When Sukie B. came into my Neuromuscular Therapy center near her hometown southwest of Boston, her neck pain was chronic and so bad that any kind of exercise hurt. Sometimes it made her nauseous. Even walking with her arms swinging could cause a flare-up. It was becoming a real problem at work.
She had taken a bad fall in 1978 when she had injured her back and one hip, but there was no initiating event when her neck pains started in the 80’s. Consulting a doctor about it, she was told she had a herniated disc at C4-5. A few years later she developed chronic fatigue and mild fibromialgia. Those conditions had gotten much better, but she still had trouble sleeping.
Presently, she is aware that her work is contributing. She is on the phone a lot as a customer service representative and can’t use a headset. She has to listen on her left side so she can write with her right hand. She also finds that she will be awakened by pain and numbness sleeping on that side. She takes medications when needed but was at the end of her rope with the pain when someone told her about Neuromuscular Therapy.
She told me her symptoms were left-sided neck pain plus burning pain in the top of the shoulder on the same side. The neck pain would start at the back and refer up over her head and give her headaches. The shoulder pain would refer to the side of her head and sometimes into her jaw and ear. When it was bad, it would refer down her arm and sometimes into her chest.
As a Neuromuscular Therapist what factors do I have to consider when presented with neck pain? The next post talks about what I thought about in Sukie’s case.