A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Pain the neck


I have developed a recurring neck pain, that I recall as far back as ~1998/1999. It only surfaces once in awhile, without any pattern that I can discern - sometimes infrequently, once every six months or so, sometimes more frequently, twice in a 2-3 month period. I wake up with it, and it becomes worse over the course of the morning. It sometimes fades somewhat by afternoon, but it sticks with me for 2-3 days usually.

It has on at least one occasion been painful enough that I cant hold my head upright, and instead held my head as though I was constantly looking at a spot on the ground in front of my feet. If I recline, or lay my head back, or hold it in just such a way, straight forward, I don't feel the pain, just a slight tension in the muscles of my neck and shoulder. When I move my head and neck though, I can feel it very distinctly. It feels like muscle pain, but I can't be certain. The pain when I move my neck like this is certainly enough to be distracting (and enough, apparently, that I'll blog about it...) The muscles do not seem to be sensitive to touch or pressure, though my wife has sometimes been kind enough to give me a forceful neck rub, and she (and I) can feel knots in the muscles - and these are sensitive to the pressure. The pain starts on the back of my neck, usually slightly on the left hand side, but today on the right.. and extends down into Trapezius Muscle, and - I think - into the Sternocleidomastoid muscle (I'm not making it up - looking here for guidance.) And if I turn my head just wrong, the pain sometimes shoots down into the Deltoid. I'm no good at describing pain, but I'll try to quantify it: when I turn my head wrong, it feels like someone in pinching the trapezius muscle.

I don't know of anything that would be a likely source - I do not have any old neck injuries, I don't play sports. One suggestion was that it could be related to computer use. Another is that it could be stress related. I don't feel particularly stressed.

Anyway, every time it crops up, I seriously consider visiting a chiropractor, but I've never been to a chiropractor before, don't know any good ones, and don't know how many bazillion dollars it would cost me. Or whether a chiropractor could even help. Plus I'm a little frightened that its some kind of weird nerve or vertebrae damage. Looked up chronic neck pain on the intarnets, but I'm not having any 100% matches.

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