Today, I thank God for health cards, credit cards and a workplace beside a hospital.
I woke up at around 5am this morning to feed Maxyn and as I get up, I heard something snap from my right neck. After the snap, all I felt was pain and I could barely go back to sleep. I thought of taking a leave from work but I have tons to do plus I can move myself a bit. Bathing and dressing up was a bit challenging with only one side of myself able to move. Despite that, I was able to commute without much hassle. I feel the pain from time to time specially when there are bumps in the road or when I suddenly move my neck. So not to feel the pain much, I ended up holding my right neck during the whole travel.
I thought twice whether to see the doctor or just wait for the pain to go away but then I thought, my office is just beside The Medical City and I have a health card with me. So I went to the emergency room before I went to work.
The hospital staff were very accommodating and assisted me right away. They took my temperature, blood pressure, interviewed me a bit and asked if I have a health card. Then I was brought into the Trauma Department where I was told they will do an x-ray of my neck. After an hour and a half, I was walking out of the emergency room.
The x-ray said everything is normal. There was no damage to my cervical spine and the snapping may be just a muscle strain. It could be the way I sleep. I was prescribed with pain reliever and a topical muscle relaxant. The attending physician told me that there is a very effective oral muscle relaxant but he can’t give me that because I am breastfeeding. I was also given a medical certificate that states I should rest for three days and avoid strenuous activities.
I took one pain reliever already and put some medicine on my neck. The pain is still there. I feel it every time I make a sudden move with my neck. I wish this pain will go away soon.
Anyway, I made a little research on what causes a stiff neck and here is what I found out.
Causes of Stiff Neck
- Muscle Strain or Sprain
By far the most common cause of a stiff neck is a muscle sprain or muscle strain, particularly to the levator scapula muscle. Located at the back and side of the neck, the levator scapula muscle connects the cervical spine (the neck) with the shoulder. This muscle is controlled by the third and fourth cervical nerves (C3, C4).
The levator scapula muscle may be strained or sprained throughout the course of many common, everyday activities, such as:
* Sleeping in a position that strains the neck muscles
* Sports injuries that strain the neck
* Any activity that involves repeatedly turning the head from side to side, such as swimming the front crawl stroke
* Poor posture, such as slouching while viewing the computer monitor
* Excessive stress, which can lead to tension in the neck
* Holding the neck in an abnormal position for a long period, such as cradling a phone between the neck and shoulder.
- Meningitis / Infection
A stiff neck, in conjunction with a high fever, headache, nausea or vomiting, sleepiness and other symptoms, may be indicative of meningitis, a bacterial inflection that causes the protective membranes of the brain and spinal cord to be inflamed. Other infections can also cause stiff neck symptoms, such as meningococcal disease, an infection in the cervical spine. Any time a stiff neck is accompanied by a fever it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention to check for these possibilities.
- Cervical Spine Disorders
Many problems in the cervical spine can lead to neck stiffness. The stiffness can result as a reaction to the underlying disorder in the cervical spine. For example, a cervical herniated disc or cervical osteoarthritis can lead to neck stiffness, as the structures and nerve pathways in the cervical spine are all interconnected and a problem in any one area can lead to muscle spasm and/or muscle stiffness.
While there are home remedies for stiff neck, I strongly suggest that you consult a doctor rather than self-medication to be sure. I really hope that the pain reliever and topical muscle relaxant would cure this because it is so hard to move to just one side.
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