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Neck Injury (lifting heavy weights)
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Neck Injury (lifting heavy weights)

I was doing goblet squats Sunday with 75 pounds (today is Tuesday). I usually do 3 sets of 12 reps but this time I decided to do more repetitions 3 sets of 20 reps.

The third set I perhaps did too fast because I knew I would have a hard time getting through all 20 reps and during the last 2 or 3 repetitions of that set I felt a very uncomfortable (but not a scary pain) feeling in the back of my neck just below my head.  I was unusually winded, light headed and almost faint, with a throbbing sensation in my neck that was tied to my heart beat.  I walked the track very slowly and sat down for 5 minutes.  I was able to continue my workout without pain, just caution and didn't think too much of it.

I have had no pain since and played golf Monday with no problem at all.  However, when I went to workout Monday night, the problem arose again doing pull ups.  The first 6 pull ups I felt 100 percent fine but the last two pull ups I started to have the same feeling and especially throbbing in the upper neck area that took 5 minutes or so to go away, the rest of my work out was fine.  

Today I was doing bench press with a normal amount of weight and the same exact thing happened (throbbing in my neck that seemed to be my heart beat)

Is this a neck strain or possible blood vessel damage?  Should I be worried about a brain aneurism (aneurysm) or blood near the brain?  

Obviously I am not going to continue aggravating it but I would like to continue exercising in ways that doesn't give me that sensation, is that ok?  

I did not go see a doctor because I am in no pain, is that ok?
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Avatar_f_tn
golfer2008 - I have experienced the exact same injury during the same exercise.  I was also squatting for more reps than I typically do with a little less weight and on reps 13-14 felt the same sensation you have.  It was an overwhelming pain in the rear neck and rear lower skull and gave me an instant headache.  I am not a doctor but I'm thinking it was caused by overcompressing the vertebrae at the neck due to the increased strain of trying extra reps.  As the reps gets higher, I find myself pulling down on the bar into my neck and back to get the extra strength and drive needed.  This just happened on 2/21/08 and I feel OK, but I can recreate the sensation and pain if I compress that area with hard muscle contractions.  I've been cycling ice and heat as much as I can and plan to see a chiropractor to get a professional opinion.  I'm not going to mess around with my neck and spine.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Went to a chiropractor on 2/22/08 - one day after feeling the neck pain and headache.  After a series of tests involving rotations of the neck and applied pressure with no pain at all, he ruled out an injury to a disc or vertebrae.  He said I likely incurred an exertional headache that will leave this area of my body sensitive for 7-10 days.  I don't feel any pain during the day, but when bent or stooped over, I do feel increased sensitivity to higher pressure in my head.  They then hooked my up to an electric machine that stimulated the muscles around my traps followed by an "adjustment" where they crack your neck to both sides and then longitudinally.  He also indicated that based on my demonstration, it appeared that I had the bar too high on my shoulders (more on the neck), and it should be lower and resting on my scapulae.  I can't say the electrical stimulation or adjustment did much but I feel better with a professional opinion regarding any damage to discs or anything that would prohibit working out in the future.  golfer2008, if you're still checking this post I would be interested to hear if your pain has subsided and you are able to perform squats again since yours happened 11 days ago.  Thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
I have suffered the same injury recently while working out. I can't remember what exercise I was doing but I know it wasn't squats. It's a miserable pain that the chiropractor doesn't seem to be too concerned about but even after 10-15 visits... he still hasn't been able to make it go away. I have had to adjust my workout to avoid the exercises that aggravate it. Feels like my head is going to explode from pressure building up at the base of my skull. Any information you guys might be able to offer would be much appreciated.
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