Ideas for improving or coping with neck pain?

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I think the CBD oil would be great to try, too. My cat and I are using a brand called Waayb Organics. They have both drops and transdermals.

My cat is elderly and has IBS. She had been so sick that we had made an appt. to put her to sleep. Someone at an integrative pharmacy told me she puts Waayb creme on her elderly cat's ear (rotating left and right), so I tried it with Ruby. She is much better now, with great improvements in her appetite, sleep, and digestion. It's really helping with her symptoms. I use the 5 MG transdermal with her, wiping off a little bit to make the dose a bit smaller. She's 6 pounds.

I use the Waayb 10 MG drops before I go to sleep, and it's helping my sleep and lower digestive tract. I have not used the transdermal creme on neck yet. Here's the link:

https://waayb.com/
 

Gingergrrl

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Thank you all for the new replies and I really want to respond but typing is too painful for my neck and arm right now and I'm trying to figure out what to do about it.

I realized last night that I still have a TENS unit (I thought my husband had it) and spent about 30 min figuring out how to connect all the wires and opening new skin adhesive patches. I got everything connected and had the patches on my neck and arm and turned it on but after about 30 seconds, the battery light flashed and then it died. I was so annoyed b/c I could tell just from that 30 seconds that it would help the pain.

Of course it took a special 9 volt battery which I did not have at home. And even more annoying (or just weird :aghhh:) was that my car battery died yesterday morning and I had to call AAA and get a new car battery and then last night the TENS unit battery died! I am not having good luck with batteries!

I ordered some 9 Volt batteries on Amazon but realized they would not arrive until Thurs (two more days) so I drove to CVS today and bought one battery since I had to bring them a prescription anyway. I've been resting since I got home b/c the neck & arm pain is sucking the life out of me and starting to give me headaches. If I type too much, I am afraid I will lose the arm strength to drive and do other important things (but it kills me b/c I want to reply to several threads :bang-head:).

I get a lot of texts and am now just asking people if they'd mind if we talked on phone instead (unless it is a super brief reply). One of my friends thought I was mad at her until I literally explained that I am in too much pain to text on phone (I am at my desk-top computer now which is much easier).

I'm planning to try the TENS unit tonight w/the new battery and hoping to be able to type again tomorrow. I have some questions for you guys about the different oils, pillow, and other ideas recommended to me in this thread. I also plan to re-read my old thread re: neck pain from 2015 (and thank you @PatJ for finding it for me :hug:). Thank you all so much!
 

Gingergrrl

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I just re-read my neck pain thread from 2015 and there are some amazing suggestions including portable neck traction, reflexology exercises, acupressure mat, theracane, and others I am probably missing.

I looked at the dates of that thread and realized that I stopped responding around mid March 2015 and never saw the final replies at that time. It coincided with my first episode of anaphylaxis, realizing we had to leave our former rental b/c it had toxic mold, losing computer access, and then my family moving in with my parents for six months!

I remember being interested in the ideas in the thread at that time but I was so deathly ill in 2015 (and by May I was in the hospital) that it was not realistic for me to pursue anything back then. But now I can pursue all of them and am making a list of all the products from both threads. Thank you guys again!
 

jeff_w

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I just re-read my neck pain thread from 2015 and there are some amazing suggestions including portable neck traction, reflexology exercises, acupressure mat, theracane, and others I am probably missing.
You could have cervical stenosis with disc or cord compression. An MRI would show this in the hands of a specialist surgeon. If this is what you have, the problem is fixable with surgery.

Disc and cord compression can contribute to POTS and other neuro issues, in addition to chronic pain. I know your POTS has an autoimmune component. You could also have neurological compression contributing to it — a double whammy.
 

Gingergrrl

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Thank you all again and I want to reply to the newer posts and ask a few questions. I was able to use the TENS unit which helped a little while using it but did nothing for the pain as soon as I stopped. I'm thinking of trying "Salonpas" pain patches which I used for years but stopped completely in 2015 when I was allergic to everything. They do contain a topical NSAID but I am hoping the amount is so small (vs. ingesting it) that it would be okay.

