Patient Comments: Neck Pain - Effective Treatments

Question:

Please describe what treatments have been effective with your neck pain. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: mo, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 28

I have been living with severe chronic neck pain for 15 years. I have had many MRIs and x-rays. I was diagnosed with spondylosis, bone spurs, and herniated and bulging discs. I also have bilateral carpal tunnel. I have had many epidural injections, burning of the nerves, nerve blocks and more. I was always very active in my younger years and contribute my conditions to getting old and every day wear and tear. Surgery is an option for me but I wouldn't know where to start.

Comment from: Casey Albert, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 12

My neck pain started nearly five years ago as a result of a snow skiing somersault where I landed directly on the top of my spine/bottom of skull on hard packed snow. I knew instantly that something was wrong. My symptoms included nearly all that you would associate with a whiplash type injury. Over the years, I had x-rays, MRIs, three epidurals, brain scans, physical therapy, and an assortment of visits to various health practitioners. After my last two visits to a neurosurgeon brought no solutions, I elected to visit a NUCCA certified chiropractor as recommended by a friend of mine some time ago. This person performed an 'atlas subluxation' correction. I felt almost nothing occurring as he was doing the correction, however I knew instantly that something had happened as the grinding/crunching in my neck that had been there for this past five years was gone nearly 100 percent. He said nerve issues would take time to recover, however I do know that many of my symptoms have either subsided almost completely, or I can feel the changes on a daily basis. I would not have believed this had I not done this myself!

Comment from: kmartin, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

I was diagnosed with cervical spondylosis. The pain took my breath away, radiated down my shoulders and into my arms. I had tingling in my fingers and arms and lost strength, making it impossible to do normal things like opening a door. The doctor prescribed cortisone for inflammation and injections, physical therapy and rest. I also tried acupuncture. After one year and a bad case of gastritis and about 25 lbs. heavier, I had not improved. Finally I decided to do the opposite. I began to exercise, do neck stretching exercises and weight lifting and yoga, all with the intent of increasing circulation, lose the new weight and reduce stress. I also began to take Aleve for the first time, which was fantastic. Today I am practically pain free, having only the occasional crisis which I am sure are caused by tension.

Comment from: cookie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 15

I started out with terrible neck pain that moved down to my shoulders and then into my arm and my hand. Doctors tried spinal injections, then neck injections, physical therapy, and, of course, tons of painkillers. A brain and spine specialist finally offered an experimental surgery option to me to replace my collapsed c6-7 discs with stainless steel discs. It was an implant made by Medtronic and the surgery is called a cervical arthroplasty. When I awoke from surgery, I had absolutely no pain, and refused to take even an aspirin from the recovery room nurse. It was a lifesaver. I couldn't have lived with the constant pain that I had. If you have cervical disc problems ask your doctor about the procedure.

Comment from: mossymusic, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 24

I was in a car accident 11 years ago and hit head on the driver's side window. My neck started bothering me about a year later. I tried acupuncture and it helped a little. Through the years it was ok, then a year ago I fell between my bed and side table and hurt my head and neck. About 5 months ago the pain started in my neck and head. The side of my head tingle, my neck is very painful (the bones pop and snap and I have chronic headaches. I have had physical therapy and pain management.

Comment from: donnamae, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 26

I have arthritis in my neck and sleep on a neck pillow. But recently, and this is not the first time, the pain has moved down to the major shoulder muscle and the side of right neck, sometimes causing my ear to hurt. I have been using heat and at times icing it, which both feel good. I am seeing a doctor this Friday.

Comment from: kind, Male (Patient) Published: April 12

I used to go to chiropractor for almost a year and half, then I started feeling neck pain and mostly at the lower neck between the shoulders, and I have this pain for almost 10 months. My work is sitting but I try to move every hour, so I am not sure if this was affected by chiropractor treatment or just because of my work.

Comment from: Notsure, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

I have spondylosis in C5 and C6 vertebrae of the neck. It was very mild but then I took a fall on ice. Pain has increased a lot since then. I bought a TENS machine and it seems to help with pain.

Comment from: anna, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 13

After 27 years of continual neck pain, I'm just tired. The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) scares doctors, and they are more worried about that, than helping someone like me. I have had 2 surgeries, which left me a bit worse than I felt I was before. I've done all the MRIs, CT scans, and therapies the doctors wanted me to do.

Comment from: Saraemily, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I am 27 and I have been suffering with neck stiffness, dizziness, hull aches in my arms, and daily dull headaches. It's been going on for over four months now. The doctors still seem to think it's some kind of virus, but it's gone on for so long. I feel really weak and barely have the energy to do anything anymore. It's really getting me down. I'm finally getting an MRI scan in my head and spine next week, and I have been trying physiotherapy. But still no improvement.

