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12/12/2011 10:37 PM

Constant Crick in Neck With Occipital Neuralgia

AnotherMime
AnotherMimePosts: 38
New Member

Does anyone else have occipital neuralgia along with a constant crick in the neck? I developed both about the same time. I am thinking that my crick is related to my occipital neuralgia. Chiropractors have not been able to pop the crick out of my neck. An expensive series of sessions on an Antalgic-Trak decompression machine did not help my crick or my nerve pain any either. I have not found any information on any possible surgical procedure to remove a crick in the neck. Chiropractor says I have a dysfunctional joint. My x-rays and MRI does not show anything abnormal at C2/C3. Does anyone else have the crick? Any suggestions?
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12/14/2011 06:52 PM
shadowsarah
Posts: 4
New Member

My ON started with a crick in the neck. It was so bad that I could not move my head from side to side. My PCP assumed I sprained my neck in my sleep and prescribed a muscle relaxer and some serious pain relievers... 8 months later, I was still getting the worst migraines of my life. The neurologist was concerned I was having brain aneurysms. I got lucky when some blood tests came back abnormal and I was sent to a rheumatologist. Yesterday I went; that is where I was diagnosed with ON. My migraines were so excrutiating I thought the neck pain was just a side effect. Until the doctor did a nerve block. I cried when the piercing migraine went away seconds later. I still have a headache in the lower backside of my head and a slight headache around my forehead. I am sensitive to light with the headache. The neck pain is just as bad as the first day with my "sprained neck," but I can move my head.

I just took the last leftover muscle relaxer and hydrocodone from the neck sprain. I have a heat wrap that is about 1000 degrees supporting my neck on my pillow. I have been massaging my muscles for about 40 minutes with all of these measures. My muscles are still hard as a rock. The only relief I am getting is momentary, from cracking my neck.

I begin physical therapy next Wednesday. I pray that will help. I had amazing success with PT when I sprained my ankle very badly (almost ruptured my achilles!). I will try to let you know if the PT helps with the terrible "crick" in the neck. Just know you are absolutely not alone!


12/14/2011 07:17 PM
rjgolden
Posts: 74
Member

Sounds much too familiar. I am curious - what did the blood tests show that indicated ON? I have not heard of a connection but I'm very interested.

- rjgolden


12/14/2011 07:28 PM
AnotherMime
AnotherMimePosts: 38
New Member

rjGolden, I know your question was directed to ShadowSarah, but allow me to explain. The blood test was to help determine if ShadowSarah had suffered from a brain aneurysm. There is no blood test that will indicate occipital neuralgia or any other nerve pain. You said "Sounds much too familiar". Do you have a crick in the neck with occipital neuralgia?

12/14/2011 08:07 PM
shadowsarah
Posts: 4
New Member

To my knowledge there is no blood test that can detect aneurysms... you usually have to get radiology to diagnose. I thought I responded already to rjgolden, but the pain killers for my neck are really making that foggy.... I went into this doctor because of elevated crp and esr... both signs I could have wegeners granulomatosis. The migraines would have indicated a rare form of wegeners. It was just pure luck that this doc diagnosed me with ON. Still have to figure out why the blood tests are abnormal now that the cause of the migraines is figured out and known to be unrelated. I was just very VERY lucky. I would still be in more pain without the help of this doctor.

P.s. mra showed no aneurysms.... mri was normal. Xray of neck was normal. Eyes are normal from very front all the way back to the brain... I have undergone sooo many tests and seen a number of doctors. I work in a doctor's office too.

Just curious, anyone had any success with PT or yoga? I haven't tried yet, but I will let you all know if there is any one thing that really helps. My aunt is a yoga instructor/studio owner; I'm going to try anything and everything to get pain-free again.

Post edited by: shadowsarah, at: 12/14/2011 08:13 PM


12/14/2011 08:36 PM
rjgolden
Posts: 74
Member

Many years of really bad ON with Migraines. My neck and shoulders were sore and spasming. My main trigger was change in barometric pressure, i.e. any change in weather. Eventually, I was in a near constant state of neck and head pain with daily migraines. I had migraine and nerve decompression surgery a couple of months ago with Dr. Bahman Guyuron in Cleveland. I still have some bad days, but at least so far the surgery has been very successful!

01/04/2012 07:42 PM
shadowsarah
Posts: 4
New Member

Just a quick update: the nerve block seemed to work for the migraines. Then I hit the back of my head. It only got worse in physical therapy because the muscles are so messed up in my neck. I haven't been able to sleep through the night in over a week. I am going to try some of the PT exercises at home this week to see if it will help. Hope you are all doing well.

03/13/2012 01:37 PM
teknik1200
Posts: 20
New Member

Yes, I feel like I have a constant crick in my neck. It causes me to always be moving and jerking my head around in an attempt to give some relief. Sometimes there are popping sounds, but it doesn't give relief.

the pain is insane with my ON. It's 27/7 always hurting. I'm currently taking amitriptyline and it has helped to reduce the major insane pinching/crick feeling.

I developed ON 3 1/2 years ago during physical therapy for scheuermann's kyphosis and scoliosis. My therapists worked me way to hard, and when I had a sharp pain in my neck three weeks in they continued to push me very hard for 2 1/2 more months on this sharp pain in my neck. I never had neck pain before this.

it's like someone pounded a nail in either side of my neck at the base of my skull.

I've had every nerve in my neck from C-2 to C-6 burned off with radio wave with no relief.

I've spent the money on a month and a half 3x per week on a decompression table along with massages of that area by the chiropractor.

Nothing Dr. recommend outside of the amitriptyline has helped me with the pain from my ON. It is insanity, I do take narcotic medicine as well without much relief.

