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Severe Neck Spasms
Picture of Riley716
Hello, Just wondering does anyone have huge neck issues-I'm having huge neck issues at the moment and trying to figure out if it is a separate issue or migraine related. I have constant neck spasms and at one point, my Dr. diagnosed me with cervical dystonia-I semi-question this diagnosis, only due to the fact that I haven't noticed my head turning to a certain side or which way. But the other reason I think it may be valid, I haven't had Botox for about 6 months now, and the spasms are horrible!! I didn't think it was work for my head but maybe it was for my neck?

Anyway, do any of you have constant muscle spasms in your neck and what do you do? I have muscle relaxants, but they barely touch it! I can barley dry my hair without my arm getting tired! (oh and it's the one I write with) Don't worry-I'm not really asking for advise-I more or less venting!! I have to let it out!! I have an MRI on Thursday of my neck and an EMG/NCS 2 weeks from then. And I have to call the pharmacy to authorize botox shipment-but part of me says that botox shouldn't be done until all of those other test are done right?

Anyway-sorry for the long gripe!!!

Posts: 23 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: 04-17-2010Report This Post
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Picture of JamieHOST
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Ick. I'm sooooo sorry that you have to deal with this also.

I have a cervical dystonia diagnosis also. Here's some information on Cervicogenic Headache which produces referred pain (in my case- from the neck)

Have you had any trauma to the neck? Do you know how the spasms started? When you had the botox, where was it given to you?Neck/shoulders? Did it stop the spasms/ decrease the frequency of the pain?

I'd (personally) want to know what's going on in that area- in fact, several MRIs, etc later, I do know what's structurally wrong with my neck, and that's taken into consideration when dealing with the neck issues.

Have you tried a TENS/EMS unit? I personally find that if I can catch the spasms before they get out of hand, I may be able to stop the pain from galloping up to my head and doing its work.

I can definitely commiserate, even if I can't give you advice...

How do you sleep? Do you have a good pillow? That also made a big difference for me- I have a customized pillow (can tell you more, if you're interested) that lets me still sleep on my stomach- not good allegedly for neck ick sufferers, but provides the support to trick my neck into thinking that I'm sleeping on my side or back. Pretty darn cool. That's also helped.

Another thing that's helped me, recommended by my HA specialist- is the occasional use of a foam cervical collar just to rest the muscles and structure of the neck.

I like having a "neck toolkit" of things that can slow down things- but I know that w/o cervical blocks, I'd be in big trouble. I don't do well with muscle relaxers... Zzzz'z

However, here's some other info that also deals with neck and Migraine... take a look... maybe these links are what you're also looking for! Smiler

Migraine Treatment Delayed by Neck Pain
A new study has shown that the presence of neck pain is associated with delayed treatment of Migraine attacks.

Neck Pain as a Migraine Symptom
A study has shown neck pain to be a common symptom of Migraine, more common than nausea.

Hope something I wrote in all of that proves to be useful!

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Posts: 2886 | Location: north carolina | Registered: 01-12-2007Report This Post
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Picture of dragondroolHOST
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I don't have huge neck issues, but my neck has been somewhat snarly off-and-on since getting rear-ended in January of 2010. My chiropractor got it mostly straightened out, but once in a while there's a spot on the side that still knots up, and it can trigger me.

I do, though, fight spasms in my shoulders quite often. Originally, the shoulder issues stemmed from my thyroidectomy and a resultant calcium drop. The calcium levels were corrected, but they didn't do anything to address the spasms, which were compounded by trying to talk around a deadened vocal cord (the nerve was cut during the surgery). My shoulders have never been the same, and the left one particularly aches like all get out when migraines dig in.

For the shoulder spasms, muscle relaxants work about the best, but they don't always put a dent in it, though. Beyond that, I'm a fan of heat via rice bag, stretching, a TENS unit (though sometimes that aggravates it) and above all other things, my chiropractor. If all else fails, I will take prescription pain meds until things level back out. I much prefer the comfort measures to the meds, except for the muscle relaxant.

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Posts: 6478 | Location: Montana | Registered: 01-11-2007Report This Post
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Hi there,

Unfortunately I can't offer much advice at the moment, but I've also been having muscle spasms for awhile now. I just recently had some x-rays done that only showed inflammation. I was given a muscle relaxer, but it hasn't helped much. In addition to my neck pain, the pain also radiates to my back, shoulders, and up into my jaw. I haven't figured out why though. Still working on that.

I just drape a small heating pad around my neck for some temporary relief, or use a rice bag like Dragondrool recommended. Does your neck pain cause you to feel pressure on the back of your head and temples? That has become a recurring problem for me and I have no idea what that's about, but either that (lying down on my pillow, for example) or just sitting/standing up will cause headaches (not migraines). I don't know if this is an issue for you or not.

Does anything provide relief for you, even if it is just temporary? Please let us know what your results are. I know how frustrating all of this can be and I hope that you start feeling better soon.

*Jamie, if you don't mind, I would be interested in hearing more about the type of pillow that you use.
Posts: 9 | Location: Texas | Registered: 08-21-2011Report This Post
Picture of Riley716
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Thanks for the advice guys! It's been an eternity since I've been on here- hopefully, I will finally get relief! I've had a rough few months, finally had botox again- about 3 weeks ago-so hopefully that will help! It always makes my migraines super crazy for awhile Frowner My neuro switched up the muscle relaxant so I have my fingers crossed! But, my headaches have gotten to the point that he wanted to see me 2 weeks after the Botox & then after that appt-another 6 weeks! It's always been 10-12 weeks! I also had an emg that was normal & a normal cervical mri! If this doesn't work & one more round of botox(he is going to have his partner do it next time) he is referring me to another headache specialist! Which, is ok, except phoenix its kind of limited in specialists-especially when it comes to where live-basically-anytime of day-rush hour traffic there & back-especially if its at Mayo or in Tempe! Hope you guys have a nice Thanksgiving!
Posts: 23 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: 04-17-2010Report This Post
Picture of Pookie
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Right before a migraine attack, I get a very painful stiff neck all on the left side. What works for me (stiff neck) is over the counter Motren and a cold pack on my neck. It does not take away the pain but it does numb it somewhat. I do not want to take a prescribed muscle relaxant because I am taking too many prescribed preventive meds.
Posts: 179 | Registered: 03-15-2007Report This Post
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