Neck Problems - It Only Hurts When I Don't Move

I've been struggling the past few weeks with a neck injury that's a real pain in the.... neck?

What's more I'm not even sure it's a real neck injury since I got it by not doing anything... almost literally.

To top that off my Doctor actually said these words to me toward the end of my consultation about the problem, "You're a mystery?"

Despite that, my neck started to feel better after seeing him, even though he gave me nothing but advice for a few neck exercises (after checking various glands in my neck and checking my blood pressure).



There's a good chance this injury isn't even real and my brain is making it all up. Even as I write about it, the problem feels worse than before I started writing about it.

There's also a good chance I'm about to have a stroke at any moment because my brain has convinced its self the problem is more serious than it actually is, and is willing that probability into reality.

To back up a little, this neck injury is caused by sitting in front of a computer monitor for long periods, not moving my neck, and probably sitting with bad neck posture. I know that's what started it because that's where I first noticed the problem, and ever since, sitting in front of a computer always makes it feel worse.

Generally it makes my neck feel swollen, along with the back of my head, and it even feels a little hard to breathe. Which in turn makes me feel tired and unmotivated, because most of my work requires me to sit in front of a computer.

Strangely enough, it doesn't stop me from riding a skateboard. If anything I feel better after a decent skateboarding session.

This isn't the first time I've done this to myself. About two years ago I was having the exact same problem over many months. I had to really push, and push to get my doctor to agree to a CT Scan. At that point, my neck didn't look swollen to him (or any doctor I saw) and he was concerned about exposing me to CT radiation unnecessarily.

At the time of the CT scan my neck was at its worst, feeling very swollen, so I thought, good, this is the best chance this machine is going to have to detect any issues.

The report came back, everything within normal range. Essentially the machine didn't show any problems.

My doctor had also been trying to convince me it was probably just a muscle thing and encouraged me then to get professional neck massages.

I started putting two and two together, and realized the problem had started when I change my desk configuration. I changed the height of my computer monitor and my neck issue literally vanished within days.

This time around, no such luck. I tried adjusting my monitor but it hasn't made a difference.

The fact that seeing a doctor, without said doctor actually doing anything, can instantly make me feel better, indicates to me that my brain can subconsciously make any medical issue worse than it actually is. Just confirming with a doctor that I'm not about to fall over and die is often a big help.

Don't get me wrong either, I'm not a hypochondriac. If I can avoid going to a doctor I will. I haven't seen a doctor since the last time this happened two years ago. My doctor said to me this time, "You kind of disappeared, at your age you need to get your health checked at least once a year."... yeah, no, I'm not paying anyone to tell me I'm okay. If I go in to see a doctor I want at least a 50/50 chance that I may actually need a doctor.

Anyway, to cut a long story short. I haven't found exactly what it is I need to do to fix my neck this time around. I'm doing the neck exercises my doctor recommended, plus I'm using the Pomodoro  productivity technique to make sure I don't sit at my computer for any longer than 20 minutes at a time.

It's kind of working. Some days my neck feels like it's getting better. Some days it feels very swollen and a little hard to breathe.

If you've experienced something similar and managed to solve the issue, let me know what you did in the comments below. It's really affecting my motivation at the moment. Which is bad because I was kind of on a roll of getting things done since October of last year. This has been a real stumbling block.

2 comments:

  1. This sounds very strange. I hope it isn't anything serious, but it can't be if the CT scan doesn't show anything. Doesn't harm to get a second opinion from another doctor. I always go to bulk billing doctors so it shouldn't cost you anything. Just keep doing what you're doing with massages etc. Can't offer anymore advice really.

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    1. Last time I had this problem I had four completely different doctors look at it. All of them said my neck didn't even look swollen even though it felt like it was. I'm pretty sure much of it is a mental issue where my head isn't convinced the problem is mostly in my head. ;-)

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