Sorry should of add, skin, why I love it. They block pain receptors so you have to reapply as needed. But I have had a few people marvel about the results.
Thank you @lnester7 and I know that I am okay with peppermint oil but have never tried thyme oil. Do you use both together or separately from each other?

SO then, if you are NOT diabetic, and if you do NOT see a dark shadow or "curtain" in the corner of that eye, and if it is not a sudden and large number of flashes, and floaters, and if it is not effecting your vision, then it sounds likely the "normal aging" of what the retina does.
Thx @Shoshana and this is what Dr. Google told me as well so I will assume it is "normal aging". It was just odd to me that the flashes of bright light were only from my right eye which is the side where I have the neck and arm pain.

Or you could see your optometrist or ask for referral to an opthomologist, anytime, for them to check on what you described
I actually have an opthamologist that I've seen in past years for other issues and could call her but really don't feel like dealing with another issue right now and have several other appts to schedule. But if it gets worse, I guess I will.

I have a weighted neck pillow that I use when I am doing any kind of sitting. It is long enough to tuck under my chin to keep me from holding my head down for too long.
@rel8ted Would any neck pillow like the one in your link work and is the goal to keep your head looking straight vs. down? I actually have a brand new neck pillow that I ordered for my mom (b/c hers disappeared at the nursing facility where she was staying) but she passed away before it arrived. She used it for extra neck support when lying in bed at hospital but I like your idea of using it while sitting to keep from looking down (which is what I do constantly with my phone and I know is making the problem worse).

It's not a dumb question at all @Gingergrrl , you can apply CBD oil to the skin (transdermal) and take it orally (drops). There's suppositories for people who can not digest it.
@erin Suppositories scare me :eek: and I would definitely do the transdermal or oral method. There are so many different brands here that I never had any idea which one to try. Do you recommend a brand?

I think the CBD oil would be great to try, too. My cat and I are using a brand called Waayb Organics. They have both drops and transdermals.
@perchance dreamer I looked at your link but it seems to be for veterinary products. Is the CBD oil for pets or considered human grade ingredients?

You could have cervical stenosis with disc or cord compression. An MRI would show this in the hands of a specialist surgeon. If this is what you have, the problem is fixable with surgery.
I suspect that I do have cervical stenosis but not sure about the other things you mentioned. It was good chatting w/you about all of this the other night and learning that the MRI without contrast dye is enough to show the problem (since I am allergic to contrast dye and not an option for me).

Disc and cord compression can contribute to POTS and other neuro issues, in addition to chronic pain. I know your POTS has an autoimmune component. You could also have neurological compression contributing to it — a double whammy.
I definitely have Autoimmune POTS and for the first time since 2013, I am not having any symptoms of POTS and can even bend down to pick things off the floor with no reaction triggered which I could not do even a week ago! (Although I still take Atenolol & Midodrine and would not dare stop them).

Right now, I feel the closest to normal that I have felt in five years except for a dramatic worsening of my neck and arm pain. There could definitely be a neuro component to it that is totally separate from autoimmunity and if anyone would have a double whammy, it would be me :D.
 
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@perchance dreamer I looked at your link but it seems to be for veterinary products. Is the CBD oil for pets or considered human grade ingredients?
HI, @Gingergrrl, all the Waayb products are the same quality, fit for pets or humans. The only difference with the pet products is that they are unflavored and dosed specifically for pets. I think you'd need to research or ask a vet what dose to use on a pet. For my cat, I'm using the 5 MG transdermal instead of the products for pets, and I rub it on the inside of her ears. I use just a little less than a full pump on her.

For myself, I'm using the 10 MG unflavored drops right before bed. They have no taste at all.
 
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Do you use both together or separately from each other?
together, one blocks one receptor that will block the nerve pain, the other blocks the receptor for muscular pain (is how I understood it so don't quote me). why the combination is supposed to be so it blocks all types of pain. You can try separate if you know your specific type of pain (muscular vs nerve) and google which is which.
 

Shoshana

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I actually have an opthamologist that I've seen in past years for other issues and could call her but really don't feel like dealing with another issue right now and have several other appts to schedule. But if it gets worse, I guess I will.
IF it does get worse, or IF you get ANY other eye symptom with it, (such as, but not solely, a large number of floaters at once) then I would prioritise your eyesight and get the appointment, sooner than you would like.

