Undiagnosed Symptoms Community
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Excruciating Neck Pain

I am a 19 year old female, perfectly healthy aside from pretty bad anxiety/panic disorder and I tend to suffer bad hypochondriasis. Yesterday I woke up perfectly fine, got to school and was waiting for one of my classes to start when my neck started to feel a little sore...wasn't too bad, but as time went on, the pain quickly got worse and worse to the point where I couldn't turn my head very far in either direction without some serious pain. It spread down my shoulders and upper back as well. By the end of the day I was walking stiffly and any movement whatsoever hurt like hell. Last night I tried sleeping in a position beneficial to my spine, by propping up my legs on pillows and laying on a rolled up pillow under my neck. I fell asleep like that and woke up like that and this morning the pain was agony...ten times worse. It really feels like someone twisted my neck violently. Doing anything hurts, even just keeping my head straight or nodding the slightest bit. Even taking a deep breath sends a sharp stab down my neck and back.
Where the heck did this come from?? I was not in any accidents recently, or sick or anything. My family has no history of neck/back problems, in fact our medical history is pretty clean. We're generally pretty healthy people with an occasional, common issue here or there. It just seemed to come out of the blue! Any clue what this is?
5 Responses
Avatar universal
I've had this problem for 15 years. The pain is awful, takes days or even weeks to fade, and comes on for no apparent reason. Standard OTC meds like NSAIDs and acetaminophen do little if anything for it. I have a chronic pain disorder, and presumably this neck/shoulder pain is part of it, but the docs I've been seeing, including neurologists, rheumatologists, and physiatrists, can't come up with a diagnosis, and the EMG, NCV, MRI, EEG, or other tests that have been done are all normal.
Anxiety/stress is a possible cause, as are a variety of neuromuscular disorders, joint disorders, etc. Pursue a full medical evaluation to find out what, if anything, can be diagnosed.
Hope you can rest and recover quickly.
144586 tn?1284669764
The problem may be a compressed nerve, however you should be evaluated at an ER because every once in a while meningitis has such a presentation and timely intervention means the difference between life and death.

That means go there now - not tomorrow.
Avatar universal
351246 tn?1379685732
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
I agree with Caregiver, either it is a compressed nerve or it can be meningitis. Third possibility is a wrong posture while sleeping that caused muscle strain. Overexposure to cold wind can also have similar presentation. Please consult a doctor ASAP or go to ER. Take care!
Avatar universal
Went to the doctor's. They said it definitely wasn't meningitis (plus I've been vaccinated for it). They actually had a second doctor come in to examine me and they both agreed that it felt like muscle spasms. Prescribed me with Flexeril and was advised to apply heat. Hope it helps :/
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