EXTREME neck pain and stiffness... - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2004, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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EXTREME neck pain and stiffness...

Hi All. Just wondering if this has happened to anyone else and, if so, what things can be done to remedy it.

Either Monday night or Tuesday night I ended up sleeping on my neck really funny and I woke up in the morning with a terrible neck strain. It shot all the way up my neck and gave me a headache. On Wednesday I went to my chiropractor, got an adjustment and felt great for about 4 or 5 hours. The pain really started getting worse when I tried sleeping.

Thursday I went back to the chiropractor, he got another good crack out of my neck and, there again, I felt great until I went to go to sleep.

Friday I went to my husband's massage therapist. This was the first time I'd ever been there. I was very relaxed and felt great afterward AGAIN until I tried going to sleep. (I think I'm turning into an insomniac! )

Now today it started hurting in the afternoon and I finally gave in to my husband's wishes and we went to the local ER. I asked a ton of questions about this muscle strain and what kinds of things could be causing it. I even brought up the fact that I may have a sensitivity to latex. The doc didn't seem to think that an allergy to latex could cause something like this.

I was sent home with a soft cervical collar (basically to wear during sleep to keep me from kinking my neck so bad) and a fairly strong antiinflammatory, Cataflam. I've taken it before for other aches and pains and it does work, but it's not necessarily going to take away the problem - just make it more tolerable.

Anyway, I'm really concerned about this because I've kinked my neck in sleep before and it's never taken this long to feel better afterwards. Usually within 24 hours I feel back to myself again. Does anyone else have any ideas as to what might be causing this?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 09:49 AM
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yargh, i've done that before. i hurt myself in my sleep more often than when i'm awake

it took me about 2 weeks to fully recover from the neck pain. i'm not sure what i did, i was barely awake when it happened. i rolled over but in the process i twisted my neck wrong and it cracked pretty loud. i instantly stopped rolling over it felt like my neck was on fire. i eventually went back to sleep just so i wouldn't have to deal with the pain. when i woke up again, it was still on fire and i couldn't turn my head to the left at all. it felt like i'd pulled every muscle from the base of my skull to the middle of my back! my friend gave me this heat thingy to wrap around my neck called a "bed buddy" (ha!). it was basically a long sock full of rice that you put in the microwave for a couple minutes to heat it up. it worked pretty swell. just make sure you keep heat on it, that'll help your muscles. if you still have pain after your muscles have healed, you should see a doctor again. it could be a muscle tear or even a pinched nerve.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks marijun. I do have one of those "bed buddy" things you talked about. I've found, though, that I need to ice my neck first to get the inflammation down, then use the bed buddy for a while to loosen things up, and go back to the ice to take swelling down after heating the muscles again.

I tend to injure myself more in my sleep than when I'm awake too! I've kinked my neck during sleep quite a few times before and it's never taken this long to heal up afterward. That's what's freakin me out.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 01:44 PM
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ooh that sucks! there was no swelling associated with my injury, so the bed buddy was my new best friend. i must have nuked that thing 100 times.

i wouldn't go back to the chiropractor if i were you, if you need to seek therapy i'd just see a masseuse. another thing you can do that helps is ice massage. if you can handle the touch of bare ice, rub an ice cube on yr sorest spots first. once it numbs you a bit, you can press harder and really hit the deeper muscles. i had to learn how to do that when i knocked my kneecaps loose. it sure is hard to numb muscles and ligaments that are under the kneecap you could probably request an ice massage from a masseuse too, i'd think.

after the ice massage, lay down in bed or on the couch with your head propped up in a position that is comfortable, with the "bed buddy" under your neck. relax all your muscles as much as you can and let the heat do its work. afterwards, you should be feeling pretty flexible, so move your neck around and try to exercise it a bit. if there's no improvement after a week, you should probably see a doctor again and get some xrays done. if the massage/heat/exercise doesn't help, its probably more than a muscle strain!

its nice (kinda ) to know that someone else gets injuries in their sleep! i thought i was just accident prone or something. my last sleeping injury was...i fell asleep on my stomach with my arms tucked up around my chest. i woke up in the morning and my hands and wrists were blue they felt completely dead. after a couple hours, they swelled up about twice their normal size, turned bright red, and hurt like crazy! i couldn't use my hands for 3 days my knuckles stayed swelled for about a week.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 02:14 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about your neck pain. Whether it's a muscle or nerve pain, it's hard to take. If it is a muscle pain, moist heat works well. I can understand how it would last for weeks. I got a back ache once from lying on a xray table for a long time, and a month later I asked the doctor if lying in a certain position could still cause pain a month later, and she said, "Oh, yes!" It seemed to take forever to go away, but one morning you'll awaken and it won't be there. When you finally realize you don't hurt any more, you feel like dancing! I hope it soon heals.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 03:11 PM
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maybe you have a pinched nerve or something.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-16-2004, 09:43 AM
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I've learned from therapy with chiropractors that it's important to relax and lie down for awhile after an adjustment. I know that you're not still in pain just because you didn't do this, but it's something to keep in mind if you ever decide to go back.

I hope you start feeling better soon!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 03:22 AM
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EXTREME neck pain

I know this may sound really odd - but what kind of bra are you wearing?
I used to wear a racer-back lycra sports bra all the time. I also used to get a lot of neck and shoulder pain.
I thought it was stress tension from work. But then I changed jobs to something much less stressful, but the pain just got worse. It got so I couldn't turn my head to look over my shoulder when reversing the car.
Then, believe it or not, I heard an interview with Patrick Stewart (Capt Picard from Star Trek) on TV. He was saying that in the first series, they had to wear tight lycra uniforms all day. He started getting terrible back pain. His osteopath told him it was from the uniform compressing his spine all day. So he (PStewart) asked the producers to change the uniforms to something looser fitting. As soon as they did that the back pain went.
So I put two and two together, and stopped wearing the sports bra (unless I was actually doing sport!). The pain stopped within days.
Sorry this took so long to explain, but I thought I'd just mention it in case it had any bearing on your situation. The wrong kind of bra I think can aggravate injuries, even if not cause them, beacuse it effects our posture.
Good luck
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