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Old 09-16-2007, 03:36 AM   #1
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Exclamation ???? Neck ache/ Heavy head ?????

I’m 19yrs old and have never had the problem described below before, or anything similar.
I was working on my computer during late January of this year and most likely as a result of bending over the computer for 10min+ increments on many occasions throughout the days of 1 particular week, I later began to realize that my head felt heavy.
I have not experienced any of the tingling feelings in my hands or blurred vision or dizziness. It is very difficult for me to turn my head to the right (left hand side muscles feel very tight), but not as hard to turn it to the left. My head basically wants to face diagonally downwards (slightly to the left) and it’s a 24/7 struggle to keep it up. The intensity can very from day to day with no discernable pattern ever being noticed. Generally it will range from an almost tolerable ache (which would be 5-7 out of 10 intensity) mainly in the left hand side of my neck, to an extremely unbearable ache whereby I cannot go for very long without some support under the neck such as a folded cushion (suffice it to say that when it’s 8+ intensity that I don’t get out and about much, if at all). For the first few months it was varied in intensity, then as of June-August it was more often a 6 or 7 intensity and just recently as a result of a pulled neck muscle from playing golf (think that’s what I did) the intensity has climbed to maximum intensity and has stayed there for a couple of weeks. It just seems as if the body is reluctant to heal this problem once it’s reached the mildest intensity (which has been 5/10 but never seems to last very long).I have tried my best to keep exercising the neck muscles and ensuring that I keep my head upright for as long as I can, but frankly it hasn’t helped in the last 3-4months I’ve been trying that. The best way I can describe it is that it feels like someone has strapped a set of weights to my head and that the neck muscles feel stretched or very week.
I generally find that it’s even more intense when I sit down (especially at the computer).


So far I’ve tried;
Seen Physio- neck exercises and massages (massges helped a tiny bit, but nothing noticeable)
Heat packs (slightly helpful, but more so when ache is near maximum intensity)
Pain killers (no help at all)
Acupuncture (no help at all)
Changing Sleeping arrangements- pillows, mattress, body position (no help at all)
Improving Posture (even over prolonged amounts of time there was no difference)
MRI scan (bones seem fine)

I’m not going to go on and on about how disruptive it’s been and how it’s ruined everything for me, but I am desperately seeking any relevant advice that may at least partially if not entirely alleviate me of this problem.

I have a hospital appointment with a specialist very soon, but until then I’d really appreciate any suggestions you have to offer. I’ll respond to any suggestions or questions within a few hours maximum.

Thanks

Last edited by gary9; 09-16-2007 at 08:01 AM.

 
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Old 09-16-2007, 04:26 AM   #2
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Re: ???? Neck ache/ Heavy head ?????

It sounds as though you may be experiencing some severe muscle spasms. I get this often and depending on how bad it is sometimes massage helps a little but you may need a muscle relaxer-didnt see those on your list. If it is spasms your doctor should be able to feel this easily with his hands. Also those things you stick on your body, those patches you buy over the counter like therma care? You just stick them where it hurts and they stay on for like 8 hours. If the spasms are really bad though a prescription muscle relaxer would be your best bet. Good luck to you. I am no doctor-just get alot of spasms!

 
Old 09-16-2007, 05:06 AM   #3
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Re: ???? Neck ache/ Heavy head ?????

I will certainly give that a try and mention it when I go to the hospital. Incidentally, the physio did mention that one side was very tight, but I'd have thought that physio would've corrected a muscle spasm, but who knows. thanks for that.

Last edited by gary9; 09-16-2007 at 05:19 AM.

 
Old 09-16-2007, 06:58 AM   #4
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Re: ???? Neck ache/ Heavy head ?????

