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Neck muscle strain.. Or something else?

Posted by DavrosT 
Neck muscle strain.. Or something else?
August 15, 2017 07:56AM
Hi guys,

AF aside, I've had a bit of a weird problem for a few months now and wondered if any of you had ever suffered something similar.

Basically, I've had these weird sensations of neck weakness, head wooziness for a few months. It just came on me very suddenly one evening when leaving work and has remained since.

It causes my eyes and ears to be very sensitive to light and sound when at its worst and I often end up with pain in the back of my neck that sometimes spreads in a strip up over the top of my head to my brow if I don't take painkillers soon enough.

I've seen my GP several times about it but while he was more concerned with my blood pressure and post ablation heart, he doesn't seem overly concerned. He's checked plenty of bloods and all came back fine and done some basic eye, ear and neurological exercises which showed him nothing. At first he mentioned some form of vertigo but has settled on it being related to poor posture.

This is all fine but the problem remains and it's really starting to impact on my day to day, particularly at work. I'm thinking there's definitely something muscular going wrong, perhaps even a nerve issue. At times I'm left feeling a little hungover at times, to plainly describe the sensations I feel in my head and neck.

Any thoughts?
Re: Neck muscle strain.. Or something else?
August 16, 2017 01:39PM
Davros - There can be many potentials here for what's causing your neck pain and related symptoms. Posture during daytime and your sleeping posture are always suspect. Assess your posture throughout the day and be aware of what 'fixed' positions might be torquing your spine out of natural alignment. When one thing hurts, it often 'tracks' up and down the spine with more pain from mal-alignment. Take frequent breaks and stretch if you sit or stand for long periods.
When sleeping, one side or the other is considered better than on the back... and definitely, don't sleep on your stomach.

What do you do for muscle toning and exercise? Light hand weights as a start can often help strengthen neck muscles so that they are not so vulnerable. Stretching properly is also highly beneficial... as in Yoga ...or have a massage therapist do assessment work to see if you have some 'trigger points' that can be alleviated.

Remember to remain well-hydrated. Drink pure water frequently as dehydrated muscle tissue can become painful.

It's hard to get into all the details and potentials. Hopefully, Sam will be reading and offer some tips for you.

I can appreciate your misery. Hope it diminishes soon.

Re: Neck muscle strain.. Or something else?
August 17, 2017 05:00AM
Hi Jackie,

Thanks so much for your reply.

It has been a pretty miserable time for the past few months and I seem that I am constantly monitoring and readjusting my posture, neck, pillows of an evening.

Terms of any exercise, I've actually not done anything more than a lot of walking, i.e. 12-14 thousand steps a day. I used to run a lot but I didn't want to risk it so soon after my ablation so haven't done that since early in the year to be honest.

Because my GP seems happy to let this just lie, I have contacted a well-known chiropractor, so will hopefully pay him a visit soon and see whether there is a posture or structural issue that they can help me with.

Re: Neck muscle strain.. Or something else?
August 17, 2017 08:02AM
My first advice here would be to find a Therapist who uses Maitland techniques. These are much gentler than the full thrust manipulations of a chiropractor.

There are some basic mobilising movements that you can do yourself. Note that I've called these movements rather than exercises. They MUST be done as smoothly and effortlessly as possible. The less muscle involvement you use the better.

1) Turn your head from side to side. Get a slight stretch but don't go beyond the point of a slight ache. If these, or any of the other movements make you fell dizzy, sickly etc. stop.
2) Keeping your neck and head vertical bend to one side then the other. If you were able to go that far your ear would touch your shoulder. Use a mirror to check you're doing it right.
2) Keeping your upper body still and head vertical move your chin forward and back.
3) Rotate your head, starting with very small circles and gradually increasing the range, first clockwise then counter clockwise. Again remember to be as effortless as possible as if your head was rolling around without any effort on your part. This exercise will make most people slightly dizzy. When that happens stop and do a few side to side movements.
Do 10 reps of each

If you do these correctly they should cause you no problems. If they do you need further medical help.

Let me know how you you get on.


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