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neck pain, near syncopy (blackout) during mild training

Hiya - any comments would be much appreciated.  I'm not sure this question is in the most suitable part of these forums, but couldn't think where else to put it!  Also - it's all a bit wordy:

A couple of years ago, I started developing 'odd' sensations in my head.  They weren't really classic pain per se, but rather a real discomfort with some great or mild tingling and occasional pounding hearbeat in my head.  Such strong pounding that my whole head felt as though it were moving, and my vision seemed to jump.  This was put down as a being related to my anxiety problems, but I was never convinced by this suggestion, and always thought that perhaps something was going on with my spine / blood supply to my head etc. etc.  I didn't pursue it becuase the feelings have gradually abated, albeit with flare ups, which seem to come on for no reason I can think of.

Lately however, after two years of injury and other random health problems, I thought I'd get back into some weights and climbing etc. to help regain my former strength.  But I just can't do it:  On only mild exertion, say 14lb barbells, fifty reps I get to a point where I come over all weak (not in my arms - they could do another fifty) and my whole head starts to heat up.  I have to stop as I am on the point of passing out - I can feel it; my vision darkens etc.  Not just this, but I get a terrible ache in my neck, beneath the skull to the rear in two columns either side of my spine.  It's not good!  It leaves me feeling 'odd' and unwell for quite some time after.  Repeat - this is on MILD exertion. Thanks.
17 Responses
Avatar universal
I thought I was the only one! I get the same thing, it's at the base of my skull, where my neck meets my head. When it starts to hurt, then it grinds or pops, and then the flare up with horrible pain. Personally, it feels like my neck bones are rubbing together and there is not cushion between them. I don't know if we have the exact to exact symptoms but it sounds familiar to me.
Avatar universal
Yes mate - they do sound similar: although I have no experience of this grinding or popping of which you write, the pain is certainly in the back of my neck, at the base of the skull.  I have to say I'm rather disapppointed at the lack of comments - I thought a malady of this serious nature (serious in that it puts a real shackle on what I can do; and not just weights, but everyday activities) would get some attention - but no luck.
Avatar universal
I have been living with this same issue since 2003.

I am a compulsive neck popper and sit at a desk 9-10 hours a day working.  Back in early 2003 began to have an issue where my neck would tense up, then there would be this throbbing pain coming from the base of my skull on the left side right about where the raise in the skull bone is.  I have found that if i take (2-3) Excedrin Headache pills, that the pain subsides for a better part of the day.  I have noticed that sleeping with my neck raised either to the right or to the left as if i was laying on my side causes me to wake with neck pain during the night, wherein if on my back or front i do not.
Typically sleeping in my recliner with my upper body inverted and a roll neck pillow will kill the pain and i will fall back asleep.

I was seeing a chiropractor and during the flexation adjustments i noticed that i didnt get the pain as often, and changing my office chair to something new helped for about 6 months, then the pain started to return again.  If i am reclining and watching TV i can get the pain, same with doing yard work, washing cars, etc.  I used to wear bifocal glasses which makes you move your head in the direction you want to look otherwise vision is blurry.  I have since changed to contacts and still have the problem, even if not supporting my head to look in any direction.

The only true time i do not get the pain is when i am standing (not doing exerting work) or if i am sitting straight up with my shoulders back.  I am wondering if it is not more than a few symptoms causing this or just one and the rest are spawns of the other.  possibly sitting all the time on a muscle in my butt causing pressure to elsewhere in the body, or damage and pressure is causing the pain (no wallet in my back pocket).  wish i could come up with something.
Avatar universal
Hi Girls! Sorry but i got bad news for ya. Ive been fighting the same problems since 1991, Everything you all have said is a symptom, and theres alot more to come. Ive tryed every drug known, all they do to you is make ya crazy, By the way I was told I have fms, Fybromyalgia,( central nervous system disorder). Basicly wide spread pain which does travel troughout the body........ There is no cure!!!!!!!!!!! The meds they will put you on .....Beware they make you nuts... yes i mean nuts!!! Topomax, elevil, celebrex,Depekote, the list goes on. Just be very careful, The best thing I have found is to just go to my chiropracter, the migraines will get unbearable in time, Today Mine was so severe again I had to leave work, i get the treamors, blurred vision, sick to stomach, that oh so intense throbbing in the base of my skull, which is a pinch nerve by the way, and they get so bad you cant lay down or put any pressure against your head, it sucks!!!!!!!!!!What ever you do, sont sleep on your side or stomach anymore it will bring on a pinch nerve like no other!!!!!!!!!! Start sleeping on your back with a chiro pillow or rolled up towel. Also sleep with a pillow under your knees, The back pain is well on its way, and in years to come you hip will start going out, pinch sciatic nerve, sorry to give such bad news but my life has sucked, and im only 39, i feel 60!!!!!!!!!!!Good luck to you all!!!!!!!!!Look up FMS on the net.
Avatar universal
Well hey Penwill - thanks for trying to scare the **** out of us!  I sympathise if you suffer with FMS, but having looked at a resource on the web I think I can safely say that it is not a relevant thread to follow.  This is quite clearly a musculoskeletal, or possibly neurological problem; not an immune system or similar malfunction.  Try not to use so many exclamation points in future will you; they make me lose the will to live!!!!!!!!
I am going to be visiting a specialist in the new year: if I get any helpful comments I'll post them up. 10-4.
Avatar universal
I have had an issue with the base of my skull for around 3 years. I have went to doctor after doctor, I had nose surgery, dental surgery,put on anti anxiety pills and most of the time the doctor would say it was stress related and tried giving me different meds. I googled and googled the'base of skull pain' issue I was having until I finally came across a forum with a guy that had the same issue, he was simply grinding his teeth at night (it is called bruxism). It lead me to a 'NTI device' that has completely cleared my headaches. (these headaches were at the base of my skull, I couldnt think properly my head/neck at that area was always sore and inflammed)   I seriously thought I was dying or something.. I almost gave up on the whole thing. But through my own research I was able to cure my headaches.. unbelievable!  I am PAIN FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To do your own research, google 'trapezoidal  muscle base of skull' or something like that. That is the muscle that gets over worked from you grinding your teeth at night. (if you have this issue)

Most dentists can make the NTI device but it expensive (like $500) To make sure that this is your issue, buy a mouthgaurd from the sports section at walmart for 3 dollars and sleep with it for 1-4 days. if your headaches completely dissapear, then you should go for the NTI!!!!!!!!!!1

The reason I wrote this entire Comment is because it litterally saved my life! NO MORE HEADACHES FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!!1   YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY
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