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"I am having chronic neck pain for 4 days. Medication and RMT massage have done nothing, pain is 10/10 now. What could it be?"

ZocdocAnswersI am having chronic neck pain for 4 days. Medication and RMT massage have done nothing, pain is 10/10 now. What could it be?


I have had chronic (sharp/severe) neck pain for 3 days now. Turning my neck up/down/sideways any amount sends shooting pain down my neck. My hands/arms have been numb off and on for 1 day. Today I received a massage by an RMT to try to relieve pain, but it made it worse. I am now in tears over constant sharp pain. I have tylenol 3 and flexeril (for another condition) and have taken both with no effect. I am out of ideas.


The next step is to speak with your doctor about your pain. It is not normal for pain to become so severe and fail to respond in any way to conservative therapy, and so your doctor should discuss this with you in more detail to make sure that there is nothing serious that is causing your symptoms. Neck and muscle spasms can be common in some people with a history of c spine injury or trauma, and can be severe and debilitating. They should not be a new onset symptom for most people, however, unless you have had some precipitating event. Massage and things to help the muscles relax is often a great idea to help with some of the mild aches and pains that we can have from time to time, and the fact that you had no improvement is worrisome. Your doctor may entertain other possible explanations for this pain in addition to trauma and misuse injuries. He or she may decide it is important to get some imaging and complete a physical exam looking for things that might be amiss. Shooting pain can be a concern for nerve injury, and you should discuss this with your doctor soon.

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