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I am having problems with my neck and I don't know why. The…

I am having problems with...
I am having problems with my neck and I don't know why. The range of motion is limited both left and right but especially to the left. I am also having difficulties sleeping. I went to a Dr. who did an Xray and sent me to theropy. Theropy seemed to help while I was doing it but it is just as bad as before I started now that theropy is done even though I have done the exercises they directed me to do. . Never did get full motion. Dr. gave me muscle relaxers and topical gel Voltaren. Both give temporary releif. What should I do? I am debating on going to a chiropractor, or back to my dr..
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Answered in 14 minutes by:
7/7/2010
dr.sehr
dr.sehr, Doctor
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 338
Experience: MBBS,FCPS,
Verified
Hi,

welcome to justanswer,

Dear customer,

You have experienced neck muscle spasm.
It may be caused by stress, excessive use, poor posture, or even an unpleasant night of sleep. So you should avoid these factors.

Many treatments can help relieve the various symptoms of your painful neck muscle spasm, including the following:

Streching may be the best treatment for the spasm, and you may want to try this as your first course of action.

It’s best to have a professional perform massage for the best possible results, and to avoid further unnecessary pain in your neck. If you cannot get to a therapist, have a friend massage the tight muscles in your neck, or try to rub them out yourself.

At the onset of your neck spasm you can try putting an ice pack on the tight muscles for about twenty minutes at least three times a day.

Try to relieve the pain associated with neck spasms by wetting a cloth with warm water and holding it on your neck for about twenty minutes several times a day. Sometimes a hot bath or shower can soothe your muscles as well.

Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications can help bring down the swelling and relieve soreness in your muscles.

As a neck muscle spasm is caused by stress, anxiety and/or depression, among other possible causes. Identifying and treating these underlying problems could significantly reduce or eliminate your painful spasms.

Always use proper posture, stretch on a daily basis, and take breaks if you have to be in the same position for a long period of time (such as in an office job). Regular exercise and a healthy diet with a good daily intake of water may also help prevent spasms, and help you maintain overall health.

Recognize the onset of a muscle spasm as soon as possible, and begin the treatment that is most effective for you. This will reduce the possibility of it getting worse.

I HOPE IT HELPS YOU

GOD BLESS YOU
REGARDS ***** ***** LUCK.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

This has been going on for at least 6 months. It seems like more than a muscle spasm since it never goes away. I started doing the things you mentioned late April-early may. However, did discontinue the heat/ice and will resume that practice again. The stiffness never goes away. Is this permanant?

Should I go see a chiropractor?

Will I have long term complications?

What should I do if this just continues?

Dr. Sophie :: Neurology
Dr. Sophie :: Neurology, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 2,951
Experience: Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology :: U of California
Verified
Hello,

The stiffness in your neck is due to degenerative spine diease which in layman's terms is called arthritis.

Some people begin to develop arthritis in the spine as early as their 30s-40s or even sooner.

An X-ray is an insufficient way to evaluate cervical spine. You need a CT scan of cervical spine.

I would also strongly advise you against any chiropractic neck manipulation. This type of "treatment" can lead to a stroke caused by vertebral artery dissection.

You should ask your PCP to order a cervical spine CT and refer you to a pain medicine specialist for evaluation. Trigger point injections are effective way to treat focal muscle spasm in the neck if muscle relaxanats did not give you any relief.

If you develop any tingling, numbness or weakness in your arm(s), this may be a sign of pinched nerves which often happens in patients with degenerative spine disease, then you should have a cervical spine MRI and be referred to a neurologist.

Hope this helps.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Dr. Sophie: It makes sense that it would be arthritis. Injections seem rather extreme if I can find away around it. Generally I try to stay away from drugs but sometimes I don't know what is best for me.

Should I take anything you can recomend. I think glucosamine could be part of the answer. Aleve seems to make it tolerable during the day. However, the worst part is at night. It is quite difficult to get comfortable sleeping. I have a good bed and a good pillow.

Also, heat and Ice packing also seems to help. I have always been quite healthy and active. However, it seems I am just going to have to learn to live with it. Your analysis was quite helpful. Can you tell me anything else?

thanx, Irene

Hello Irene,

Sorry for the delay in my response.

Glucosamine and chondrioitin combination may be helpful although most studies were done addressing large mobile joints. It would not hurt to try it for a few weeks to see if you feel it helps you.

Non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs such as naproxen or ibuprofen are very good in relieving this type of pain, but you should be cautious about overuse as they may cause gastritis and gastrointestinal bleeding.

The most important point in your evaluation would be focused examination and cervical spine CT.

Corticosterois shots may seem extreme but they are most common and frequent way of relieving pain due to degenerative spine changes and myofascial pain. They are quite routine, very tolerable and uncomplicated.

I would recommend using gentle heat and getle massage rather than icing which is used for acute injuries. (avoid any vibrating devices, deep tissue massage, turning or twisting in the neck area, though)
Heat will help relaxed tensed muscles which often accompany the neck stiffness in arthritis -- esp. before bedtime.

Hope this helps.
Dr. Sophie :: Neurology
Dr. Sophie :: Neurology, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 2,951
Experience: Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology :: U of California
Verified
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