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Old 04-22-2011, 03:52 AM   #1
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"Twang" in Neck/Back of Head

I've done a lot of searching about this and I haven't been able to find anything.

Every few months, when I'm playing a sport (basketball, volleyball, bowling, etc), I extend my right arm and something "twangs" in the back of my head on the left side. It feels like a nerve catching on something and being plucked like a guitar string. It's really, really painful for about 5 seconds and then gradually goes away, leaving nothing more than a slight headache.

It does not seem to cause any long-term damage, but I'm worried that whatever it is (nerve, tendon?) might actually break someday. Does anyone know what's going on?

Thanks,
Dan

 
Old 04-22-2011, 07:55 AM   #2
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Re: "Twang" in Neck/Back of Head

It does sound like your pinching a nerve in that area or have a pinched nerve that gets aggravated with certain movements. I would have it checked to make sure there isn't something there that is inflammed. Sometimes if you have a bad disc in your neck it could be pressing on a nerve or at one time maybe you pulled a tendon. Does taking a pain reliever like aspirin help?

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Old 04-22-2011, 09:25 AM   #3
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Re: "Twang" in Neck/Back of Head

this could actually be a few possibles depending. when this occurs, do you feel ANY type of numbness, tingling or even a slight type of 'electical' jolt or zing anywhere esp the hand or fingers or TO the shoulder and slightly down it? that would just indicate more liklyhood that this were a nerve related thing only becasue ANY touching or 'cathcing' of any nerve WOULD tend to generate some type of an electrical inflammatory impulse just BY being impacted in some way?

the tendons in the rotator cuffs, and i found this out after i actually snapped whats called the supraspinatus that IS that very top tendon that simply runs(itself) outward from our necks on out to the very top of the humorus(upper arm bone?). actually DO also have some type of across the neck to the opposite side of connection, unlike with the spinal nerves that run very MUCH from midline on out to the periphery(fingers/toes) that ONLY innervate the one side alone with NO crossover from THAT spinal aspect? the tendons could actually be more likely the underlying problem considering this only occurs during movement which requires ligaments to tendons to muscl3e for anything we simply 'move'.

the one other 'possible" here could lie within what runs at the very backs of each and every vertebrae that IS what makes up the overall stability and alignment of our spinal columns? the boney promenences that stick off the back of each vert called the lamina can in certain cases(or congenitally or from injury of some kind) actually rub or get kind of 'caught' upon one another depending upon just how they are actually sitting? they are different lengths on these too esp within that c spine level? you can see what i am talking about with this by just looking at any real graphic/images that can be found on many different sites on the net.

while that one is kind of a longer shot, i would be willing to bet that the tendons up there within the rotator are more than likely involved here just given your description of what occuers with heavy load movents among other 'movement' in general? its just that movement requires very specific things to kick in inside our bodies ans the tendons are just needed in what you described in what triggers this 'feeling' at all? or even the spinal ligaments themselves are a possible.

i would at least see your primary to see what he or she feels is the best types of testing to track back the real true source of this. you could have some level of real damage to at least one of the many tendons and/or ligaments down to also muscles that make up what even allows us to actually move just about everything within our shoulders at all. ideally, doing a bilateral MRI on both rotators/shoulders would be the best way to get that inside look. but at least doing the side that is reacting in the more opposite way may also reveal more than doing the other. but if you could get both to compare and see the many many structures within the rotators, that would be really ideal.

this to me, simply sounds much more like a 'movement' issue than nerve. there ARE nerve fibers in the muscles themselves that can and do cause pain upon moving structures that are injured or damaged in some way too? it would NOT actually have to even BE the nerve itself to casue what you described. or the pain either.

when you say that what you feel there is 'painful' just 'exactly' what does that pain feel like to youy if you could describe this from onset to when it staerts to fade out and finally go away? HOW a particular pain simply feels and the overall mechanics of what provoked it in the first place seriously CAN tell alot about what could even CAUSE that particular 'type" of pain, esp upon any types of movements. considering the fact that it 'sounds' like you do NOT do these particular movements or the sports on a regular like even weekly basis, it DOES place a person in a much higher risk for potentially damaging muscle tendon or ligament. i tore up my own R rotator with alot of earlier in my life softball and bowling then my jobs that required me to just have to keep in shape by lifting weights, it all came to a head and my supra had been tearing for MANY ongoing years becasue of the sports which actually started this tearing to even occur, then over using it, or simply 'just' using it over time, and the daily wear and tear that occurs with our most mobile and heavily used joints/tendons inside our bodies that IS within that shoulder/rotator cuff til it just went on me one fine morning.

