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Pulsating in Neck=No sleepy
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Pulsating in Neck=No sleepy

I have had trouble sleeping for the last few months due to being able to feel my pulse in the back of my neck right below my skull.  My muscles in my neck have been tight, so I have been seeing a physical therapist, but it only helps a little bit.  
I am to the point where I dred bedtime (which is making it worse) I am taking a muscle relaxant right now, but I dont want to be taking medication to help me sleep. I have also been prescribed Xanax, Ambitriptilene and Meloxicam.  All either didnt work or I had adverse reactions.
Can anyone help?
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17 Comments Post a Comment
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368886_tn?1278962315
Hello.

Have you consulted a neurologist and got any MRI of the brain and the cervical spine ? Since you feel the pulse, it is prudent to investigate further to rule out any vascular abnormality.

Regards
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149081_tn?1242401432
Dr. Abhijeet is giving good advice- an MRI of the cervical spine as well as carotids.

best wishes
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been to a Neurologist who sent me to have a CT Scan of Brain, which was normal.
They have not mentioned anything about an MRI.  I get the feeling that they think that I am making it up or that its "in my head". Which is part of the frustration. My family M.D also keeps bringing up Depression. But aside from my symptoms..I am a pretty happy guy and no real reason to be Depressed.

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368886_tn?1278962315
Hello.

Did you ask for a neck CT. There was no indication of a brain CT. The neck muscle stiffness is a strong hint towards some problem in the neck area.

Since you mentioned Amitriptyline, I would like to ask if it was prescribed for sleep ?

Regards
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Avatar_n_tn
The Amitriptyline was prescribed when I told the Family M.D of the symptoms (pulsating, lack of sleep, concern of what was going on with me) So I guess so. He told me it would help me relax so I could fall asleep.
I have set up an appointment to discuss MRI on Neck to be sure.
Thank you
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, how are you feeling now. Physical or massage therapy can be helpful so try to have atleast of 10 sessions, do stretches, hot bath. Pls keep updated on your future visits. Bye.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have an MRI and or MRA? scheduled for this week. Later for results.
Thanks for advice.
Massage Therapy is wonderful and definitely helps..but gets very expensive.
if only insurance covered.  Physical therapy is ok but not as much of a stress
reliever.
Thanks again
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, thanks for reply. How are you. Relax! its good to continue physical therapy for some more time if you are benefitting from it. do regular stretches and apply either local heat or take hot shower before bed time. Take muscle relaxants after meals. Wait till MRI report come for further plan of care. Take care. Bye.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, hope you are doing better. How is your health and sleep these days. Have you got evaluated completely. How about your MRI results. Your thoughs would be of great help to some of viewers of this section so keep updating. Take care.
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Avatar_n_tn
Update:
Last week I had an MRI and CT scan of Neck and Back.  Will find out results this week.
Noticed that when I exercise later in day, the symptoms are amplified.  I love exercising
and this has changed that a little.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, thanks for reply. Hope you will do better soon. Keep updating on the MRI and CT scan results and your evaluation. It would be better if you can get a physical therapist advise. Take care.
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Avatar_n_tn
Update:
The pulsating in my neck has subsided, still there but not as noticeable. That is the good news, bad news is that I have been having dizzy spells during the day, kind of a electrical buzz that is really quick, but scary. I am also developing some anxiety now. My chest feels like its going to explode, usually at night. Sometimes while laying down, I can hear a wooshing sound (like my pulse) wakes me up and ruins a good start to sleep.
I switched Doctors and new doc has done blood tests that I am awaiting to hear about.  He prescribed Remeron, which I took for One week, New doc says dizziness could be related.
I am extremely frustrated and feel like my health is effecting my family and the time that I spend with my kids. 35 years old, great health up until 1.5years ago...Can anyone help?  Had MRI=nothing    CTscan=nothing  Bloodtest=nothing
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Avatar_n_tn
I experienced something similar for years and went thru a frustrating round of doctors and tests for nearly 3 years. They could find nothing in my head to cause the sensations. When my GP offered to send me to the neurologist for the 3rd time, I chose to see a different one. That doctor was surprised no tests had been done on my neck nor had I had an MRA of the head or neck. Turns out I have 2 bulging disks in my neck and a blood vessel with some narrowing. For the disks, learning how to position my neck helped (don't let chin jut forward up upward). I take aspirin daily for my blood.

I don't know how many different neurologists you have seen, but sometimes fresh eyes in a different practice helps. Best wishes in finding answers.
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Avatar_n_tn
Meant to mention a couple other things. Most medications have so many side effects. Since you know you have undiagnosed symptoms, I wouldn't want to take unnecessary meds. Depression is not an answer for symptoms as specific as yours. I'd venture to say nowhere in lists of symptoms of depression is there listed pulsating sensation in back of head/neck.

What I ended up telling me GP every time a test came back negative was, "What's next? I don't want to stop until there is an answer."  It was a frustrating time, but finally I found out why.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Sosleepy, how are doing? Thanks for giving updates on the investigations and your present status. Hope you are feeling better and continuing on your exercises. It would be better you consult a vascular surgeon with all the investigation findings and get examined. Probably you might be having a vascular impingement or a pressure effect causing you the symptoms. I do agree, it might be a sheer frustrating situation not to have a good sleep and disturbed next day. Do update on the visit and take care.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi there, I've had this condition for a few years now (about 4 or 5 years).

It is also affecting my sleep and causing me massive problems in my life.

Doctors here are not helpful. I have had to push very hard for head and neck CT and MRI, I've had one CT of head, one CT of neck and one MRI of neck. They have not found anything.

Doctors seem to think that the MRI would have uncovered any vascular abnormalities, but in my opinion more can/should be done.

For me I get a pulsating sensation which can sometimes be painful, it throbs and swells as soon as a lie down, when I stand up the sensation subsides mostly (but not completely).

Please help.
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Avatar_m_tn
Did you resolve this, please post any updates since your last post.

I'm in the same situation and desperate for resolution of this condition.
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