Neck and Shoulders.

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Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sat 23 May, 2020 12:05 pm

4 days ago I awoke with a sharp pain in my neck. The sort of knot you get when you've slept badly. No big deal. I went to work and the pain stayed with me for the day but didnt get any worse. After another night tossing and turning I was annoyed to find the pain was still there, but no worse. That evening after another day at work i felt the pain level starting to increase and spread from my upper neck to my left shoulder. It began to feel like someone was shoving a machete through my shoulder and when I sat up the pain in my neck was excruciating.

An early morning run to the hospital resulted in lots of poking and prodding and some X-rays which revealed nothing abnormal. It's a 2 hour trip from where I live to the nearest facility for MRI's so the advice was to go home and munch some pain killers for a while and see what eventuated. It was all a bit of a mystery because i cant recall any recent trauma or accidents. Even with pain killers the pain level is through the roof. Laying in bed in an Ibufrofen induced fog I began to recall that on the final day of my last 8 day bush walk I had begun to feel a sharp niggling pain in my neck and left shoulder. I finished the walk with the left strap of my backpack loosened off so 90 % of the weight was on my right shoulder. The pain went away over the next few days as I suspected it would and I didnt think anymore about it. That was back in January and I havent had any issues since but havent done any extended walks with a heavy pack either.
I'm off for an MRI scan first thing on Monday morning as the pain I'm suffering is showing no signs of subsiding.

Even though the first minor incident was back in January I convinced it was a warning of worse things to come that I failed to recognize.

Just wondering if anyone out there has suffered similar episodes and what the result was ?

Al
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby north-north-west » Sat 23 May, 2020 1:07 pm

Most likely a pinched nerve or something of that nature. I've had a similar issue, albeit somewhat milder, but that was whiplash from being rear-ended.
Is there also any partial numbness or tingling in the hands?
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sat 23 May, 2020 1:27 pm

No tingling or numbness. The Doctor I saw was a bit confused by this.
Just wondering what bought it all on so suddenly when I sitting down resting ??
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby north-north-west » Sat 23 May, 2020 1:49 pm

Interesting, but not necessarily indicative. Spines are complicated things. Could be that it's reacted like any other injury and you didn't notice while you were keeping up the same level of activity, but then you got back, dumped the gear and went back to a lower level and/or different style. Or perhaps just happened to sit/lie in a position that exacerbated it. There are certain angles I can't hold my head at for any length of time without all sorts of problems, due to the damage in the neck.

At this stage all you can really do is try to relax and wait for a definite diagnosis - assuming you can get one. Spinal issues can be very difficult to pin down.
Hope it gets sorted.
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Neo » Sat 23 May, 2020 8:45 pm

About a month ago i had a sharp pain. Not a neck joint or the shoulder but a line in between. Similar to what you describe.

Resolved itself after a few days luckily! No reason.

I suggest seeing a young physiotherapist when it is hurting. MRI is probably overkill.
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Moondog55 » Sat 23 May, 2020 9:05 pm

Good luck tho, I actually like MRIs; I find them extremely relaxing.
Also better pain relief than panadol and aspirin combined
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Eremophila » Sun 24 May, 2020 6:48 am

I have compressed nerves in my neck; partly due to congenital issues (fused vertebrae) and partly due to wear & tear.

The condition went rather pear-shaped almost 2 years ago, turning to agony literally overnight. I woke up one morning in a world of pain. MRI showed the impingement.

Clinical pilates has been a life saver. Remedial massage helps with the resulting muscular issues. Staying fit and active overall is the key, and some simple adjustments at my desk-based job have also made a huge difference.

If your GP is interpreting the MRI results and you're not satisfied with the outcome, perhaps seek a referral to a sports medicine facility. With no disrespect intended here, GPs will often recommend "rest" and avoidance of any activity which might provoke flare-ups.

One further "lifestyle adjustment" for me and probably not relevant for Mechanic-Al - when having my colour rinsed at the hairdresser, I stand and lean forward over the bowl, rather than uncomfortably straining my neck backwards. A small thing but I believe it avoids unnecessary exacerbation of the condition.

