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AHHH!! Damn Neck Injury!

Every once in a great while I’ll somehow tweak my neck when I’m working out and wake up with it really stiff on one side. Usually lasts a day or a day and a half and then goes away.

Recently I tweaked it somehow when working out, but I don’t know exactly how – there was no one “OW!” moment. But when I got home from the gym that evening (about a week ago) and starting showering I thought, “Oh shit – yup, tweaked the neck somehow.”

So of course I woke up the next day with it really sore on one side, and it was tough turning my head all the way to the left side for a couple days. I used the heating pad every chance I got, took a couple of Advil the first morning and just tried to rest it.

Was fine after a couple days. Went to work out again and, doing something that I would think wouldn’t involve the neck at all – (I was heaving two 90 lb. dumbbells up in the same fashion I always do to get in position for seated DB militaries – kind of like a quick snatch from the floor, whereas I then sit down on the upright bench – re-tweaked the damn neck!! It’s been three days since the re-tweaking and I STILL woke up with it sore today! Been using the damn heating pad again without much success.

Now I’m afraid to do anything but cardio because so many things seem like they could easily tweak it again. I’ve been neutered!

I repeat: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!

(Just ranting). :-<

I used to get the same thing and it usually came from overhead presses. I think I had some kind of weakness in the musculature in the neck and upper back because it only happened with lighter weight, higher rep sets. It hasn’t happened in a while so maybe I’m stronger, I don’t know.

However, I’m now currently nursing a similar injury, but the pain, stiffness extended further down my back. I got it from carrying a yoke that wasn’t adjusted for my height and basically holding all the weight on my neck. Injuries suck.

I’ve had this happen a few times and I attribute it largely to my excessively tight upper traps as well is the large amount of scar tissue/adhesions in my neck musculature. IF you can get a deep tissue massage focusing on those areas, it will help a lot. I also highly recommend the topical cream “Traumeel” as I noticed it really help shorten recovery time.

I’ll look into Traumeel. Thanks.

I actually have a masseuse coming over in a couple hours. Been trying for days to fit it into my schedule.

I really need to see my ART guy I think, but you he wasn’t available when I tried yesterday; have to really book in advance with him.

[quote]ratm88 wrote:
I’ve had this happen a few times and I attribute it largely to my excessively tight upper traps as well is the large amount of scar tissue/adhesions in my neck musculature. IF you can get a deep tissue massage focusing on those areas, it will help a lot. I also highly recommend the topical cream “Traumeel” as I noticed it really help shorten recovery time.[/quote]

I did something either cleaning or OH pressing to the left side of my traps/neck. It doesn’t bother me until I lift. Now whenever I get close to max effort, I get a thumping headache in the left back side of my head. It sucks, and it already ruined a good week of training.

I went today, took it easy and got through about half of my workout. I could feel it coming on, cut some weight and just tried to get something in. When I got to split squats, which I usually do near the end of my workout, I started to struggle and BOOM-BOOM-BOOM, the headache came back strong enough to end my workout.

Injuries are bullshit and not being physically able to workout is starting to drive me a little crazy. So, I feel ya man and hope those massages fix the problem.

Thank you all for your insight. The massage was actually damn good, and I think it helped a little . . . but just a little.

The damn kink is still there. I’m way overdue for a workout, and normally would’ve worked out this afternoon but I think I have to wait until tomorrow and assess it then.

Son of a bitch. :-<

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Hi,

Yeah, my ART guy (who is a chiropractor) will probably do a spinal manipulation as well. Why ice rather than heat, out of curiosity?

I use an orthopaedic (Tempurpedic) pillow, which I love.

Thanks.

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
I think you need a spinal manipulation to get the vertebra back in alignment.

Follow this with ART, home stretching and regular ICE (not heat).

Do you use an orthopaedic pillow or a normal one?

Bushy[/quote]

I have had this problem in the past and i also tweaked it again today.
I find heat and cold works best for me.
The cold will decrease the inflammation by decreasing chemotaxis. but you also want blood flow to the area to increase healing rates, this is where the heat comes in.

Also i used to throw up my dumbells the way you described, but once you go over 60 lbs I really avoid it. Just think of the forces your exerting on your shoulder joint - which is not one our stronger joints. as well if your injury is like mine it manifests itself in the trap just left of the spine at about T 2 or 3. when you clean the weight your putting a lot of stress on that area…

just my two cents…

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Good advice already ^^.

