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buring at base of skull and in neck
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buring at base of skull and in neck

Hi,
For the past couple months I have been having annoying pains (heaviness, tightness) at the back of my neck and head. My grandmother passed away a week ago and the pains are worse than ever! There is a burning sensation at the base of my skull and in my neck and I am now finding it difficult to sleep as the burning persists and my neck feels like stone.

I do have some history of anxiety attacks...when I was in university I think I had a headache that lasted an entire year! I thought it was solely to do with stress and in fact I saw several doctors who told me the same thing, but I only recently remembered hitting my head a few months ago also...just can't put my finger on exactly when to coincide it with the pains...but I was coming up and hit a valve above me...I was wearing my safety helmet, but it was pretty bad...I just shook it off and went along my way. I had a lot of other things on my mind at the time. Now I am wondering if that or a combination of the two is what is causing my pains? There were days when I felt fine. How can a spinal injury not bother you so much immediately after you get it but months later??

My doc has sent me for a c-spine MRI. I am hoping it isn't too bad....but I need an explanation for what is happening to my head....it is driving me crazy. Has anyone out there experienced something like this?
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Avatar_f_tn
Glad you're getting an MRI, that is a very good idea, because it does indeed sound like you've managed to goof up a few discs in your spine from hitting your head, and the reason it didn't hurt you too much at first, but hurts you now, is just plain continued work activity eventually caused one of the injured discs to bulge against a nerve or even rupture.  

But there is also the possibility that what you're feeling is a whole lot of tension in your shoulders.  That is where tension lands, right in the shoulders.  When the shoulders get too tense, this will cause a headache and even pain in the muscles.  Those muscles along the top of your shoulders, each side it runs from the neck to where the arm joins on, you can grab hold of one side of your shoulder with your hand and squeeze that big muscle.  If it feels hard as a rock, why, you may get off easy, and all you need is to rub those muscles out really well, a couple times a day, but it's better to ask a friend or relative to do it for you, and you'll find relief.  If someone else can do this, ask them to please also rub out your entire shoulder blade area, squeeze your upper arms, and push gently on either side of your spine, but just between the shoulder blades.  Another way to get those muscles worked out is to do some stretching exercises of the upper body, and then take a really warm bath, do this every day until you notice a difference.

But anything you do in the way of rubbing out your shoulder muscles, you must not fool with the spine at all, not until you get the MRI results back.  Also, do not rub the back of your neck at all, because there is a small possibility you really did a number at the base of the back part of your head, to where any pressure put on it will make everything much worse.  It's okay to rub out shoulder muscles, but it's not okay to fool with the spine or lower back of the head, where there's an indentation curve that goes down to the shoulders.

There is also a small chance that this discomfort you have is a "stiff neck," and this can come from mild diseases like mono that can have a big effect on the brain, causing some swelling, and the main sign of that is a stiff neck.  But the doc who ordered the MRI should be fully aware of this possibility, and will or probably already has done some bloodwork to make sure you don't have an infective process that has affected your brain.
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1268057_tn?1399131913
Yes, I have had the symptoms you have.  I have an issue with my c-spine and I am sure it is r/t my profession (Nursing) plus I was in the military before doing Nursing and have had whiplash twice.  My symptoms come and go.  

It is not uncommon to have symptoms later after the injury, fall, etc.  

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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks guys for your replies. The results of the MRI show that there are no injured discs, but I have some loss of cervical lordosis (curvature) most likely due to muscle spasms. Up until the added stress of losing my Grandmother the pain would come and go, but still be there on an almost daily basis. I do have a lot of tension and rub the back of back of my neck quite.

None of the doctors I saw even brougth up mono as a possibility. My lymph nodes seem to be fine.

I saw a neurologist to help translate the results for me and as he looked at the slides he diagosed me with a condition called Chiari Type I Malformation. He believes this is the cause of my headaches. He didn't offer any suggestions on the loss of lordosis. I have read that both conditions cause headaches and neck pain. His recommendation was to take pain killers. I don't think this is good enough though.

Does anyone have any exprience with treatment of these conditions? Does massage therapy work?
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1268057_tn?1399131913
I am not sure if massage therapy will work, but it sure wouldn't hurt.  

Please be sure to post in the Chiari forum.  If this is your true diagnosis, there is no "easy" or "quick" fix.  I would also recommend getting a second opinion.  

Doubt if this anything infectious, viral or bacterial related.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Also, since Chiari Malformation was mentioned by the doc, DO NOT rub the back of your neck!  I had mentioned that before for this very reason.  Just the tops of your shoulders, please.  And I ditto Londres' advice on getting a second opinion, plus he can then educate you on Chiari, so you will understand what this means, various treatments, and so forth.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I will stop the rubbing immediately! And I will get that second opinion on the chiari condition. But is massage good for restoring spinal curvature?? I also have some loss of lordosis. Thanks again guys.
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1921784_tn?1322676840
If they does not find something physical use homeopathic remedy LEDUM 30c liquid 5 drops  just before sleep gradual decease in pain will happen  
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1268057_tn?1399131913
I am not so sure about massages.  I would say NO to a deep tissue massage.  I do know you should NOT have any chiro adjustments to your neck/back.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Guys,
The second neorologist I saw said my chiari condition was only borderline. And based on some of the research I had done before going in to see him (looking up posted mri's with confirmed chirai diagnoses), I believe he called it right. So, this leaves me with the loss of lordosis. The neurologist said it was ok for me to explore physiotherapy if I wanted. I had a consultation with a physiotherapist to find out what my options were in that area. They are proposing a combination of ultrasound technology and light massage therapy. I haven't done anything yet. Any more thoughts/advice? Londres, how do you handle your condition?
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1268057_tn?1399131913
I have done the physiotherapy; have loss of lordosis too and was told I have an incomplete form of Chiari's plus the C4-C5 herniation.  I have also had light message done as well.  Never and won't do any deep tissue message and chiro adjustments.  I have problems from time to time, but nothing like I had before therapy and light messages.  

Sounds like your options are reasonable in my opinion.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Londres,
I started physiotherapy yesterday and am doing massages. Today I felt some relief after weeks of pain and dizziness. Mind if I ask how old you are? I'm only 36...this makes me feel like an old lady!
Willow
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1268057_tn?1399131913
No problem in giving my age.  I am 46.  

BTW:  My mother is 78 and feels great, so age doesn't necessarily mean lots of illness/disease for some.  It is just a hand some are dealt at any age.  
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