However, over the last month I have managed to cut the threshold down a bit.

One thing I notice is that I'm constantly trying to rub this part of my neck out, at work I would find myself rubbing it out with things like big sharpies and dry erase markers, I can also get the back of my chair into the spot if I put weight on it correctly.

This lead me to thinking something to actually massage it better may help, so I set out to find a hand held massager that I could fit into this area. I didn't expect it to give much relief outside of the actual time I was massaging it, but after about two days the pain started to back off. I use it often and push it into the spots where it hurts. It takes AAA batteries and vibrates, I use it multiple times all throughout the day. Basically if it's bothering me I use the massager on it and try to get the spots that feel tight.

it has honestly helped get the pain inline more so then anything I've tried. It's getting my sanity back. I've been doing this for about 5 weeks, the pain always comes back, but I'm coping with it a bit better now.

http://tinyurl.com/795k5em


03/13/2012 03:11 PM
AnotherMime
AnotherMimePosts: 38
New Member

Thank you teknik1200 for that information. I also use different massagers on my neck to try to get my pain down. One of my massagers is very heavy and is heavy duty made by brookstone. I just order a Wahl All-Body 2-Speed Therapy Massager Model 4120-200. I do all sorts of things to help get the crick out of my neck and the pain down enough so I can at least go to sleep. I run hot water over my neck, I use a hand held steamer (sold to get wrinkles out of clothes) to apply hot steam to my neck. I take hot showers, apply heat pads, apply cold items to my neck, etc.

I also am constantly using objects to rub over my neck and I am constantly using my hands and fingers to massage my neck while at home, at work, and in public. This appears very odd to people and it is embarrassing. My supervisors have sort of asked me to not be placing my hands on my neck in front of customers because of the bad appearance. I have a friend who will not allow me to rub my neck or place objects on my neck while in public - not even in the car.

I have 2 home made collars with huge buttons on them. I put the collar on very tight with the button directly over the occipital nerve. I also use a soft collar and a philadelphia cervical collar to apply pressure to the nerve, to help with pain, and to help keep my hands off my neck. The collars are applied so tight that I cannot eat while wearing them. I also have experienced temporary difficulty swallowing and food getting lodged in my throat even after I have taken the collars off. When this happens, I have to turn my head very fast back and forth and drink fluids to get the food to go down. I don't know what the long term effect will be in wearing the collars so tight around my neck. But I will continue to do so to control the pain and help with the crick.

Like TekNik1200, I also spent a lot of money on a decompression table at a chiropractors office. It did not get the crick out of my neck and I still have the same pain. Wasted money. The machine I used was a new Antalgic Decompession Machine.

I have used all sorts of objects to place on my neck such as a large spoon with long handles and a paint roller to roll over my neck. I use these sorts of things while in public and again, it is very embarrassing. They don't understand it.

I have a modified neck halo that I wear at home - never in public. The purpose is keep my neck in a stationary position. As I turn my head, the pain will change. I have even considered having the halo screwed into my skull for 3 months to see if the nerve will heal on its on.

Post edited by: AnotherMime, at: 03/13/2012 03:15 PM


03/26/2012 12:39 PM
teknik1200
Posts: 20
New Member

I can totally relate to feeling self conscience in public. I feel like I have a nervous tick! I can't stop jerking my neck around in an attempt to get a little pop that may or may not relieve the pressure. When my father comes to visit he won't leave me alone about it, and people do tend to give you the funny eye when you can't stop.

What I'm looking for in a massager is a small ball end that I can get deep into my neck, it really helps. I just wish the effects were not temporary. When I first started with it I thought it was a miracle cure for me, it's proven to be effective, but only temporary.

ON has been troubling, it seems like there's nothing to help outside of medicating for the symptoms. My neurologist started me on something else last week (neurontin), but I haven't taken it long enough to see how it helps, some times I'm too optimistic on new ideas only to be let down. It is starting to help. The amitriptyline helped a bit but not quite enough to where my neck doesn't feel like the joint is out of whack or that the "crick" is gone. I have a lot more movement in my neck now then I did before I started in with all the radio frequency ablation (RFA) sessions. When it first started I could not turn my head to look in the rear view mirror, I do have almost full range of motion in my neck now, and turning side to side doesn't trigger extra pain. I just have the same steady pain regardless of where my neck is, I have to go to extreme angles before motion aggravates it.

They say ON can come about from bad posture, for me it's almost the opposite in that I have scheuermann's kyphosis in my thoracic spine. This pushes my head and shoulders forward in perpetual bad posture, but it's doing it in my mid-back and not my neck. This is kyphosis that is developmental, it happened in my late teens as I was growing very fast. The back of my spine grew faster then the front. Pain didn't start from back issues until my early 30s.

I was in therapy for low/mid back pain and they focussed on my head sticking forward and my posture. I think they had me forcing my head back on my neck instead of dealing with my spine where the issue was and this is causing irritation on my occipital nerve.

My physical therapist was not into listening to me when I tried to tell them why my head was forward. they thought I had bad posture, and was weak and out of shape. The pain started in three weeks, and after three months was unbearable. I had an argument with my therapist about my pain level and that my neck had replaced my back pain and therapy was making me worse. he asked me why I even bothered to go, so I quit.

I've often felt like they injured me at physical therapy, 3 1/2 years later the pain still makes life difficult and only medication helps. I wore a cervical collar for a while, but heard that you shouldn't do it too much because your neck muscles can get weak, I stopped wearing it when I started taking amitriptyline.

I hope is just goes away someday, outside of that I'm not sure what to hope for.

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