T Nation

Possible Muscle Tear?

I went home the other day after a good bicep/shoulder day and was watching some TV. My neck was out of position so I popped it back into place. I got up a few minutes later and had a nagging sharp pain extending from the middle of my neck to the base. Initially I tried to stretch it out, but this hurt immensely.

Went to bed, and the next day it was just as bad, maybe a little better. Spent the day resting and put heat on it, along with a little massage. Day after that (today) it has improved, but it is still bugging me. The pain is more concentrated in the base of my neck and hurts when I turn my head or strongly look straight upward or downward. I’ve guessed that I might have slightly torn my levator scapulae on the left side, but that’s just it: a guess.

If anyone has any insight or advice into this, feel free to comment. Thanks.

[quote]alownage wrote:
I got up a few minutes later and had a nagging sharp pain extending from the middle of my neck to the base. [/quote]

Umm… Pain as in “my muscle hurts” or pain as in, “I feel needles/eletric sensations.”

In any event, have you done soft tissue work by getting ART or foam rolling? I’m a big fan of using tennis balls on knots.

Just roll around on them. Sometimes, put a ball where it hurts, and another ball down the “chain” and that will release it.

I am in some kind of pain every day. Without tennis balls and other soft tissue work, I literally would not be able to train. (After not training for several years because of pain - the kind that keeps you from sleeping and sends you to your knees - i found out about soft issue work. I’ve been in the gym ever since.)

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
alownage wrote:
I got up a few minutes later and had a nagging sharp pain extending from the middle of my neck to the base.

Umm… Pain as in “my muscle hurts” or pain as in, “I feel needles/eletric sensations.”

[/quote]

That is a good question.

The different types of pain can be indicative of different types of injury.

Without a specific mechanism for injury, it sounds more like spasm than a tear. If you had a tear (however slight) you probably would have felt it when you ‘popped’ it back in place rather than after you got up off the couch.

The other possibility is a pinched nerve. It’s possible that when you popped your neck back in place you could have irritated the nerve. However, again you probably would have felt it the moment you did it. The surrounding muscles would also be likely to go into spasm in order to protect the affected area.

As stated above, a description of the pain would be helpful. However, if the pain is getting better, and you don’t have any other symptoms, then you are probably on the road to recovery.

Thanks for the responses guys. THe pain feels like it’s in the muscle itself on the right back side of my neck, but it’s more intense than most muscle pain I’ve gotten, although it’s a lot better now.

I haven’t done a lot of soft tissue work on it yet for fear of me doing some damage. Perhaps this is unwarranted. I’m gonna take a hot shower and see if I can’t find some kinks to work out with a ball or whatever.

Thanks again for the advice and comments.

Just wanted to add that the pain kind of “moves” from the muscle in the back of my neck to the actual bony base of my neck. I don’t know if this is because the muscle is tight and is pulling on the prominence or what. Anyways I’m gonna try some soft tissue work on it now.