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Can anyone help? Anxiety over neck/shoulder/back pain.
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Can anyone help? Anxiety over neck/shoulder/back pain.

27 male. Have suffered from anxiety for about 2 years now or more... but its getting MUCH better. Matter of fact, I havnt had anxiety in about 5 or 6 months! And even now my anxiety isnt THAT BAD... but anyone knows that even a little anxiety for a prolonged period of time can be exhausting...

Here's my issue. I have health anxiety. And about 2 weeks ago, May 21st to be exact, I was at work and developed a sore neck.

It was REALLY bad the next day, but I had full range of motion, it just was really sore.

It got better about 6 days into it, but would still come in spurts.

Now, my lower back has been getting kind of stiff throughout the day, and the past 3 days I've been experiencing a tingling in my lower left stomach near my hip. Strange. But it only lasts for a few seconds.

My neck isnt stiff anymore, but I do feel like my shoulders are kind of stiff still at times, and my neck a little at times... but sometimes it feels non existant.

But I'm CONSTANTLY focusing on it... non stop!

I was very tired and lethargic the 1st week with the stiffness/pain as well... which im sure is normal with ongoing pain.

My head has also been tight feeling... like muscle smasms after chewing. Today thought not as much.

I find my neck hurts a little when I'm sitting too long at the computer.

I went to the Dr. yesterday and he said I probably did something. I have been extremely busy with work the past few weeks and I do lift heavy camera equipment... and I've also been on the computer editing more than usual.

Of course I've stopped that. But the weird thing is is that the week it happened, I hadnt been lifting the camera equipment, however, i was on the computer a lot... and i was doing crosswords in bed at night on 2 pillows.

My IRRATIONAL fear has kicked in that "Could there be a TUMOR growing somewhere on my spine or neck causing all of this?"

I HATE DOING THIS TO MYSELF!!!

I have to know that my neck and stuff is SOOOO much better now than it was 2 weeks ago... so if it were something SERIOUS... it wouldnt be getting better. Right?

My Dr. didnt seem to concerned, and he also knows i suffer from anxiety.

He said to come back in 2 weeks, and if its not 100% by then, he'll do an X-RAY.

I'm hoping and I am confident it will for sure be gone by then! Like I said, it's not that bad at all now.. but just a little bit there, and my mind keeps freaking me out! and thinking the worse!

Can neck/back pain/spasms last for over 2 weeks to a month? I've read it can.

Should I quit worrying about it? Please tell me I shouldnt be worrying about a tumor or cancer.

Thanks guys!
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17 Comments Post a Comment
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1243543_tn?1269127622
I too have health anxiety big time i go to the doctor on a weekly basis my neck upper back shoulers and the top of my arms hurt and are stiff i dont lift alot either and it hurts.My doc said it was tension she did a xray also started getting theraputic massages and it has helped even with the headaches she told me to get tension pressure point massages but those hurt so bad afterwards i have to start with thereputic one first to try and relaxe some.My left side was killing me to thought first thing my appendix well it was a bladder infection.My therepist and doctor said it can last as lond as your tense mines been like that for 2 months.Do you notice your shoulders are up by your ears if that makes sense and you stand or sit hunched i do cause i cant never relax.Try relaxing and get a massage see if that helps rember not to rough of one they need to get the knots out but it might take a couple times dont let them try to do it in the first time or you will be sore.
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358304_tn?1395085884
I don't have pain in the lower left flank of my stomach, just a slight tingle in the skin from time to time. like maybe 3 times a day? My Dr. said it was just nerve endings. He said everything is connected.

Also my pain starts when holding something... my left shoulder get's tense and then it goes up to my left side of my neck sometimes... but it doesnt feel like the muscles on the outside are sore... its deep tissue... almost near the bone it feels like.

Just praying it goes away soon... and I'm praying I quit thinking its "Cancer". That's just SO irrational.

I hate anxiety... I'm obsessing about my neck/shoulder pain so much.. its all i can think about. And my obsession is "when will this go away?" or "it's not going away 100% yet, something must be terribly wrong!"

It's played OVER AND OVER AND OVER in my head! Stinks!

Ive gotten a couple of massages and it feels good... deep massage can make it tense sometimes. I'm just leaving it alone... and using ICY HOT at night before bed. And I'll take Ibeprophin sometimes or tyelenol but it doesnt seem to help too much.