but DO start the testing and ruling out process before whatever is simply wrong that appears to be less impactful right now, just could get much worse over time and not knowing even what this is that is generating it. but the areas i mentioned above just ARE the most likely suspects given what you described. while it could be spinal/c spine, it could also be tendon/ligaments too. so its unfortuently test, and rule out or in until you finally hit upon a good solid dx. seeing an ortho wouln't hurt since they CAN tell one heck of alot about possible inner muscle/tendon/ligament or spinal injuries/involvment just by a good hands on eval(they seriously DO know how bodies are just 'supposed to move"). and then the 'inner' testing with possible MRI would help. but you do need to get this all figured out now not later AFTER something potentially worse could happen that could have possibly been prevented had you simply even known it was actually there?

hopefully it wont take too long or too many tests to figure this out for you. just see your primary and obtain a referral to a good experienced with rotator cuffs ortho. they all tend to specialize in particular ortho body areas, and you need one that does mainly rotator cuff repairs not for actual surgery, unles that is needed, but for that very BEST level of real hands on experience and knowledge that a surgeon can only obtain by doing many many repeated surgeries in the area of YOUR possible problem. good luck and please do keep us posted, FB
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Old 04-23-2011, 05:42 AM   #4
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Re: "Twang" in Neck/Back of Head

Thank you so much for your responses. I need some more time to work through both of them. As for getting to a doctor, it will have to wait, I'm teaching in the Pacific right now!

To answer your questions, the pain really does feel like it's in my head, in the back left corner. I think it does have a tingling, electric aftereffect (although not in my arms), but that is overwhelmed by the pain, which usually is enough to make my vision go out for a second or two and make me sit down for a minute. I actually play these sports a lot, but it seems to only occur once every couple of months, maybe when I overextend my right arm. There is no lingering or chronic pain at all, just on those occasions when it "twangs." Thanks again!

 
Old 04-23-2011, 06:46 AM   #5
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Re: "Twang" in Neck/Back of Head

ya know, just given your more detailed description and where this pain just shows itself, it wouldn't hurt, when you can, to obtain a good MRI with a contrasting agent as well done on your brain and the c spine levels just to see if the way the nerves are sitting in YOU personally up there can sometimes tell if certain movements could cause nerve to also become at least momentarily impinged at times(on something or BY something), and what could at least be generating the pain you are feeling, esp if the pain in itself seemingly overrides your ability to even define possible "electrically generating"(nerve) involvement too. while this area 'could' be impacted by some sort of issue going on way up at the upper part of the c spine(MANY different things just CAN seriously impact our spinal segments) that DOES kind of go into the very base of the skull/head, you DO want to see what that area of the brain also appears like with highlights from a contrasting agent under MRI too. while c 2-3 actually kind of sits at the very base of the skull, the c 1, more commonly called the atlas or atlantis also IS part of the c spine that sits kind of into the base of the brainstem moreso than out like the rest of the c spine just does within the neck.

only because this 'feels' like it is even IN your head at all really does raise the importance in getting all the areas of potential involvment scanned. the one thing that really DOES kind of also "up this need" too, is the fact it appears to also impact vision. there are areas in the back of the brain that DO correlate with certain aspects of our vision too, bloodflow and nerve. the bloodflow of your brain and the more outter bloodflow of the c spine WOULD show themselves really well upon the contrasted portion of any given MRI than without it being used too.

the thing here is, no one truely even 'knows' just what could be underlying in our own bodies until you start at least looking 'into' it in areas of symptoms. this could even be totally within the c spine actually, but will only show when you do particular movements with that R arm, it can just allow a very specific 'movement of the NECK" on your L side and not the arm that very much, and simply CAN also impact the areas you mention with what you described as symptoms/pain and esp that vision loss. THAT one thing alone seriously needs some tracking back to what IS impacting and creating THAT particular symptom.

i would, as soon as you can, at least see your primary for a referral for what would be called a contrasted MRI done on the brain and c spine. they would do the initial pics of your brain and c spine without the contrast, then do another "set" using it, then compare the pics taken just to see what may show up. but if your vision just IS being affected at all, you do NOT want to take ANY risks or chances with that. simply obtaining the with and without contrasted MRI on the brain and c spine is just what I would personally do if i were experiencing what you are right now. 'something" is obviously just 'not right' more than likely within the upper c spine or some area on that left side of the brain that is generating symptoms and very real pain. that needs definition and diagnosing for YOUR sake, just to see what you are dealing with in those particular areas.

hopefully you just can somehow get that testing done sooner vs later. you just really DO NEED to know what is generating everything that is being triggered in you at this point. if at ANYTIME you have a change in your 'regular' symptoms/pain presentation or anything actually get worse or much more frequent, try like heck to get the scans done asap. and DO keep track of any and all symptoms and onsets of the 'episodes' you are having too. and down to what you were doing when it fired itself up. this info will be very helpful to the neuro who you will more than likely end up seeing at some point hopefully soon. good luck with this and please DO let us know what you find out and how things are going. FB
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
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