Hi, it sounds like severe muscle spasm to me too. I have had these in the neck, shoulders, back, and other areas and for me they are very hard to get rid of. I found using a moist heating pad on the affected area at least helped soothe it a bit. But if you keep using the same posture where you bend your neck/head all day, the spasms will probably continue. Even if you try to keep good posture, the minute you bend your head forward, teh spasms will probably come on quickly again. This has happened to me as well. I tried muscle relaxers, which didnt help me, however - I had severe lumbar spine problems and most of my spasms relieved only after I had surgery. But I still get flare ups in my neck, shoulers, hands, and feet now & then, no idea why though. Oh, one other thing I've been reading about that some docs are using to relieve muscle spasms is Botox shots.

 
Old 09-16-2007, 08:05 AM   #5
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Re: ???? Neck ache/ Heavy head ?????

I thought muscle spasms come and go. My heavy head feeling may vary in intensity, but it's never disappeared before. Would I be right in assuming that physio therapy doesn't look at muscle spasms then, because you'd have thought that it would have been an obvious area to start at. Is it likely that if these are spasms, that they'd go on they're own, or do they always require some form of treatment I wonder?

Last edited by gary9; 09-16-2007 at 08:07 AM.

 
Old 09-16-2007, 08:38 AM   #6
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Re: ???? Neck ache/ Heavy head ?????

Hi, they can come & go or they can be constant. I guess it all depends on what the cause of the spasms is. I had spinal stenosis which caused me to no longer be able to walk upright. I had to walk at at least a 45 degree angle forward. I was like this for about a year before I finally had surgery. This caused me constant excruciating spasms in my legs, low back, and they spread up my entire back, neck, shoulders, hands, and even into my throat and face! It was horrific, not to mention the pain in my spine & nerve pains. Most of my spasms were gone the first time I got up in the hospital after my spine surgery. However, now I wonder if I also have somethign going on in my cervical spine (neck), because even though not bad like before, I still get flare ups of pain and spasms stemming from that area (however it comes & goes)

Physical therapy can help get rid of spasms, but again, it depends on the cause. If you have something else going on inside your cervical spine, for example, that doesnt get treated, the spasms will probably continue. If it's muscle strain, they may stop...but even slightly bad posture may bring it on again.

You said you had an MRI & bones seem fine, but whatabout all the surrounding soft tissue? Or discs? Did the report say this is all fine as well?

 
Old 09-16-2007, 10:34 AM   #7
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Re: ???? Neck ache/ Heavy head ?????

I think they did say that the discs etc were fine, but I can't be 100%. I'm certainly liking the plausibility of the information about the problems and the length of time (mine seems to be heading for that) although surgery wasn't what I expected (not that I'd refuse if it was the only option). Can you describe how your neck feels then, is it similar to how mine feels?

 
Old 09-16-2007, 01:09 PM   #8
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Re: ???? Neck ache/ Heavy head ?????

Mine usually starts with aching pain in my cervical spine about an inch or 2 below where the head and neck meet. It's the area where the bump is on the upper spine. It will hurt if I press into the area as well and that small area of my spine will have a deep, painful ache. I get spasms that radiate out from that area, it feels very tight and crampy. Then the spasms also usually radiates to my left shoulder, and it's a deep crampy ache that's quite painful. I can feel the tightness in there and sometimes my shoulder gets pushed forward from the spasms. And of course I end up getting a tension headache up the back of my head & back of head. And my head will feel like it's too heavy for my body. And what used to happen as well was the spasms went into my throat area, which really hurt & was kind of scary, sometimes it was hard to swallow. In my face, I could actually feel and see my cheeks being forced downward, like someone was pulling my face. I think most of all this was due to the spasms and nothing really made them go away.

 
Old 09-17-2007, 11:09 AM   #9
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Re: ???? Neck ache/ Heavy head ?????

I get some, but not all of those symptoms. What I am interested in though is which scan would be able to identify the problem, at the very least that would be the first step in the right direction.

 
Old 09-17-2007, 04:45 PM   #10
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Re: ???? Neck ache/ Heavy head ?????

Well, from my own experience, they usually do x-ray first. Then if it keeps bothering you, an MRI would probably be the best as it can see soft tissue, where x-ray cannot.

 
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