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Does anyone else have chronic pain at base of skull and neck?

Discussion in 'Pain and Inflammation' started by November Girl, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

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    New Mexico
    It feels as though my muscles are always in a strained/constricted state so it doesnt take much for everything to get out of whack. I have to be so careful about straining them even in the slightest way because if I do I will get knots and spasms and as a result will get headaches at the base of the skull and back pain. So for me I cannot push the envelope in lifting, pushing, pulling etc, I don't feel like this would be a problem if my muscles weren't stiff and inflexable in the first place. So.........for me the headaches at the base of the skull are a result of overstraining the muscles.
    If I remember right I think malic acid helped with the muscles stiffness in the past.......think i will try it again.
  2. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Sofa, UK
    That strained/restricted state is a familiar feeling to me Tammy. When everything is in tension it doesn't take much to develop those knots and spasms when you tweak things in the wrong way. A couple more points I forgot to mention above that are helpful in addressing such issues...

    One is that it is very important to get the back moving in order to let the muscles adjust themselves to a less strained state - so a strategy of inactivity and pure rest is typically ineffective and counterproductive. Lifting, pushing and pulling when your back is like this is not a good idea. But short, gentle relaxing walks definitely are important if you can handle that. It's just amazing how much one's back muscles are gently exercised and get the chance to settle down by themselves, just by walking gently. However slow the pace, I find that can work wonders when my back is locked up.

    The other thing I didn't mention before is the benefits I gained from my pre-existing knowledge of Tai Chi and Aikido. Having an understanding of the best (most mechanically efficient) ways to push and pull and lift can be really helpful, and some of the really basic exercises from Tai Chi can help a lot (though some are far too much of a strain and we need to do Tai Chi in a really gentle way...some teachers have a more 'yang' approach than others, and every teacher is different...). Those kind of exercises weren't the whole answer for me; I need the other factors I've mentioned above too, but effectively having some understanding of how to 'massage yourself' makes a big difference. Of course, a good massage from somebody else is still great too - and I'd particularly recommend Shiatsu as a great way to get a 'reset'. I've mentioned a few times how helpful Shiatsu was for me, and I do think it's really worth considering for people with ME/CFS. One of the great advantages is that the Shiatsu practitioner is effectively giving your whole body a kind of gentle, sensitive workout while you lie back and relax (and meditate if you like!). For people with PEM, who aren't able to be very active, but also therefore can have secondary issues caused by deconditioning, I think it can be a great way to keep your body moving without inducing PEM. It can also help to give you some awareness of those mechanical and balance factors that you get from Tai Chi etc, which is often too tough for many people with ME/CFS to do without getting PEM.
  3. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    Washington State
    DO or D.O. stands for Doctor of Osteopathy. In the U.S. and Canada, Doctors of Osteopathy are fully licensed medical physicians, found in all branches of medicine (even surgery!) with the same amount of medical training as MDs plus training in basic osteopathic manual medicine (OMM, also sometiems OMT, which stands for Osteopathic Manual Treatment - they're the same thing). In the U.S., there is no such thing as an osteopath who is not a DO. In the U.K. Australia, and NZ osteopathy is kept separate from medicine, so osteopaths are not doctors. In Canada, you'll find both DO and osteopathic practitioners, the latter of whom have no official medical expertise.

    From what I've heard, it soudns like one possible the root of the issue may be in the fascia. The fascia, I'm told, is like a sleeve enveloping every muscle and organ in the body, and all the lymph fluids, capilaries, and nerve endings flow through and are encased within the fascia. If the fascia is pulled tight, twisted, wrinkled, or otherwise compromised, it can cause a lot of problems for that muscle because detox pathways become blocked, it doesn't "slip" as easily against its neighbors (which produces irritation), and oxygen supply may be decreased. Here's one page explaining some things on it.

    This video demonstrating a cranial osteopathy treatment is great for seeing just how gentle it is compared to massage or chiropractics, for those who are interested.
  4. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

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    Dainty,...............I would love to get cranial osteopathy treatment.........there used to be a therapist here where I live.........but no longer. I also used to get treatment with a practitioner who worked with the fascia.........but he is an hour away. Both therapies did help from what I can remember.
    .........................Mark, very good suggestions........I did have shiatsu at one time from a little old man.......who was smaller than me......but he was excellent! I think I loved shiatsu the best over standard massage. I used to be deligent in stretching ever so gently.......need to get back in the groove.........I feel like the tin man.

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