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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Most here will tell you that our problems are inside the neck but the major pain is the muscles of the neck and back. When arthritis starts settling into the neck, the muscles work overtime to take the load off the neck bones and they get so painful, they are rock hard and hurt to the touch...sound familiar?

Sometimes the pain can be from a compressed nerve but that tends to give you pain going down the arms but pain in the shoulder can be the early signs. But even if it is, the treatment is about the same.

So let's assume it's muscle pain for now(if you had numbness I'd tell you that you need to see a doc first). Heat helps to increase the blood flow to the muscles and that helps to remove the acid that builds up in the muscles and causes the pain, so heat on those sore shoulders and neck is the first thing I'd try. You can also try using some ice first to take down swelling(maybe 20 minutes) and then follow that with all the heat you want. See what helps the most....some like ice, some like heat. Those ThermaCare wraps for the neck are nice for a full day of heat. You can make your own heat packs by putting rice(uncooked) into a sock and stitch it closed. Heat in a microwave and use on your neck as needed.

Exercise helps too....makes the muscles so tired they finally relax. You can find lots of exercises on-line if you do a search for neck/shoulder exercises. Doing some each day(even 15 minutes) will help to relieve the strain on the neck and reduce spasms. And stretch. My favorite stretch is to stand about 18" from a wall and but your hands flat on the wall as high as you can get them and then slowly lean in toward the wall until your face touches the'll feel it pull on the neck, arms and upper back. Hold it for a minute and then rest..and do it again if you want to. I do it all through the day to keep me loose.

If you have a primary care doc, call and ask about getting some muscle relaxers that you can take at bedtime....something like Soma is cheap and just one at bedtime will help. If you don't, see if someone can give you a good kneading of those neck and upper back muscles before you go to bed...will help the spasms relax during the night. Many studies have shown that a good massage of the back, neck muscles can work better than any narcotic drug.

And if get really bad, go to an ER...they have to treat you....and see if there is any kind of free clinics around. I know my doc spends every Monday doing one so they are out there.

I hope others come along with their strategies to help with pain.


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