I also cannot of course, rule out any connection to your right side/neck problems, however, it is common in the eyes, and does happen to one eye, (either one) and the other eye, MIGHT not happen for many years till later,
so they do not do it at the same time as each other. So it would be 'normal' to have it in just one eye. For now, or for a long time.
 

Shoshana

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Would any neck pillow like the one in your link work and is the goal to keep your head looking straight vs. down? I actually have a brand new neck pillow that I ordered for my mom (b/c hers disappeared at the nursing facility where she was staying) but she passed away before it arrived. She used it for extra neck support when lying in bed at hospital but I like your idea of using it while sitting to keep from looking down (which is what I do constantly with my phone and I know is making the problem worse).
I found that either, tipping my head down, (using a laptop) , or tipping it back, (to peer through my bifocal lense glasses at computer screen) made my pain significantly worse,
so yes, my goal was to change to looking straight at things. With my head level.

I tried various bed pillows, till I found that positioning, in bed as well. You think of your head as having a thread from the top , up straight, to the headboard if in bed, or to the ceiling, if sitting up. Chin tucks in slightly, because it is not your forehead you want to raise up, but the top(crown?) of your head and then, remember to relax both shoulders, as much as you can, all in order to try to align the spine and neck better, for less straining on it.

I had to change my sleeping position, which was terribly difficult for me, but has helped my neck, and resulting problems.
I also changed my cushions that support my sitting up, so they do NOT come out as far sideways to each (both) sides as my shoulders, and they hold up my breast, WHEN I AM able to sit up, with support.
The goals there, included not crunching my shoulders inward or downward at all, but spreading them out flat and back a bit, when I could manage that. As well as to try to focus on my head positon.

Again, I KNOW this is NOT a cure, but it does lower my pain a bit, and it did also restore a bit of my range of motion, after 2 months of doing these changes, as much as possible.
@Gingergrrl had asked me for more suggestions, a while back, regarding what I did, and I just now have managed to write some of it...for her, or anyone else who finds it useful.

I actually changed my eyeglass scripts for this goal, and it was worth it for me. It might not be needed or helpful with your contacts, I do not know.
But one can measure how far from the eyes one will have something, when it is level, by moving it or yourself, and then, they can give eyeglass scripts of single lense, for that distance, to look forward straight at something.
If it is something you look at or use a lot, like tv, or phone or computer or book, it MIGHT be worth considering.
It was for me.

That is the only way I personally, could continue to use ANY laptop OR computer, and to type, without continuing with the more severe pain I had, neck, shoulders, arms.
 
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Gingergrrl

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HI, @Gingergrrl, all the Waayb products are the same quality, fit for pets or humans.
together, one blocks one receptor that will block the nerve pain, the other blocks the receptor for muscular pain (is how I understood it so don't quote me). why the combination is supposed to be so it blocks all types of pain. You can try separate if you know your specific type of pain (muscular vs nerve) and google which is which.
@Gingergrrl, I use Endoca products, I'm happy with them. I've tried another brand that I can't remember the name. That was good too.
Thank you all for the info on those products and I am going to look into them all further.

IF it does get worse, or IF you get ANY other eye symptom with it, (such as, but not solely, a large number of floaters at once) then I would prioritise your eyesight and get the appointment, sooner than you would like.
I agree and will see the eye doctor if any of that happens.

So it would be 'normal' to have it in just one eye. For now, or for a long time.
That was my sense from Dr. Google ;)

Again, I KNOW this is NOT a cure, but it does lower my pain a bit, and it did also restore a bit of my range of motion, after 2 months of doing these changes, as much as possible.@Gingergrrl had asked me for more suggestions, a while back, regarding what I did, and I just now have managed to write some of it...for her, or anyone else who finds it useful.
I appreciate all of the suggestions @Shoshana and I understand it is not a cure but right now I really would take even a 10% reduction in my neck and arm pain.

I actually changed my eyeglass scripts for this goal, and it was worth it for me. It might not be needed or helpful with your contacts, I do not know.
I actually only wear my contacts when I go out and when I am at home, I just wear my glasses. I don't think my glasses are the issue vs. when I am typing on my cell phone while lying in bed, it instantly hurts my arm and neck and yet I do it anyway :bang-head:... the one thing guaranteed to make it worse, and I still do it.

