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Health & Medical UnderGround >> Neck and back pain


12/17/08 11:22 AM
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pantsless
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Hello all. I'm wondering if anyone suffers from the same condition as me and if they have a solution.

When using a computer, (or even playing xbox), I experience pain and burning, that starts in my neck, and spreads down to my back and chest. This pain sometimes turns to spasms, and knots, and will continue to spread throughout each day, to my rib area, and up into my face and head. I'll get a pins and needles sensation in my face, and ear, and up into my scalp. This condition used to be located on one side only, but had now spread to both sides.

Massage had given me some relief, and muay thai seems to help, because it always feels better when I'm warmed up. I think this is some sort of repetative stress injury, but I'm looking for a solution. It should be said that I make my living using a computer. I've also had an MRI and it turned out perfect. Thoughts?
12/17/08 2:23 PM
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ThinkAlpha
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Although, I am not quite sure what you're condition is, you might want to try and make sure your posture is correct when sitting at your desk. Possibly buy a lumbar support for your chair. I had issues with my sciatic nerve from BJJ training but it has been relieved with proper stetching.

So in short, posture and stretching SHOULD help some.
12/18/08 4:31 AM
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JasonE
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I have some ideas about how to help you... but first here are some threads in which I describe some possible issues that you may be dealing with:

http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/?go=forum.posts&thread=1329346&forum=27&page=1&pc=8

http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/?go=forum.posts&thread=1360985&forum=27&page=1&pc=9

As a massage therapist, I would be very interested to see what's going on in your pecs, anterior neck, posterior shoulders, and suboccipitals. Resolving the complex of tension issues in these areas usually provides rapid resolution of symptoms like those you are describing. It's great you've already had other issues like nerve impingement ruled out. :)

If you can, find a good massage therapist with the skills I recommended in those threads. It usually takes more than one session to provide long-term relief, but progress may be very rapid. Staying well hydrated and having reasonably okay posture will help. However, don't worry about keeping a "rigidly perfect" posture, as that will also lead to pain, though for different reasons.

Happy recovery!

Jason Erickson
www.CSTMinnesota.com
12/18/08 10:34 AM
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pantsless
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Much appreciated.

As far as finding a good Massage Therapist; do you know of any sites, like the ones listed in your refrered thread, that have Canadian listings?
12/18/08 12:31 PM
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pantsless
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I've found a Massage Therapist, and have an appointment for Monday. I'll keep you posted.
12/18/08 2:41 PM
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Bolo
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Edited: 12/18/08 2:48 PM
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I believe the biggest issue is that you are sitting too much throughout the day. The human body was not designed to sit a majority of the day. You can massage all you want, but if you don't decrease the amount of sitting that you are doing, you won't resolve your problem.
12/19/08 8:07 AM
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pantsless
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I get up and walk around every thirty minutes, and have been doing so for about a year now.

The pain and burning is not just aggrivated by mousing and typing, but anything even close to that. For example: text messaging and playing video games, will bring on tightness, knots, pain, burning, and eventually spasms. It is almost instant. I start playing xbox, and the symptopms start in seconds. Needless to say, I don't do alot of gaming these days.
1/5/09 12:14 PM
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pantsless
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I've now had two massage treatments. My therapist says I had a lot of adhesions, and that much of the time, my symptoms are related to trigger points. My pecs, neck , back and shoulders are being worked on. When the therapist massages, it feels like an itch being scratched. An itch that has been built up for some time.

I'm still dealing with symptoms, (and I expect to after only two sessions), and at times, it even feels worse. It feels like some muscles have been released, and are now working after a long time of passiveness. But I'm certainly no expert. Typing is painful today, so I'll keep it short. But I do have another session tonight.

The therapist also talked about the importance of stretching, so I've been doing that alot.

More to come.
1/7/09 3:22 AM
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JasonE
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Sounds like you're on the right path; the first few sessions sometimes wake sleeping tigers, but they should be tamed before long.

Look at stretching your pecs and biceps, preferably before stretching anything else. I recommend Active Isolated Stretching as a method, as it's pretty user-friendly and works great for the stuff you're describing. PNF (aka Contract-Relax) stretching is a good alternative. Static stretching (hold for 30+ seconds) is of limited use, and you must be thoroughly warmed up (slightly sweaty) before using that method.

Hope that helps!
Jason Erickson
www.CSTMinnesota.com
1/7/09 11:45 AM
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pantsless
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Thanks Jason. I have not tried Active Isolated Stretching yet, but I will start today.
1/20/09 9:27 AM
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pantsless
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So, I've been stretching alot, and getting regular massages. I'm still having good days and bad days as far as the pain is concerned. I'm not letting it get me down though. I figure, it took a couple years to get into this situation; it'll probably take some time and effort to get out.

Unfortunately, on the weekend, I woke up, with severe pain on one side of my neck, and the inability to turn it. It appears to have spasmed on me. Anyone know how I should proceed with a spasmed neck?
1/21/09 11:03 PM
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Bolo
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In my opinion, waking up with severe pain and inability to turn your head isn't a sign that the course of action you are taking is in the right direction.
1/22/09 2:35 AM
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JasonE
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pantsless - So, I've been stretching alot, and getting regular massages. I'm still having good days and bad days as far as the pain is concerned. I'm not letting it get me down though. I figure, it took a couple years to get into this situation; it'll probably take some time and effort to get out.

Unfortunately, on the weekend, I woke up, with severe pain on one side of my neck, and the inability to turn it. It appears to have spasmed on me. Anyone know how I should proceed with a spasmed neck?


Sounds like torticollis, a (usually) temporary condition in which muscle spasm causes the head to be turned to one side. There are a few tricks that may help alleviate it before calling your therapist.

My first recommendation is to lay on your bed so your head can hang slightly over the edge, and use your hands to gently turn your head slightly further to whatever side it's turned towards. Try to let your neck muscles relax as completely as possible, and hold the turned position for about 2 minutes. Slowly (really slowly) use your hands to gently return your head to a neutral position, then use your hands to raise your head and move away from the edge of the bed. You should be able to move your head more easily now, though one side will probably still feel tighter than the other.

An alternate recommendation is to take a hot pack (corn bag, flax pack, or similar) and lay on it with the spasmed portion of your neck pressed firmly against it for 5-15 minutes. Use your hands to gently turn your head further towards the side of spasm and hold about 2 minutes, then use your hands to gently move your head about.

Be sure to tell your massage therapist about this incident when you go back for your next appointment.

Hope that helps!
Jason Erickson
www.CSTMinnesota.com
1/28/09 7:18 PM
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Furacao
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Buy a tempurpedic pillow - look into buying a home traction unit. Heat & light stretching.

Muscle relaxer for the spasms and pain might not be a bad idea as well.

good advice from JasonE!

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