This thing with my neck

Because I refuse to post pictures of the bruises on my neck on the internet, I will show you what my pain feels like. My smallest son does a good job of conveying my sensory feelings right now.



I didn’t write about this when it started two weeks ago, because I thought it would be over by now. It’s not, and in fact, I now have bruises on my neck and shoulder as a result of this pain in the neck. Yeah, you should see me explaining this one.

All year, I’ve had severe neck aches come and go. Nothing like Biofreeze to get the kinks out. (They have roll-on now — it’s awesome for those hard-to-reach-shoulder blades.) But two weeks ago, when I was busy working on my computer on my blog code for 5 hours, my neck ache became so severe that I got sick from the pain. This time, I had to hit Advil, along with the Biofreeze. (I don’t like to take drugs — two babies were born without them — the other two were c-sections, and I took the drugs.) For two weeks now, I’ve lived from 4 Advil to the next every four hours. And, to my surprise, this dosage does not make a dent in my pain. Nerve pain, they say, is hard to reach.

But, truly, nothing but Yoga completely eliminates the pain. It’s not the neck and shoulder opening poses the relieve the pain — it’s the standing poses, like forward bends, and warrior poses — grounding the legs — that make it possible to free the neck. Sort of like a fulcrum that my neck can radiate from. People say “yoga is nothing but stretching.” You can’t stretch unless you are strong.

The pain makes it almost impossible to write on my computer. Using the mouse, and looking at the screen the same time is excruciating. I can work for short bursts at a time — to write these posts, but I’ve cut back considerably. I’ve noticed that my inability to read other’s blogs, and comment on them has kept me “out of the loop.”

Desperate, I went to see a chiropractor a friend recommended. My first time to one. He took an x-ray, and found that I have Degenerative Arthritist, but he’d have to do an MRI to be sure. My spine looked great on the x-ray. However, the discs in my neck are jammed on top of each other. It hurt just to look at the pictures. His adjustments scared me, did not hurt, but did not relieve my pain. Everyone says this takes a long time to heal. I bought more Biofreeze from him.

I got a lot of relief from sleeping with a damp towel, with a heating pad. Amazing for the pain, but hard to get that heating pad to cover all the ouchy spots on my neck, and down my shoulder across my shoulder blade. But I managed.

I visited the health food store, and I learned about Homeopathic Arnica Gel. This gave me instant pain relief. Never heard of it before. But I’m glad I do now. That would last several hours. It’s an herb for bruises and muscles soreness. But I still had constricted movement.

I scheduled an appointment with a real Dr. so I can find out if I need this MRI. I can’t get in until Wednesday. Will I live this long? When the kids scream, I swear, my neck bunches up and it hurts more.

My husband’s Triathlon Team has their own masseuse, who has a physical therapy background. I have heard people praise and praise him. That’s who I want to see. He took me Saturday morning. He found lots and lots and lots of knots. He worked for two hours — on my neck and shoulder only — yes pain, pain pain. But when he was able to release a spot, the pain was worth it. Many spots he could not release — using all of his resources. In some places, I feel amazingly better — but there are still some very painful nerves in the wrong place. Yes, and I got more Biofreeze from him. Last night, I was able to sleep peaceful without the heating pad until 4 a.m., when I headed downstairs for four more Advil. I can’t wait to get REAL drugs on Wednesday!

But I hope I get those drugs. Because now, due to the work of my masseuse, I have bruises on my collar bone and shoulder. Yes, I got bruises during my massage. I hope the doctor doesn’t take one look at my bruised neck and shoulder, and say, “Well, no wonder you hurt.”

9 comments to “This thing with my neck”
  1. It is crazy what can cause neck pain. Every Monday morning, I would return to work and my neck would be so stiff. I could barely turn my head. Funny…this would happen on Mondays OR whenever I spent time with my children during the week. Was I allergic to my kids!? Where they causing me severe stress!? Nope – finally dawned on me that the bag I use when I’m with the kids (it crosses across my front) was causing my neck pain as I subconciously favored one shoulder over another. Not my kids!!! Phew! 🙂

  2. Am hoping you feel better soon. Will this mean you will need therapy? Or will this all be done throught meds? Hoping you are also able to last the days ahead- neck and back pains are such a pain!

  3. Sometimes bruising can happen during a massage but it sounds to me like he went too hard on you. I am a massage therapist as well, and I believe you get more flies with honey than vinegar- if you get my drift. Be consistent with your massages and your treatments and I think you will find your pain relief lasts longer.
    Also, try a rice sock, Susie. Get a long tube sock, fill it with rice about one-half to three-quarters full, knot the end or rubber band it, then pop it in the microwave for a few minutes. These work great because they hold the heat and they conform to your body very easily.
    I do hope you feel better- it’s a drag alright…
    Feel free to e-mail me if you need any more info… I’d be happy to help!

  4. Hi, Susie- Cold is usually great for acute stuff and heat for more long-term chronic stuff but contrast can be wonderful in actually healing tissue- the trick is to be consistent! Use it twice a day, or 3x- whatever makes you feel good- for about 15-20 min./day. But when you do feel like some contrast therapy, start with heat and end with cold.
    Hope this helps! And no more bruising- now your body has to heal from that, too!

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  7. I found the link here at sk*rt and am happy I did. As a migraine sufferer whose pain frequently originates in the occipital lobe at the base of my skull, I also hold a lot of my tension from working long hours at the computer in my shoulders and neck. Your info here is priceless. Not only am I just starting my own personal yoga journey (so the video list will be a help) but knowing about the biofreeze is going to be an immense help as well. Thank you!

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