I got rid of my neck pain with this execise that is meant to relax the neck muscles and don't do any harm.
Thanks and I will definitely read it although I do not have any ear pressure or ear symptoms.
 

pattismith

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Thanks and I will definitely read it although I do not have any ear pressure or ear symptoms.
My ear symptoms are only a consequence of my neck muscle tension. I got it with stress from my young age.

But my neck pain is a more recent condition related to cervical vertebra issues. This problem results in neck muscle tension, and muscle tension generates more pain.
The technique that I describe relieves muscle tension and pain, like a good massage would do. (The effect on ear problem is only a secondary positive effect.)
 

Shoshana

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I appreciate all of the suggestions @Shoshana and I understand it is not a cure but right now I really would take even a 10% reduction in my neck and arm pain.
Even though I still have significant pain and other limitations, I got MORE than 10% reduction in the shoulder/arm/hand pain, from making the changes I made. So for me, it was worth it, even though changing habits is VERY difficult. It is good that you already did identify some thing that does make the pain worse, and the goal of reducing that pain, (and partially improving the use of your arm) will help fortify you, in trying to find ways to change from doing the things that do exacerbate the pain and difficulties.

Some are a bit easier than others, such as try out different cushions, and pillows, to see which actually might reduce the symptoms.
It was not as hard for me to switch to a narrower back cushion (so that the cushion does not press on my outer shoulders like a slightly wider one does, thereby enabling me to put my shoulder slightly back, and relaxed down )

That is easier to cope with, than changing sleep positions or typing or cellphones, but all of them, as many as I could do, does make a noticeable difference for me.

I wish they made a LARGER difference, but at least, for me, it IS more than a 10 % reduction in pain. ;)
Which was your stated goal. :D Though I am sure you would be happier with a bit higher reduction, too,
if at all possible, which it might be.

But my neck pain is a more recent condition related to cervical vertebra issues. This problem results in neck muscle tension, and muscle tension generates more pain.
The technique that I describe relieves muscle tension and pain, like a good massage would do. (The effect on ear problem is only a secondary positive effect.)
I am going to look into that, too.
 

rel8ted

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@rel8ted Would any neck pillow like the one in your link work and is the goal to keep your head looking straight vs. down? I actually have a brand new neck pillow that I ordered for my mom (b/c hers disappeared at the nursing facility where she was staying) but she passed away before it arrived. She used it for extra neck support when lying in bed at hospital but I like your idea of using it while sitting to keep from looking down (which is what I do constantly with my phone and I know is making the problem worse) .
@Gingergrrl, I'm not sure if any pillow will work as well as the weighted one. The purpose of having the weight is to help keep those shoulders back where they belong so the neck doesn't get "cunchy" and stiff. It relieves the muscle
tension.

If you are seeing flashes, you need to have that checked. It can be an early sign that the retina is detaching.
 

Gingergrrl

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Thank you all so much and this post is quick b/c my neck and shoulder on right side are having some kind of spasm and really painful. I just did 30 min of TENS unit but it did not help so I took pain pill b/c I have to leave to drive myself to an appt with my Endo (thyroid doc) in a couple hours that I have already re-scheduled twice since March.

I absolutely have to find a new chiropractor or someone who can do something for my arm and neck pain b/c this is getting ridiculous. I'm not having muscle weakness like before, just pure muscle pain (and I'm certain nerve pain, too). I think the month of taking care of my dog after her back surgery really exacerbated this but nothing I can do about it now!
 

Mary

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@Gingergrrl - magnesium oil, applied topically, can help a lot with muscle pain and inflammation. And it works very quickly. Several years ago one of my sisters had tendon damage from one of the fluoroquinolones and she was talking about pain related to that (I forget where it was in her body). I suggested she try magnesium oil. I saw her a few months later and she was so grateful - she said the magnesium oil worked really well for her pain.

Magnesium is also important for tendon health - google magnesium and tendonitis.