Comment from: Karen, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

I have had neck pain since I was 9 years old. I had lots of chiropractic treatment through the years, got temporary relief; physical therapy, temporary relief. I have right arm pain, right shoulder pain, right chest pain. It hurts all the time inside below right rib cage about level with belly button deep inside.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 01

This may sound odd, but you may want to consider Lyme disease. This often-misunderstood disease can cause so many symptoms almost anywhere in/on your body, since the bacteria (spirochetes) are cork-screw shaped and can "get" through any cell wall in your body. My husband has been ill with Lyme for at least 3 years (that we know of) and he has had many of your symptoms. Good luck finding a Lyme-literate doctor. Most doctors still think that a 2 or 3 week course of antibiotics "cure" Lyme, but if you've had it for awhile, it may take a year or more. The testing for Lyme is quite inaccurate, with over 60% false-negatives. I don't want to scare you, but do some research maybe not just the regular clinic sites, but dig deeper. Also, contrary to what experts say, Lyme can and has been found in every state and overseas.

Comment from: Sandy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

I had my second neck surgery last July. I had a herniated disc, and a bone spur pushing on my spinal cord, narrowing the nerve hole. The first one I had in 1993 was a piece of cake. I had no problems at all. I was 42 at the time. This time, I was 57. I have had pain ever since. My throat feels like a golf ball with spines on it. I can manage that with nerve medications, but now I have horrid headaches and inner ear pain. My regular doctor was unavailable, and I had to go to urgent care. The doctor said she thinks it is my neck. I have a plate with screws in it. I have to wait to go to my doctor and have another X-ray. This last surgery was quite a bit more involved than the first, and when they go through the front with the incision, they move all your things in there with a retractor than can cause nerve damage. At least I don't pass out when I move my head back or forward anymore.

Comment from: adrienne69, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 10

I had an injury in August while using an electric hedge-trimmer. It started as inflammation in my right forearm and then proceeded up my arm, onto my shoulder, up my neck to the base of my head. My PCP gave me muscle relaxers and naproxen. I also had an EMG and nerve conduction test done as my right forearm was constantly tingling. After trying physical therapy, which made it worse, and other conservative measures, I finally had an MRI that diagnosed a herniated cervical disc at my C6-C7 vertebrae. My neck and shoulder are in constant, excruciating pain which gets worse after working for a few days and when I turn in different positions. Some days I wake up and the entire right side of my body is numb. I bought a new memory foam mattress and have tried 4 different types of pillows. I am finally getting my 1st Epidural Steroid Injection next month. Hoping for relief! Until then, I get by on muscle relaxers, Valium and Percocet. Wondering if anyone has had success with injections. I'm having a few of them over a 6 week period.

Comment from: texas, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 22

A year ago, I sustained an injury resulting in a C6 bulging disk. I was treated with an injection which only helped to relieve the pain very little. In the meantime, I developed severe headaches along with increasing pain in my neck spreading throughout my shoulders and arms. I have had two MRI's performed, one for the disk in the beginning, and then later for the shoulder pain. I'm in therapy for a second time for the shoulder. The center of the pain is my neck which radiates down the middle of my back and throughout my shoulder. The doctor has diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia, but I'm somewhat skeptical. I have been on pain medication for a year now with little or no relief at all. It makes me wonder how it seems like just over night almost, you suddenly develop all these symptoms and no one can actually fix it.

Comment from: 45-54 Female Published: December 04

I also get really bad neck pains and bad headaches. The pain goes into my shoulders. The last time I had it, it lasted about three or four months. I went to a chiropractor, and that didn't help. However, he suggested I ice it down for at least 20 minutes, four times a day. When I repeatedly did this, it finally went away.

Comment from: gerry campbell, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: August 05

I have suffered neck pain for a very long time (years). I am not certain of the start, but it has been over 20 years. I have scans done and been told it is literally a mess. I have almost daily headaches associated and have tried many topical medications e.g Zostrix and many others. I also take analgesics, Tylenol and combined reactants and pain which sometimes gives relief. I have been told by my neurologist that because of the condition surgery is out. I do not have many options. I am also 79 years old and a year past have had spinal stenosis operation which turned out very well which is at least a plus.

SLIDESHOW

Neck Pain: Causes and Treatment for Relief See Slideshow
Comment from: bobb, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 21

I had bad neck and shoulder pain for 9 months and it was driving me crazy. I did physiotherapy, went to the doctor, everything. I was up late looking for an answer on line googling pain. There was a woman I found who practices Eastern medicine. I e-mailed her and told her my symptoms, and she answered me and told me some things to do to help. Within 3 weeks my neck pain is 75 percent better and improving. She was very good.

