better today.
So sorry to hear about your floods!
Mini UK



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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  estre004 on Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:50 am

I had acupuncture for a cat accident that ended my neck pain that I had had for years with migraine. Too bad the migraines are still there.

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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  lissy on Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:01 am

I've always been very wary of Chiro - heard so many bad stories about it I'm definitely not game enough! Acupuncture definitely helps relieve the pain but it only lasts for a day or so. I still get it once a week as its a nice relief but I just wished it lasted! Perhaps I should learn how to stick in some needles myself!!!
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This was great

Post  charmed quark on Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:24 pm

mxgo wrote:Here is another somatic exercise for the neck and shoulders:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdcfA5tqIsM

This man a good series of exercises on YouTube and on his web site.

Martin

Didn't get effect on my neck, yet, but it was fantastic for my lower back. Really good stretch.

Thanks for the link

Peter

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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  mxgo on Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:47 pm

Peter, here is a good one for the lower back:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN80hWJ7Au4&NR=1

It is not in English, but the demonstration says it all. With me, if the lower back is hurting, then my calf muscles are very tight, so I do hamstring and calf stretches before doing the above pelvic tilt exercise.

The previous video works on the SCM muscles, the shoulder, and the twisting muscles of the hips.

Martin
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neck/shoulder

Post  charmed quark on Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:08 am

mxgo wrote:Peter, here is a good one for the lower back:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN80hWJ7Au4&NR=1

It is not in English, but the demonstration says it all. With me, if the lower back is hurting, then my calf muscles are very tight, so I do hamstring and calf stretches before doing the above pelvic tilt exercise.

The previous video works on the SCM muscles, the shoulder, and the twisting muscles of the hips.

Martin

Oh sure, I've done that one for years, it is great. But my lower back problem is actually cervical ( neck) due to problems with my cervical spine causing lesions on my spinal cord. So the shoulder/neck stretching exercise you posted apparently "opened up" my cervical spine a bit and relieved some of the pressure on my spinal cord, helping my back and leg which were numb and spasming a bit. Helped almost immediately.

My neck is so spastic from the lesions that I don't think doing anything just once is going to show immediate results :-) But I'm going to continue to try it for a few days to see if it helps.

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Re: Continuous Neck pain

Post  mxgo on Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:34 am

Charmed Quark said:
So the shoulder/neck stretching exercise you posted apparently "opened up" my cervical spine a bit and relieved some of the pressure on my spinal cord, helping my back and leg which were numb and spasming a bit. Helped almost immediately.

Remember do it slow and at the peak of the stretch breathe out and stretch a little more. If there is pain, you are stretching too far and it will not help. Also, try to keep the shoulders on the floor.

If it helps, you might think of going to a Somatic Practitioner for individual sessions that are tailored to your particular problem.

Martin

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Re: Continuous Neck pain

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