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"Coat hanger" neck/shoulders pain

soti

Senior Member
Messages
109
Pain in neck/shoulders (hence "coathanger") associated with orthostatic/POTS symptoms. Trigger point massage makes it worse. I.e. a physical therapist once successfully released the muscles but 5 minutes later they seized up again worse than before. Anyone had this and found a way to work with it? Doing strengthening exercises for instance? I would think massage has got to be in there somewhere but I'm stumped.
 

junkcrap50

Senior Member
Messages
1,353
Hi, I have the very same problems with neck/shoulder trigger points and tightness. Well, actually I have muscle tightness and knots all over, but it's only painful in my neck area. I, however, do not have any issues with trigger point massage. It works well for me, but is only temporary. It lasts usually only a month if done by a professional massage therapist or a couple a weeks if done by a family member.

Last week the pain got unbearable and massage by a family member didn't work, so I"m finally going to see a pain specialist for trigger point injections (covered by insurance). They inject lidocaine into the trigger point to have it release and relax. It's not a permanent fix, but it is supposed to be long lasting. I believe a permanent fix is strengthening exercises to improve posture. But I haven't been able to do those, because any exercise in the "coat hanger" area just seizes my muscles up more and makes them more tight. So I'm hoping the trigger point injections allows the muscles to relax enough that I can do some posture exercises. I'm going to combine the trigger point injections with some professional massage therapy too. (Depending on the pain clinic and your insurance plan, massage therapy may also be covered by insurance.)

Other options for trigger points injections is dry needling. It's like localized accupuncture in the knots which release the tension in the knots. But I'd rather have the local anesthetic to force the muscle to relax.

Some interesting information as to why people with CFS get pain and knots in the coat hanger area is that the coat hanger area has the most muscle units per blood vessels than any area in the body. So, one theory is that it's not getting enough blood flow and oxygenation. I personally believe that the coat hanger area gets its own localized PEM because those muscle groups are always in use and under strain, especially with how much computer work everyone does.

Hopefully this helps.
 

bertiedog

Senior Member
Messages
1,745
Location
South East England, UK
I get this quite severely from time to time, the last time was nearly 2 weeks ago after days of severe migraines.

What has helped is 2 treatments, one week apart from a good Acupuncturist who has been trained by the Chinese method. I had the pain for 7 days before the last treatment this past Monday and it took it away completely and I haven't been bothered by it since I am very glad to say.

The first treatment on the 2nd day of the pain only helped it slightly but I noticed it stopped my neck muscles from going into spasms which has happened in the past so I believe I did get some help.

My neck muscles are always very tight and massage seems to help with that a bit but they don't trouble me until I get this sort of attacks of severe neck pain from time to time.

Pam
 

soti

Senior Member
Messages
109
I thought it was because the neck was trying to pump blood up to the brain? Don't know.

It sounds like the right PT or acupuncturist might be helpful.
 

Mrs Sowester

Senior Member
Messages
1,055
Ibuprofen gel and a V-shaped pillow have really helped me. I also bought new feather pillows which stopped neck pain waking me up from sleeping quite so often.
 
Messages
49
I hate coat hanger pain. I haven't found anything very reliable to help it yet. I was getting massages when I was employed, and they felt great but didn't relieve this. Sometimes a half of a flexeril will help it, but sometimes not so I don't bother with that usually bc I have this so regularly now. Doing heavy weight on a certain machine at the gym, it was like a fixed weight machine with a bar overhead that you pulled down and a shoulder chest press, no idea what it was called but I don't have axcess to this machine any longer, this helped. Not every machine for arms or shoulders would help it, it had to be this one machine that hit the right spot. Another thing I've noticed over time the coat hanger section on my back gets freezing ice cold, only the exact coat hanger section, and it also gets cold and sweats.
 

Violeta

Senior Member
Messages
3,009
There is a protocol by Nemechek using mainly olive oil, if you want to look that up. He explains the cause and his protocol. For me, finding which B vitamins help and then being consistent with them seems to be more effective, but I am starting to take olive oil daily, too.

The reason B vitamins help is because it is related to orthostatic hypotension.
 
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junkcrap50

Senior Member
Messages
1,353
Dry needling for me - a lifesaver!
How long does it last with you? A few spots they've done have lasted like 6 months and seem to be permanently unknotted/untightened. Other places, they go back pretty quick. But it's probably do to chronic posture and habits/repetitive body movements/positions.

Also, how often are they able to hit the right spots? Seems like they only do 1 or 2 needles, and even if they hit the right muscle, it's the wrong band in that muscle or doesn't work on one end of it.
 

Woof!

Senior Member
Messages
523
How long does it last with you? A few spots they've done have lasted like 6 months and seem to be permanently unknotted/untightened. Other places, they go back pretty quick. But it's probably do to chronic posture and habits/repetitive body movements/positions. Also, how often are they able to hit the right spots? Seems like they only do 1 or 2 needles, and even if they hit the right muscle, it's the wrong band in that muscle or doesn't work on one end of it.
For the most part, once a muscle is unwound, it stays that way. Where certain areas go back to being bitchy it's either for the reason you mentioned or because the problem involves multiple muscles and one or more didn't get needled.

All PT's aren't alike when it comes to dry needling. I've been to three, and only one of them (who was unavailable for a year, hence my trying the other two), hits all the necessary spots every time (she's fantastic!). She also showed me how to use a DIY cupping kit to quickly stop spasming neck and shoulder muscles on my own. (see link below) I'll give you more info on doing this if you're interested.

https://www.amazon.com/Premium-Qual...=1&keywords=cupping+kit&qid=1633982745&sr=8-5
 

Haley

Senior Member
Messages
1,178
Location
NSW Australia
I use a trigger point ball - keeps the pain and tightness at bay most if the time. When it flares to the point I can't ease it (about once a year) it's off to the physio for dry needling.
 

Shanti1

Administrator
Messages
3,309
Lidocaine injections into the trigger point, heating pads, and Diclofenac gel seem to help me.
 

godlovesatrier

Senior Member
Messages
2,569
Location
United Kingdom
Other things that really help this for me in the past

Vitamin b1 200mg a day almost entirely got rid of it I think.

Nimodipine would probably be a drug based option.

I am currently struggling with coat hanger pain post COVID can get quite painful at times. Going to be restarting magnesium ascorbate soon to see if that helps. I managed to get rid of it before on Josh's protocol.

The other day I took 900mg lactoferrin, 500mg valtrex and 1.5g of reduced glutathione and the pain gradually disappeared. So that seems to work too.
 

maddietod

Senior Member
Messages
2,880
You could also try increasing your magnesium and potassium. These are helping with what presents as a frozen shoulder and this huge knot in my upper back. I also use a heating pad and then a theraband to passively stretch my arm. This is enough to keep the pain from waking me up at night.
 

Judee

Psalm 46:1-3
Messages
4,538
Location
Great Lakes
The other day I took 900mg lactoferrin, 500mg valtrex and 1.5g of reduced glutathione and the pain gradually disappeared. So that seems to work too.
I wonder if you tried a little sodium benzoate, if you have any of that left from Josh's protocol... just in case this is a little bit of ammonia buildup for you.

IDK if it would work because I get burning in my shoulders with the coat hanger pain but I also get it when I have a buildup of ammonia like the times I tried BCAAs and another time when I tried an amino acid complex.

I just thought it would be worth a try to see if it helps you at all.

???
 
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