Comment from: taylor, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

My neck is a mess. I have had steroid shots and they did little to nothing. Sleep is tough. I wish someone had an answer for the pain, not just a description. I have degenerative disk disease.

Comment from: Gen, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

I was in a major car accident in 1980. I saw many doctors, and all were in agreement that surgery was too risky as it could lead to partial paralysis. So I was prescribed pain pills and three months of weekly physical therapy. I drove home in tears each time from pain. I had to take an early medical retirement because five more years after the accident I could no longer work due to the chronic pain. I am 56 years old and feel like I am 86. I have also tried acupuncture, physical therapy, and injections (which were horrible). I was told I will probably live with this forever. I really don't think I can do this.

Comment from: jaci, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I had a car accident 7 years ago, as a result ended up with neck problems c1-c4. Over the years I have tried dorsal root injections, steroid injections, acupuncture, ganglion block injections. I've tried every painkiller available: oxycontin, pregabalin, morphine patches, codeine, everything you can think of and I get no relief. When the pain starts in my head it feels like electric shocks going off and my head swells and feels like it's going to explode with the heat. I physically can't move when it's so bad. I've taken overdoses on a few occasions, just trying to ease the pain, and nothing works. It's driving me to distraction.

Comment from: vmc, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I had a herniated disc that caused me to lose my entire left side to numbness if I turned my head even a 1/4-inch. I had surgery in 2009 to replace the disc. Now I have severe pain that is getting worse daily in my neck and shoulders. I have to drive an hour each way to work daily and by 2:00 p.m. I can't stand the pain and have to go home. I live on muscle relaxers and pain pills but it does not seem to touch the pain anymore. I just had another MRI yesterday to see if I have herniated another disc or if this is what I can expect forever.

Comment from: bethy boo boo, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 08

I have had neck and shoulder pain for more than seven years now. I am 30 years old, and I repeatedly went to the doctor complaining of pain in my neck and shoulders, and they continuously told me that it was muscular, put me on muscle relaxers, and suggested physical therapy. Of course, this never worked. Just recently, I finally got a doctor that took X-rays and an MRI on my neck and shoulders to find that I have degenerative disk disorder (DDD). I have bulging disks in my neck. I am now on Vicodin for pain management, and the doctor I have now says that there are many methods for pain management. The only time it may be necessary to have surgery, is if there is a herniation and a nerve or nerves are being pinched that could cause long-term damage. At this point, I had an episode about two days ago and had more X-rays taken of my neck to rule out herniation. I had the X-rays taken yesterday. The doctor is supposed to get back to me about whether the X-rays were definitive or if I need another MRI. I hate feeling as if I'm falling apart when I'm only 30 years old. There are many things that could be underlying and contributing to my neck problems. I have psoriasis and have been using topical steroid creams on the areas where the skin is constantly inflamed. I am hopeful that I haven't contributed to my vertebrae issues by using the topical creams for my psoriasis. Oh boy, what a whirl!

Published: March 05

I am a 46-year-old female. When I was about 30, I was in an accident where I had whiplash. I feel this was the beginning of where I am today. I recently experienced excruciating neck and shoulder pain where I couldn't sleep or hardly move my neck without six daily aspirins; although it helped temporarily, it was tearing up my stomach. So I decided to take the natural road, which has helped me tremendously. This regimen included walking for 30 to 60 minutes three times a week, and then Jacuzzi therapy three times a week after exercise. Before bedtime, I apply topical analgesics and use a special grain-filled neck roll pillow. If pain persists then I take two or three Motrin pills depending on the level of pain. I am happy to say that after only one week, I have full range of neck movement along with little to no pain.

Comment from: Tranquility, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 28

I highly recommend treating neck and/or lower back pain with regular massage, acupuncture and/or chiropractic care. Pharmaceutical drugs only mask the pain and damage your organs and tissues so for a long term investment into maintaining a pain free lifestyle, consider alternative therapies.

QUESTION

Nearly everyone has low back pain at some time during their life. See Answer
Comment from: Babs52, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 23

For thirteen years I have worked on an assembly line constantly standing. I noticed my neck getting stiff until one morning I couldn't turn one way. I went to a doctor and found out through x-rays and MRI that my bone in my neck were out of place and that I had arthritis in my cervical spine. I went to physical therapy, it was getting better then I stopped and it started getting painful again. Now I have been exercising and it feels good again, so exercise does help, I also exercise to keep my weight down I am a life time member of weight watchers.