My Dr. has be trying Celebrex... for possible inflammation, but I took one today and it made me jittery feeling.
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Avatar_f_tn
i have the exact problem, i constantly over analyze every single symptom i have, it all started when i had this weird thing happen to me about 4 years ago.  one night i had a stiff neck and nausea, weird rash, i lost my motor skills, i kept trying to stand up but gravity just kept pulling me down and also i felt like i was going to faint, i got really sweaty.  i thought i had meningitis. i never found out what i had,  after this incident i just kept having panic attacks all day long that lasted a couple months, i basically had a nervous breakdown. my anxiety got so bad i think it caused me to get severe depression.  
a lot of things can cause the symptoms you mentioned, including anxiety and don't worry, its very unlikely you have a tumor or cancer.
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358304_tn?1395085884
After work today, my neck was sore and shoulders... then this evening, I felt kind of loopy? Not completely dizzy or anything, just a little... But tonight, I'm just tired and my neck actually doesnt even hurt right now. I've been keeping good posture tonight. Hopefully thats the key! My stomach tingling hasnt been acting up too much today either. It is a little bit as I'm writing this sitting down... but it just stopped. So strange.

My heart has been racing a little bit today too, due to the mild anxiety I'm creating out of this.

I'm praying by the time I see the Dr. in 2 weeks, this will be ALL GONE!

Matter of fact, I'm giving it all to GOD.. and I KNOW it will be gone... and I'm gonna do my best to QUIT WORRYING ABOUT IT... And stop the irrational thinking.

If my Dr. really thought it was something SERIOUS he wouldnt have just sent me home.. I even told him its been bothering me for 2 full weeks now... and said to give it 2 more weeks. He's a GREAT Dr. too. So I trust him! I've been seeing him for 3 years now, and he KNOWS me. And he knows all about my anxiety. =)
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358304_tn?1395085884
Barley felt any back neck or shoulder pain lastnight before bed. I was excited. I did have a tension headache, but after taking tylenol it left.

Well, what stunk is that lastnight was the night I could not sleep... AT ALL.

Of course I slept a little I'm sure, b/c I remember dreaming a couple of times. But I got out of bed today with my neck and shoulders being sore and tight again.

What the heck is causing this? Why won't it just STOP!? Can it take lots of time? it's almost been 3 weeks now!

Is it just tension? My anxiety isnt really bad, but kind of lingering there.

I hate this! I'm going to start working out again and see if that helps?
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1337456_tn?1278437461
I feel you man. You want to hear something crazy about the mind!

I was getting itchy feelings in my upper left part of my chest thinking it could be my heart. Just non stop half a second things.. they were weird. And it all started as soon as I started thinking about my heart 24/7. Once I found out that my heart isn't up there, it's in the middle of your chest, THEN the itchy went away from that upper left part to the middle of my chest the next day as soon as I learned it was there. Haha my mind loves to **** with me. Its laughing at me bro and I cant do **** about it lol
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Avatar_m_tn
Don't assume this is nothing just because you're anxious.  I used to assume my neck pain was from my anxiety, but it turned out to be deterioration in my cervical spine.  What you're describing sounds like disc problems and inflammation pinching on a nerve.  This will probably get better, but I'd get an MRI done to see if it's the spine and if it is, go to physical therapy and learn some exercises, see a chiropractor, get massage or acupuncture, whatever you have to keep it from deteriorating further.  And if it turns out to be nothing, you haven't lost anything.  As we age, most of us get back problems.  Just a consequence of walking upright.  Not a big deal, we just need to stretch.  I'd be proactive on this one; waiting made it worse for me.  Doctors are dumb sometimes, you know?  
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358304_tn?1395085884
Thanks man. I'm not worried about it anymore. It's starting to get better. But my Dr. has a follow up with me in a couple of weeks to see the progress.

I actually slept great lastnight on my neck, when it usually hurts.

I stopped CRACKING my neck... ive been doing that when it feels tight... and I guess thats a BIG no no.. doesnt help it at all. haha. Even though it feels good.

I was just really worried that it was something irrational like "cancer tumor" growing or something. lol. Not worried abotu that anymore!

AMEN!

Keep ya updated and posted. I started working out yesterday too and Im thinking thats going to help.
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Avatar_m_tn
Don't crack your neck, no no no.  Stretch it.  In physical therapy they had me turn my neck slowly to the side and gently stretch it 20 times, then repeat on the other side.  But there are a whole lot of stretches for this.  Yoga can teach you some, too, though you need a good teacher -- some yoga poses will hurt your back.  Glad you're doing better, and stop cracking your neck, you knucklehead.
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242912_tn?1402547092
Hi cnote,  

I've cracked my neck for 30yrs and BIG mistake!  You're much younger and you should stop right now because oh, you will be SO sorry later.  Like Paxiled said...stretch instead.  

Man, you are so LUCKY to have your doctor!  Mine won't even return my calls!  

I'm jumping in here because I'm wondering if you ever saw a dentist for TMJ?  Or got one of those OTC night guards?  Also, from previous posts, I know you smoke.  I quit (again) and all that tension in my jaw, neck and shoulders gets so much better it feels like a miracle.  What it is though is I'm no longer straining those muscles by inhaling.  Just something to think about, hon :)
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358304_tn?1395085884
Thanks paxiled!