I use it when my back goes out (together with ice and gentle stretching). I have to apply it several times a day if the pain is severe, but it works. It's in a brine solution so it can be drying to the skin. You can help prevent this by applying it and letting it sit for 20-30 minutes and then wipe off the residue (which is salt). One thing I do is just apply a regular lotion I like over the magnesium oil and that keeps my skin from drying out.

I've recommended it to many people and generally they are amazed at how well and quickly (within a few minutes) it works

Re the flashes of light - I agree, you should get it checked, it can be a symptom of a detaching retina.
 

Gingergrrl

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But my neck pain is a more recent condition related to cervical vertebra issues. This problem results in neck muscle tension, and muscle tension generates more pain.
Patti, in your case, did you have an MRI that showed cervical damage? I am debating whether to pursue this, and have so many things I want to pursue right now, and am trying to figure out how to realistically prioritize them!

I just got back from my Endo (thyroid) appt and am going to start a separate thread about that b/c I want some overall feedback that has nothing to do with my neck pain. I had no problems today with walking or driving except it is extremely painful when I turn my neck to the right side (which of course you have to do while driving over and over again to look over your shoulder).

I got to the point I wondered if there is some kind of injection for pain that can go into your neck or arm (although of course this is not the long-term solution). I ended up buying some Salonpas (pain patches) at CVS today and didn't even care at that point if there was any risk of being allergic to them. I have one on my neck now (not allergic) and it does help a little but it is more of a temporary distraction.

@Gingergrrl, I'm not sure if any pillow will work as well as the weighted one.
Thanks and I have not even opened the pillow that I got for my mom yet but do intend to try it (although it might not be weighted enough).

If you are seeing flashes, you need to have that checked. It can be an early sign that the retina is detaching.
Re the flashes of light - I agree, you should get it checked, it can be a symptom of a detaching retina.
Thank you both (@rel8ted and @Mary) and I was curious, since I have had these intermittent flashes of light (just in my right eye) for at least six months, if the opthamologist did say that it looked like a retina issue that comes with "normal aging" but that it was not actually detached, is there anything that would be done or would it be one of those "watch and wait" kind of things? I Googled this issue and I don't seem to have any of the other symptoms, although I would never want to mess around with an issue connected to my eyes/vision!

@Gingergrrl - magnesium oil, applied topically, can help a lot with muscle pain and inflammation.
I tried Mg oil in prior years and I just don't tolerate it. I could tolerate that it burned my skin but in general, I do not do well with Magnesium and according to Neuros it is b/c it blocks the calcium channel and I already have an autoantibody that is doing this. Approx 2 yrs ago I tried a foot bath with epsom salts and ended up getting respiratory depression. I know this is rare, and it was not always the case for me, but it seems to be now.

Several years ago one of my sisters had tendon damage from one of the fluoroquinolones and she was talking about pain related to that (I forget where it was in her body). I suggested she try magnesium oil. I saw her a few months later and she was so grateful - she said the magnesium oil worked really well for her pain.
Magnesium is also important for tendon health - google magnesium and tendonitis.
I remember talking to you about your sister re: her tendon damage from fluoroquinolones and one of the mechanisms that they injure you is by stripping your body of Magnesium. Mg is a great treatment for tendon damage, and I took Mg daily back in 2010 after I was injured by Levaquin. But I don't tolerate it now. Taking the Levaquin and all the future damage it caused me is one of the biggest regrets of my entire life, but there is nothing I can do about it now.
 

Mary

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Hi @Gingergrrl - that's too bad you can't take or use magnesium. You may have told me this before, I can't remember. Because I've had such good results with the topically applied magnesium oil, I would try the peppermint oil and thyme oil which have also been suggested. And I'm sure it would be good to get testing done (MRI I guess, as someone suggested) to try to find out what is going on.

Re your retina - I don't think flashing lights are a part of "normal" aging, plus you're not very old at all anyways! I worked with a woman once who suddenly developed flashing light in one eye. This was many years ago but as I recall, she was told to get into the doctor right away. Her retina was detaching or detached but they were able to fix it. But I think if she had waited, it would have been much more problematic. All I can tell you is, get it checked out. It's fixable if your retina is having problems, but do get it checked sooner rather than later - okay, end of lecture! :p