Hi i'm a 30 year-old female and i'd like you advice on my condition. About 6 weeks I started experiencing stiff neck and bad headaches (they felt like tension headaches). I wasn't too concerned since i'm a chronic headache sufferer, but this was different because of the stiff neck. I went to a chiro (who was also a physiotherapist) and she tried a bunch of things over the past few weeks - massage, interferential, ultrasound, chiro, etc. Nothing really seemed to be helping, and the application of heat packs may have aggravated the neck even more. About a week ago I went for an appointment, where she did some massage and one back adjustment, and ever since then, i've lost my balance. I feel like i'm going to fall every time i walk, so i have to walk very slowly to get anywhere. I went to a doctor who has ordered a CT scan (my neck/spine x-rays were normal). I am wondering if this could've been a pinched nerve that was aggravated by the heat and massage? Would this type of issue be treatable? I am scared of this loss of balance being permanent since I find it really difficult to walk. I've been applying ice now to my neck instead of heat which seems to be helping the neck issue. Thanks for your help!
It does sound like a pinched nerve, but it could be from a bulging or herniated disc.
Heat is usually good only at the beginning of an injury. Heat relieves pain at first but the heat also makes it swell more.
Best to start using ice packs now.
Any cervical problem usually cause headaches.
Also dizziness can be caused by many things.
If you have TMJ and the bone blocks the air flow in your ear it will render you dizzy/ off balance.
Do you have a clicking in your jaw?
TMJ can cause very severe headaches.
Thanks!! I actually do have clicking in my jaw, but not all the time. Also i know for sure that my bite is really bad - i was told to have surgery to widen my upper jaw but i never did it. I wonder if this could be it. The headaches have been there for years, but this is the first time that there been neck stiffness and also balance issues. If it is TMJ disorder, what can I try to help the symptoms until I see the orthodontist?
Also I'm pretty sure that it's not a herniated disc issue because it would've shown up on my x-ray.
I agree with India, you may have a herniated disc or a pinched nerve or copression of your spinal cord. Compression of your cord in the cervical spine may cause a problem with balance. However, the cerebellum (rear brain) also controls balance. You really need an MRI, to help diagnose your condition.
P.S. Do not apply hot or cold compresses for more than 30 minutes at a time. In the head and neck area I would limit it to 15 minutes. Excessive heat causes blood vessels to expand and excessive cold cause them to constrict. Too much of either can cause a life threatening problem.
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