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Chronic neck pain - where to go from here? Injections?

(4 Posts)
Clarence15 Fri 17-Jun-11 19:39:52

I've suffered chronic neck pain for the last 7yrs following a whiplash injury. I've had an MRI scan and it appears to be purely muscular, made worse by bad posture which I am trying to correct. I use a back rest on all my chairs and try to sit/stand correctly.

I've seen numerous osteopaths and physios, which helps for a while but it doesn't last and I can't afford to see them regularly so I tend to go only when it's really bad. I try to do the exercises that they have given me, which does help particularly in a flare-up. I do Pilates and use heat, all the stuff recommended.

I take prescription co-codamol twice a day every day, which I'd love to stop but I can't seem to. When it's really bad I have to take even more which worries me. At the moment I'm just getting over a bad flare-up and this time I had a hideous migraine which lasted nearly 3 days as well, but the neck painkillers didn't touch that.

I'm seeing the Dr on Monday but I'm not sure where to go from here. I've heard about painkilling injections - has anyone had these and do they help? I'm really getting desperate about this, I'm 36 now and I don't want to spend the rest of my life in pain but it's not getting any better. Is there any better way to manage the pain? I know I need to tackle the cause of the pain but other than correcting my posture I'm not sure what else to do.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks

deepbreath Sat 18-Jun-11 10:21:10

I could have written most of your post. I am the same age as you, and had a whiplash injury just over 6 years ago. At the moment, the pain is pretty nasty and I am getting a lot of pressure and pain in the back of my head above my neck (almost like the whiplash headache), do you get this too? I also get migraines, but more to the front of my head.

Over time, I have been passed from pillar to post at the hospital as I now have neurological symptoms too, and they don't seem to quite fit with my neck problem so they are more bothered about that at the moment.

I haven't had injections, my doctors have been quite dismissive of the amount of pain that I'm in. I'll be watching this thread to see if anyone else has found something that helps. I find that Biofreeze gel does take the edge off the neck pain, it's around £9 from Boots for a tube that lasts ages. I figured that it isn't much more than the cost of a prescription now, so it was worth a try!

zeolite Sat 18-Jun-11 13:53:03

Aspirin injections will give some relief, a sports consultant can administer them. Infrared will also ease pain. None of these will remove the problem. To solve the problem a good physiotherapist will not just treat you but also explain how you can change posture etc and strengthen/release the different muscles.

Yoga (to improve posture and fitness) is also another way of correcting damage and maintaining the 'machinery' to avoid further problems.

I chased pain relief (problems would recur) after a whip lash injury for over ten years. Yoga and refusing to be dependent on a physiotherapist (who was professional enough to want to help me get off her list) has resolved the problem and taught me how to recognize and stop recurrences.

Good luck to you both, I remember how awful this is.

Clarence15 Sat 18-Jun-11 17:23:55

Thanks both of you, it's good to know I'm not alone. It's also very good to hear someone has managed to get through this kind of pain and has now recovered, that really gives me some hope.

Deepbreath I'd really recommend a boom called Treat your own Neck by Robin mcKenzie. I got it quite cheap off amazon, it's quite short but contains some really good exercises that you can do which really take the edge off the pain. You'd have to be very dedicated and strict with yourself to keep them up every day, but the more you can do the better it feels. I'm not very good at keeping them up but when I do they really help.

I know I have to treat the cause (posture) but I feel that my muscles have just gone into constant spasm now and I can't release them. I can't afford private physio, and the Nhs one I've seen previously pretty much wrote me off and said he could no longer help me sad. Having said that I've recently changed doctors so I might ask if they have a different physio I could be referred to.

Thanks for your replies

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