Do you favor sleeping on one side more than the other? If this is the case, usually that means your shoulder and scapula get scrunched up for hours on that one side, making you prone to imbalance. Also try to avoid sleeping on your arm/hand.

See a chiropractor

I tend to sleep on both sides pretty evenly, I think. During the past few nights it’s been fine while I’m sleeping on either side, but when I roll over to the other side, that hurts because I’m lifting my head slightly.

Still about the same today. I tried icing it yesterday evening and it seemed to temporarily alleviate some of the pain, but it’s still there. I’m seeing my ART/chiropractor in a couple of hours. Pray for me – he can be brutal. :slight_smile:

I’ll let you know how things go. Thanks for all the input so far.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
Good advice already ^^.

Do you favor sleeping on one side more than the other? If this is the case, usually that means your shoulder and scapula get scrunched up for hours on that one side, making you prone to imbalance. Also try to avoid sleeping on your arm/hand.

See a chiropractor[/quote]

could be muscle strains as well. Since you’re getting repeated cases, could be a sign of a muscle imbalance. Usually the traps are too strong for the neck muscles. Implement some neck training, perhaps that will help. I recently achieved access to a head harness, and it’s been great.

Another thought coming from someone who’s also had neck pain: try out different thicknesses of pillows. My pillow at one point was slightly too thick, and was causing me some problems for months.

I always had problems with the really high benches for seated overhead press. I tended to push my neck back against the bench with alot of force during the movement. This is when most of my problems happened in the past. I like the shorter ones so you can tilt your head back to get it out of the way of the barbell.

Saw my chiropractor today. He said it seems like I have some inflammation of the C4 vertabrae, along with an adhesion on the left side where my lower skull meets my upper neck (which I’m pretty sure has been there to a degree for some time now. There’s a big, marble-like knot under the skin).

He didn’t exactly use any ART techniques per se, but he did some stretching of the area, then he worked on that adhesion a bit, first with his thumbs and then using a graston device, then he used the graston on my left and right shoulder blade / upper back areas. The left side got REALLY red and bruised looking, which means there was a lot of adhesing there.

(The graston is a metal device that looks like a scraper. He lightly scrapes it against your skin and it “scrapes away” some of the adhesions between your skin and the muscles. In areas where you have lots of adhesions or sticky spots it will make the area bleed under the skin a bit, and it will look for a couple days like you scraped your skin on pavement or something, but it doesn’t hurt one bit).

He then worked on a few trigger points in my upper back and on the left side of my neck. Lastly, when I was least expecting it, as I was lying face down on the table he held my head and CRACKED it to my right real quickly. The loudness of that crunching noise was un-freaking-believable!!

I felt 85-90% better immediately after the session. When I got back to me office, though, it started getting sore (as he suggested it would) for a couple hours, so I took some Advil. This was 5 hours ago). Now, several hours later, I honestly feel 90-95% better. He just said to lay off things that might put obvious strain on that part of the neck (like rowing or ab work) for a few days.

Thank God!!!

Happened to me a few times when I turned my neck while doing shrugs.

would doing neck work like harnesses and planks help this problem? I get this alot too, right where my C verts meet my T verts

these 2 articles really helped me with my neck pain…

http://www.T-Nation.com/article/bodybuilding/the_weakest_link&cr=

http://www.T-Nation.com/article/performance_training/pushups_face_pulls_and_shrugs&cr=

You got some great advise in here. X2 on seeing a chiropractor.

I used to get this same kind of pain while shrugging. I wasnt keeping my head nuetral and looking down when I was racking the weight so I wouldnt miss the pins. I had to step away from the pins to get a full ROM. This was causing me to strain my lower neck as I was looking down to set the bar back in the pins. I put a 2x12 board down at the pins so that I can clear them for shrugging directly over them and simply set the bar down when I am done. The problem went away.

The same thing happened to my partner doing BB rows. He was looking at his feet and curving his neck downwards instead of keeping his head nuetral. He started fixing his gaze about ten feet or so ahead while lifting and his pain stopped as well.

It could be an imbalance but take a close look at your form while lifting to see if you are putting your neck in odd angles just in case.

same thing happened to be when i turned my head to the side for a moment while doing a variety of presses on chest day

the next day doing the simplest tasks like showering and getting dressed took 10 times as long, the stiffness went away within a week

the lesson was: keep your head and eyesight neutral throughout the entire movement for all exercises

of course it’s easier to do this while training at home where random morons aren’t constantly distracting you

Thoroughly stretching my neck and traps immediately after training has really helped me with this