Jade59, I do smoke and I did notice that when I smoked while having stiffness, boy oh boy those muscles are all connected. Lol. So I cut down a lot since then. My dr doesn't think it's tmj.

The past couple days it has felt 92% better! Almost 100%. but I have to really watch what I do.

I was filming a documentary for my work today and my camera maybe weighs 10lbs? But after holding the camera for a while I started getting sore in my shoulders in the joints and my neck got kinda stiff again, but I didn't stress about it, I just lightly stretched it and then left it alone. And used the neck massager when I got home, and felt better again!

I'm sure it'll all be good here soon. I still may go see a chiropractor, bc I feels like I need an adjustment.
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358304_tn?1395085884
I've got my CHECK UP appointment with my Dr. tomorrow about my neck and shoulder pain. I'm still having it still. Not as bad as when it first started... but it does seem to still bother me to an extent.

I think it's getting better... but just doesnt seem to get 100%.

At night when I lay down, it kind of hurts in my neck... deep deep... and my lower back has been a little stiff too at times.

I can't actually say my neck is STIFF... b/c I have full range of motion... but it feels tight and its very sore when i turn it to the LEFT most of the time. I also am still getting some minor head tension too... or sometimes if I over do something I'll get shooting pains from my neck to the back of my head that hurt.. but they leave... also feels like a rubber band is around my head sometimes.

I also hear micro popping sounds sometimes when i stretch it..

Also when I do shoulder shrugs all my joints seem to hurt in my shoulders as well...

Do you think this is just a pinched nerve? Or just DEEP muscle tension?

Is it possible to have constant muscle tension for 4 weeks?

I'm only 27 years old. I do hold a video camera A LOT for my work... and I also sit at a computer for almost 6 hours a day at least for the past 2 years... but its never bothered me.

I know some people are saying "you should be in the neck and back pain forum" ... but I have anxiety and this is causing me to suffer from anxiety some... b/c I keep thinking the WORST! Like what if its a TUMOR!? lol.

I gotta relax...
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Avatar_m_tn
I was in TV for years and a camera work can cause the back problems because we are trying to get the story and get it steady and fast and fighting time to get it in. Remember, the neck and the very lower back are connected. Anxiety and depression can cause this, it did for me, and I had it. GO to a chiropractor... I did and swear by it...but relax and get a passive muscle relaxation tape AND USE IT...AGAIN the anxiety and depression can cause ALL you pain... It did for me... God Speed
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535882_tn?1396580285
did you ever try chiropractic. might help get things in line take the stress off your spine. you might just be a little out of adjustment. could help worth a try. Kevin
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358304_tn?1395085884
Hey, went to the Dr. yesterday... he told me it still sounds like tension and deep muscle spasms and possibly a pinched nerve. He said he could X-RAY me if I wanted him too, b/c he knows I have anxiety, and he thought maybe that would help me with the "worry" factor about it.

He thinks it's nothing serious at all, and said if it were him, he'd give it another month... then if I feel like an X-Ray he will do one.

He told me to get back into the gym every other day... he said making those muscles stronger will HELP A TON.

The funny thing is, is that I'm not having much pain today at all, and I'm sleeping better.

So, anxiety-wize, I'm good now. Not worried about any IRRATIONAL fears like cancer etc.

=)

He also said, that having muscle tightness/spams etc. for a month is quite common. He said it will eventually stop.

AMEN. =)
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358304_tn?1395085884
Well, now my neck and back pain are starting to feel MUCH better and almost 100% gone. However, my lower back still seems to tighten up at times... and my neck at night or in the early morning will tense up A LITTLE... but some stretching usually does the trick.

But the past few days now, I've noticed Muscle Twitching (not spasms, spasms hurt, twitching doesn't)... and the twitching will happen in different parts of my body at different times throughout the the day.... but I get them atleast 5 times a day maybe?

For example, my right ear may start twitching, or my left back muscle may twitch for about 6 seconds, or my left calf, or a little spot in my ankle... or my shoulder... It's WEIRD...

These little spasms usually only last for about 5 to 6 seconds... and I only will get it about 5 times throughout an entire day... but you can see the muscles actually jumping... its weird. I'm thinking that can be anxiety caused as well.

Who knows, maybe this whole neck and back pain has just been stress in itself? Even though I didnt feel THAT stressed when it all started... maybe it was underlying stress?
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Avatar_m_tn
I have also face the some problem  This Is all because for anxiety >>>>>>> my advise for all of you  >>>this is all mind game you just have control your mind thought and fear >>>and keep your mind cool always and do same meditation .if you have any question do not heritage to contract me
good luck..

( dipu_joshi84***@****)
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