Hepatitis C Community
13.4k Members
Avatar universal

How many have chronic neck pain?

Just a question for all those out there, both the non-treaters who currently have HCV, and those who have treated, either successfully and have SVR'ed, or who have relapsed.  How many of you have been bothered by periodic stiff neck, pains in the neck and shoulders, and related pains or numbness in the neck, shoulder, and arms.  I have really noticed an increase in this problem since becoming SVR, and think that it may be connected to both the former HCV infection, which often provokes joint problems, and also to all the interferon that I did over the years.  For me, the neck issues are the most disconcerting of any of my post-tx problems, and really detract from my quality of life.  

So I would appreciate hearing from forum members as to whether you have NOT had any of these problems, or if you have, how would you describe them.  How frequent, how severe, and how widespread in physical location.  Also, please mention if you have or have not treated in the past, and if you are now SVR.  I am curious as to whether the SVR's have more joint problems, or the same as everyone else.

Thanks for any comments.  

38 Responses
179856 tn?1333550962
Yes I definitely have more joint/neck/lower back pain.  I did damage it orignally in two separate accidents but after years of physical therapy it was doing much better. I feel now that it is all "tighter" nowhere near as limber and the muscles pull pull pull trying to put something back into whack in several spots.  That is how it feels although technically it's probably nothing to do with it. Gosh it's hard to describe pain.

One year post and SVR.  72 weeks of interferon might have killed the virus but I don't think it helped my body much.  Of course, I am getting older now so it could be coincedental but...who knows.
131817 tn?1209532911
I have it everyday, terrible neck pain. If I am up sitting, standing to long it gets worse. Chest too...but I think that is the fibromyalgia.  After a few hours, I have to lay down. Thanks goodness for laptops!  

Avatar universal
I too have neck and shoulder pain. I treated for 36 weeks and have SVR'd. Also, i get numbness on the  side of my body I am sleeping on  at night. Pain and numbing in my hips at times will wake me up at night. It also hurts to touch, but feels better when I change sides and redirect my body weight.
Avatar universal
Did your pain start mostly after finishing therapy, or did you have this problem before tx?

I also get pain and numbness along my side and shoulder when trying to sleep at night.  I had never had a problem sleeping on my side before tx, but not, nothing feels comfortable.  And when my neck is really flaring, it hurts to lay flat on my back....there aren't many options left for sleeping positions!  The numbness, and limb weakness issue is really noticable.  It does not feel like the same body that I used to have before tx!  Too much pain, numbness, and tingling, along with just feeling much weaker in the extremeties.

Avatar universal
Pre-tx, no neck pain. Early on in tx, felt a noticeable tension (not pain) in neck, upper traps; also noticed my midback spine muscles had a numb sensation; otherwise felt fine & worked out through tx. 1 month post-tx the mystery pains started – migratory, transient, no reason for them. They could vanish in an hour or minutes. I did fear fibromyalgia…had pre-existing lupus that caused no problems pre-tx. I’m now a year post-tx, did 52 weeks, did not even reach UD as far as I know (don’t ask, lol).

During this post-tx time also got a numb pinky finger (resolved now), wake at times with my whole right arm in pain, & still sometimes get the slab-like lack of sensation in midback. The majority of those “mystery aches”, that were mainly in my torso, but also occurred in quads, hips, glutes, seem to have passed…but the neck pain intensified, along with very tight painful scalene (muscles front of neck). Almost feels like cramping above the collarbone. The worst position is arms up + shoulder girdle elevated, as in trying to pull a sweatshirt over my head. Some days it vanishes, but it’s usually present to some degree. No muscle weakness through tx or since.

I asked for tests. RA was ruled out. Had 2 cryo tests, 1st one showed + but with a low cryocrit (was told you start feeling sx at a higher level than I had); the 2nd cryo test was negative. Tried deep tissue massage, which really showed how incredibly tight some muscles were. I switched to chiro - it cleared the neck pain/restriction instantly, for a day, & further sessions never brought the same relief. Finally saw the rheumy, who checked out the neck, noted a “significant nodule” in my rt trap; & advised me to take a muscle relaxant. Jury’s still out on this, just started.

I also requested spinal Xrays 2 months ago, an eye-opener – extensive degeneration, e.g. bone spurs, calcification, slippage of one disc. Easy for the doc to blame my sx on osteoarthritis, but the microtrauma that led to this didn’t happen overnight, & it just doesn’t seem to correlate with the intensification of the sx. Still on the hunt for answers, & I admire your quest for them DD, have read many posts here with my ears pricked.

I was struck by nygirl’s description of muscle tightness, & that has been what's puzzled me the most. I’ve worked out for 20 years, & am a trainer, so I know typical muscle soreness/tone, for me, & the tightness & rotating aches were definitely unusual. For the present neck problem, my Xrays show bone spurs at the foramen through which nerves pass…so I have to wonder at that possibility. I did speculate on the timing of the neck/trap tension, as it began when I started to spend much more time on computer researching...& I also wondered at the role a year of tx plays overall in the natural way we hold ourselves – aside from the nastier sx that immobilize us, constant fatigue over a long period of time can really do a number on our posture…& when one part falters, other parts compensate….lol this is my pers. trainer POV kicking in its 2 cents’ worth. In my case – some of what I feel could be the hcv, however didn’t have any of this pre-tx. If & where the INF fits in, of course I don’t know. But I sure have a lot more respect for it now than I did 2 years ago!

Just wondered if you’ve tried a cervical pillow, DD? for sleeping on your back…also, have you had spinal Xrays or nerve conduction testing?, & ever gone the rehab route (physio? neck, shoulder?) since your SVR?..................Janann    

Avatar universal
Sorry to hear of all your pain issues in your back and neck. I treated for 51 weeks and didn't notice a difference between pre tx. pain. I am 65. I have used a cervical pillow for quite a few years now. I'm doing yoga now and it's helping my back a lot. I think my back trouble is caused by prior auto accidents, inactivity (18 weeks on tx) and age. I relapsed.

You can rub arnica on any painful spots. It is a cream you can get it at the health food store. I hope you feel better.      
Have an Answer?
Top Hepatitis Answerers
317787 tn?1473362051
683231 tn?1467326617
Auburn, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Answer a few simple questions about your Hep C treatment journey.

Those who qualify may receive up to $100 for their time.
Explore More In Our Hep C Learning Center
image description
Learn about this treatable virus.
image description
Getting tested for this viral infection.
image description
3 key steps to getting on treatment.
image description
4 steps to getting on therapy.
image description
What you need to know about Hep C drugs.
image description
How the drugs might affect you.
image description
These tips may up your chances of a cure.
Popular Resources
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child
This article will tell you more about strength training at home, giving you some options that require little to no equipment.
In You Can Prevent a Stroke, Dr. Joshua Yamamoto and Dr. Kristin Thomas help us understand what we can do to prevent a stroke.
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.