Edit: a short initial course of Prednisolone provided crucial pain relief but was rather rough, I gave it up prior to the prescribed 15 days. I have the remaining tablets for absolute emergencies. At the time we had some Endone at home which I took on a number of occasions - it made me sleep wonderfully but didn't fully relieve the pain.
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Neo » Sun 24 May, 2020 11:12 am

Moondog55 wrote:Good luck tho, I actually like MRIs; I find them extremely relaxing.
Also better pain relief than panadol and aspirin combined

Poor choice of words by me. Every angle is worth investigating.
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sun 24 May, 2020 11:30 am

If this had of occurred out in the bush without any nearby help I would be on the button calling the big yellow taxi because there is no way I could continue on.
I would not feel comfortable walking off into the bush again if this resolved itself and I had no idea of what caused it or if it's likely to happen again.
A relaxing MRI sounds good.

My hair colour seems to be changing (from black to grey) quite happily all by itself but it reassuring to know the procedure in advance if every Im looking for a more user friendly shade........thanks Eremophila !!
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Eremophila » Mon 25 May, 2020 2:11 pm

You're most welcome MA. :lol:

I will add that "rest" is THE worst enemy for me. Lack of movement and exercise brings a return of symptoms very swiftly.

I've also learned some simple but very effective exercises from Pilates, using therabands and loops, which go a long way towards improving things.

The guy I saw at Olympic Park Sports Med, told me there was approximately a 6-month window in which to address the issue, otherwise I'd be looking at cortisone injections and then possibly surgery further down the track, not a happy future. That was certainly a good incentive.

Out of interest, what kind of work do you do?
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Mechanic-AL » Mon 25 May, 2020 4:38 pm

Sorry bout the delaying replying,
last night we ( WA ) got hit by the mother of all storms, trees down, roofs ripped off, no power for the last 16 hours.........and it seems as though our fridge motor somehow got cooked in all the excitement :(
But I digress. Where was I ? Oh yeah, my pain in the neck !!!!

Eremophila wrote:
Out of interest, what kind of work do you do?


I am a HD Mechanic working on an array of trucks and earth moving equipment. Started back in the days when getting the job done was far more important than any safety concerns. Definitely not good grounds for healthy spinal care.

An idea how long it should take to notice some incremental improvement if something of this nature looked like resolving itself ?
On my 6th day of munching pain killers ( which have just been upgraded to something way more fun :shock: :lol: :shock: :lol: :lol: ) and no discernable improvements.
Was off to have an MRI today but storm damage on roads has delayed that for another 24hrs.

Not real keen on replacing everything with UL gear and way to early to stop long trips into the bush.................... :(
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Echidna not » Mon 25 May, 2020 8:01 pm

Have you considered getting a deep muscle massage ? Voltarin ? Hot and cold pack? Try to get someone to give you a massage on the aching area with voltarin , if that relieves some pain , try using a trigger point ball. Do a google search on trigger point massage .
Good luck with it .
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Joynz » Mon 25 May, 2020 8:34 pm

I once woke up with a neck so painful I couldn’t get out of bed - excruciating. I went to emergency too, as it was a weekend. No actual issue was found, so it must have been the result of overuse or bad lifting etc (like most back or neck issues). It came right with physio, stretching etc

In the absence of any other diagnosis, I suggest a good sports medicine clinic with physios who know their stuff. My sports physio clinic has different levels of experience and you definitely get the benefit of paying a bit extra to ramp up to a senior physio when required.

Be careful with the pain killers.

Dr Norman Swan on Radio National has had a few programs mentioning that heavy ‘pain killers‘ are not necessarily that effective for chronic pain relief (ironically) - and they can be very addictive!

If it turns to be pack /posture-related, then consider an Aarn body pack with a hip form belt and balance pockets because they completely remove any weight from your shoulders. With my Effortless Rhythym pack, there is a gap between my shoulder straps and the top of my shoulders - no pressure, no pain, no marks.

They also encourage you to stand upright (I use Pacer Poles too which help even more).
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 25 May, 2020 9:58 pm

Strong pain killers are great for temporary relief but I agree that in the long term they are very bad for you and I can attest to their addictiveness.
Took me a long time to kick the Endone from before and after the hip went on me The trouble being that more than 8 panadol a day is very bad for you and sometimes they only just take the edge off the pain.
Cecile also tells me I was a very different person when I was taking them twice daily and not always a nice/good one and I'm a cranky old bugger at the best of times
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