Comment from: Lady, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I am a 30-year-old female who has neck problems. I was involved in an accident in 2005 and have had this pain off and on ever since. One week, one side of my neck hurts, which leads to headaches and lack of sleep. In another week, my other side will ache, and I really believe it's not the muscles. It feels like the nerves in my neck. It starts in the evening, and by the morning, I can barely move my neck. I can feel the pain in my head. I've had an MRI and my doctor said that it was inflaming muscles, and he prescribed muscle relaxers, but they don't work.

Comment from: Amanda, 19-24 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 28

My fiancé was in an ATV accident almost four years ago. Since then, he has had chronic neck pain and nothing seems to help. He has had imaging done, and every time, the doctor tells us there is nothing on the image that would be causing any pain. We met with an anesthesiologist in a pain clinic, and he suggested he be seen by a surgeon, but also administered a cortisone injection. My fiancé has had these before and, as usual, it only lasted about a day, two at the most. He is at his wits' end because he is 26 and trying to finish college but finding it harder and harder due to pain. He has been through a pain rehab program to help him cope with the pain medication-free, cortisone injections, physical therapy, etc. Nothing has helped.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 28

I am a 25-year-old female that has suffered neck, back and headache pain for seven years. I have been to chiropractors (four of them), I've done physical therapy three times, I tried acupuncture, electrotherapy, I've had X-rays and a MRI. I have been to doctors and specialists. Still, everyday I have pain. I wake up with pain, the pain increases in the afternoon (if it waits that long, I'm lucky) and worsens until I lie down at night. Then it just gets bothersome that I just want to numb it. Putting my head over the side of bed relieves the pain. I have a sleep number bed and a pillow that supports my neck. Yet the pain remains. My headaches usually come about from the neck pain. My shoulders also bother me but not as much as the neck pain does. I'm sick of it. It increases when it's hot out; I always get headaches if I'm too hot. I'm tired of being told that there is nothing wrong with me and that there is nothing doctors can do. I have pain everyday, and I'm too young for this. I hate taking medications, especially since they only help a quarter of the time.

Comment from: deducit, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

I have had severe neck pain since an auto accident 14 years ago. I have tried everything ... cortisone injections, chiropractors, surgery, and physical therapy ... nothing lasts very long. Now I am on muscle relaxants and pain pills, which also do not work very well. The MRI shows my neck is a mess ... I doubt if anything much more will help.

Comment from: RANJINI, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 13

A bath in hot water helps reduce my neck pain.

Comment from: Cristel, 19-24 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 10

I am 20 years of age and I am experiencing horrible neck pain. It hurts everyday at night and I just can't fall asleep and I try to a pillow under it, but it feels worse. When I wake up in the morning it hurts and throughout the day it just gets worse. I have been experiencing this for the past 3 weeks now and it is constant. It just doesn't go away and I am tired of it.

Comment from: Nikki, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 05

I have suffered from neck pain on and off for a few years. This recent episode started at the end of November 2008. It is on my right side and affects my shoulder and gives me headaches. I also have floaters in my right eye, which my chiropractor says is caused by the neck pain. I am sick of taking painkillers, as I had an ovarian cyst for a year. I had that removed in September 2008. I have been to many doctors to get a CT scan performed to make sure I haven't got a brain tumor or something else, but they won't give me one.

Comment from: Marky1, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 22

I slightly injured my neck five years ago and it eventually turned into a minor arthritic problem in my neck. Motrin would usually make the pain go away. Now I am 58 and two weeks ago the pain intensified to unbearable headaches. I have tried Motrin, Tylenol and other pain killers which do nothing. I am not sure if it was the recent cold weather or a golf outing but the neck pain and headaches are unbearable, 24 hours per day.

Comment from: Louise, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 22

I'm suffering from neck and shoulder pain which is causing my eye site to be bad weakness on the right side of my face pains shifts from side to side in the neck and shoulder. The eye problem is happening from the pains in my neck. Thanks for listening just need some relief had this problem for 14 years every day.

Comment from: Kathy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 22

Acupuncture has given me relief from neck and migraine headaches better than my prescription medications. It has lasted for long periods of time and my insurance paid for the procedure. I am burned out on taking medication for these conditions. I feel they treat the symptoms not the cause. Side effects from these medications are damaging my liver and kidneys. I prefer alternative treatments if at all possible.

Comment from: joeth, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I have pain in the left shoulder causing me to not be able to turn my neck fully. This pain travels down my left arm. There is also a feeling of numbness and painkillers are not helping.

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