Hello, I am a 22 year old female. For almost two years, I have been having chronic and extremely severe pain on the right side of my neck. This pain also affects my right shoulder and arm, as well as the right side of my jaw. The pain creates severe migraines in the back of my head. I have seen a chiropractor, which only seemed to worsen the problem. There, they found via an x-ray that my spine is straightened and my jaw sits lopsided. I have also gone through physical therapy, practice stretching exercises on a regular basis, keep my stress levels to a minimum, and maintain good posture. In addition, I have been to an orthopedic specialist who was dismissive of my pain and found nothing but two very small bulging discs and a straightened spine on my MRI. He put me on a prescription anti-inflammatory, which only reduced the pain very minimally. After a couple of months, I stopped taking the medicine, and the pain is now back with a vengeance. I do not want to be on pain medicine indefinitely, but would like to know what is causing my pain.
I have these severe episodes of pain at least three times per week. When they occur, there is an extremely large and hard painful lump in the back of my neck. In fact, the right side of my neck becomes exceptionally swollen, so much so that when my family members touch it, they cannot believe the way the lumps feel, how large they are, and how swollen and hard they feel. My trapezius muscle also develops lumps and swelling. My neck and trapezius are painful even to touch. I also hear a "crinkling" sort of sound in my neck whenever I move it. Nothing seems to relieve my pain, not stretches, and not medicine. The relief offered by heat is minimal. I have great difficulty sleeping at night due to the pain, since it hurts to lay on either side of my neck.
The pain just continues to become more severe. I have an appointment with a neurologist, but it is over a month away, and the pain is becoming almost unbearable. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of what this could possibly be? The only other medical condition I have is polycystic ovarian syndrome, but that would seem very unrelated to this issue.
Hi there. I can understand your current state of mind. Sudden posture changes like bending over after sitting can overstretch your back muscles and injure the area. In response the surrounding muscle fibers instantly tighten forming a protective splint that guards the back against further irritation. The bulging intervertebral discs and straight back could be causing these painful episodes. A nerve conduction study and Electromyogram would be helpful in checking the nerves and muscle function.
Consult a pain physician who is a trained anesthesiologist for any possibility of fluoroscopic guided epidural steroid injections or other nerve techniques.
Hope this information helps.
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