General Question

J0E's avatar

Why does my neck suddenly hurt so much?

Asked by J0E (13087 points ) November 18th, 2009

I woke up the two days ago with what I thought was a sore back, I had slight discomfort when I leaned back or turned my head too far. Yesterday it got worse and I can tell that it isn’t my back, it’s my lower neck. It hurt when I turned my head to the left and when I bend my head back. Today it is even worse. It doesn’t hurt when I lean my head back anymore but I can hardly turn my head to the left without a sharp pain. I haven’t the slightest idea what caused this.

What is the cause of this? Why does it keep getting worse? Am I sleeping on it wrong? What should I do?

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31 Answers

PooperDood's avatar

A friend of mine had the same thing. He went to a chiropractor and got all better. :) go to a chiropractor

erichw1504's avatar

Almost sounds like stiff neck?

hearkat's avatar

There are too many possibilities, and your neck isn’t something to mess around with… start with your primary care physician to determine if it’s muscular or the spine that are the problem. Consider everything that could have contributed to it in the days prior to the onset of your symptoms… especially physical activities.

I hope that it’s nothing of significance, and that you feel better soon.

J0E's avatar

@hearkat I haven’t done any physical activity lately…not even close to lately.

JLeslie's avatar

Here is my advice. When you sleep at night roll up a towel and put it under your neck so you have lots of support the next couple of nights. I’m thinking the muscle is cramped or sore or maybe a pinched nerve? Either way, it should resolve in a few days if you are careful to not strain it again. Also, you can take some ibuprofen to dull the pain, but don;t getfooled that you are better, just because your pain is reduced. Do your best no to “hurt” your neck anymore over the next few days.

Another thing, when you sleep in general your shoulder should be off the pillow and your neck and head on. Sleeping on your side is best for many reasons including the position of your neck. But, while you sleep with the towel rolled up, sleeping on your back might be most comfortable.

trailsillustrated's avatar

it’s your neck muscles, its the way your’e sleeping. I have it too, I can hardly move my head

J0E's avatar

@JLeslie Thank you, I will try that.

@trailsillustrated Sucks doesn’t it?

CMaz's avatar

Playing the piano too much.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@J0E omg it’s even making my ear and jaw hurt…...

hearkat's avatar

If you think it’s the muscles from how you’ve been sleeping, apply heat or one of those Ben-Gay Patches (or whatever brand) That helps ease the tnsion in the muscles. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) helps by relieving pain, reducing inflammation and relaxing muscle cramps. If these don’t offer much relief, it may not be muscular, and you should see your Dr.

If you do feel better with heat and ibuprofen and want to prevent it from reoccurring, do as @JLeslie suggests. There are pillows specially designed for different sleep positions, which might help you.

Judi's avatar

Sometimes when my neck gets sore, I realize that I have been stressed and I am shrugging my shoulders. I have to consciously tell myself to release my shoulders, and put them down and my head up. Usually, I f I am consistent for a day or two it gets better. (But if it is really getting worse and you can afford it, go to the doctor. he needs to check your lymph nodes.)

Dog's avatar

Do you have a headache at all?
Do you have a fever?
If you develop either of the above contact your doctor right away as the neck could be a symptom of bacterial menIngitis.

If not I agree with the above.

J0E's avatar

@Dog No headache or fever, just sharp pain when I turn my head to the left. It feels like there’s something blocking me from turning my head.

Tink's avatar

Are you sleeping on alot of pillows?

J0E's avatar

No, I sleep on a really flat pillow.

Tink's avatar

I don’t even use a pillow since they hurt my neck and are uncomfortable. Hmmm, try massaging yourself or have someone do it for you, that usually works for me.

J0E's avatar

Massaging huh?

This would be a great time to have a girlfriend…

Judi's avatar

Try this . it might make you feel better.

sjmc1989's avatar

@J0E I have had the same thing for a couple of weeks and yes it is AWFUL! I think its from stress. Do you have a lot of stress in your life lately?

J0E's avatar

@sjmc1989 I don’t really get stressed, but there’s a first time for everything I guess.

JLeslie's avatar

@J0E Maybe you need a fluffier pillow so your neck is supported better? Since this is the first time it has happened I would not go changing everything. But if it happens a couple of more times, I think you need a better pillow. I know how painful and frustrating it is when you can’t turn your head. Driving is the worst.

J0E's avatar

I’ve already decided that I’m going to use a better pillow tonight. If it’s gets even worse tomorrow I’m going to the doctors.

sjmc1989's avatar

@J0E Sometimes you can be stressed without even knowing it. Try a hot bath to relax your muscles or like @Tink1113 said get a pretty lady to massage it <———————I say this Idea because it comes with a bonus :) Hope you feel better soon!

JLeslie's avatar

@J0E Honestly I think the doc will just give you ibuprofen. But I am no doctor.

J0E's avatar

UPDATE

Woke up this morning at 8:30, neck felt a lot better after using a better pillow. It seems that sitting at work makes it worse, so I’m just going to try and sit in good posture until I can go home. Thanks for the advice everyone!

JLeslie's avatar

@J0E That’s great!

J0E's avatar

Going to the Doctor in a few hours, hopefully he can make this go away once and for all.

sjmc1989's avatar

Aww hope you feel better!

J0E's avatar

Oh, I should update. The Doc gave me some muscle relaxers and some exercises to do. It feels pretty good now so I think I’m finally over this.

hearkat's avatar

Glad to hear it, @J0E!

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