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Painful trapped nerve at back of neck.

(32 Posts)
snowberryZ Sun 27-Feb-22 23:22:39

I think I've strained the back of my neck (possible trapped nerve?)
It started about two weeks ago and I thought if I rested it and didn't get draughts on it, it would eventually get better.
But no such luck. confused
It's really sore and tender and radiates pain down both upper arms and they feel weaker as well.
I'm getting constant headaches with it and because my neck is so painful I can't get comfortable to sleep at night. It hurts worse when I lie down.
I have an appointment with a gp but am thinking of seeing either an Osteopath or Chiropractor but I'm not sure which is best.
I've never been to either, so was wondering if anyone has any experience of these practices.
Did they help?
Any advice welcome.
Sorry for the pity party but I'm feeling sorry for myself blush

Libman Sun 27-Feb-22 23:41:19

From past experience of using both plus a physio, I would see a physio first. Much more straightforward and would never manipulate your neck leaving you worse than you were before! I may have been unlucky ……. Hope you get it sorted soon.

Allegretto Sun 27-Feb-22 23:44:57

Like Libyan, I have been treated by osteopath, chiropractor and physio. Of the 3, I would would definitely opt for a physio. I think you are right to see your GP as well.

Allegretto Sun 27-Feb-22 23:45:37

Sorry - Libman!

snowberryZ Sun 27-Feb-22 23:47:48

Thanks Liban!
I hadn't thought about a Physio first.
Hopefully the GP will recommend something.
But I expect they'll give me painkillers as a first por tof call.
Ideally I'd like an xray, just to check whether I've damaged anything.

My worry about an Osteopath or Chiropractor is that they make things worse.
Some of their treatments seem violent!
Bur I'm sure they're not.

snowberryZ Sun 27-Feb-22 23:48:28

Sorry - Libman

crazyH Sun 27-Feb-22 23:48:38

I would suggest your first step should be your GP. See what he suggests. That’s my advice. Don’t see anyone, until you’ve seen your GP. He may send you for a X-ray and take it from there.
Hope you feel better and get sorted soon. Good luck…

snowberryZ Sun 27-Feb-22 23:52:55

Thanks so much everyone.
I'm going to dose myself up with ibuprofen tonight and try and get a good night's sleep.
I hate taking too many painkillers as I heard they're bad for the kidneys.
But needs must! I'm desperate to have a pain-free night.

Chestnut Mon 28-Feb-22 00:01:08

Ask your GP for Pregabalin which helps with nerve pain and helps you sleep. There is also Amitriptyline but it knocks me senseless all the next day and I hate it. I fall asleep as soon as I sit down, can't cope with it at all.

But I would see a physio because pain killers are not going to solve the problem and neck pain can be dangerous I think.

cornergran Mon 28-Feb-22 00:18:30

Please talk to your GP first and find out what they can offer. If nothing helpful then I agree with others, opt for a physio as a next step. I’ve been treated very successfully by an osteopath in the past but wouldn’t access one as a first step with a new problem. In my experience an experienced physio has more tools in the toolbox. Good luck with it, I do know how debilitating that type of pain can be.

Libman Mon 28-Feb-22 01:40:04


Sorry - Libman!


BlueBalou Mon 28-Feb-22 01:44:45

That must be so painful ☹️
You could try alternating between ice packs and heat pads to try to reduce the inflammation too. I have a very painful neck from time to time so can empathise.

lemsip Mon 28-Feb-22 06:41:40

rub 'ibuprofen clear gel' into your neck.. that done it for me.. .also sit up straight gently straightening neck to release trapped nerve. and massage with fingers.

I am very wary of strong painkillers as i get older.....

nadateturbe Mon 28-Feb-22 06:58:24

You need to see your GP first to find the cause before getting treatment.
I think you should have gone sooner.

Luckygirl3 Mon 28-Feb-22 07:33:53

I too am wary of strong painkillers - but just now I have no choice - two slipped discs and without them I cannot walk. I have an opiate patch topped up with paracetamol - I am desperate to get off it. Seeing consultant this morning.

I am so sorry you are in such dreadful pain snowberryZ - there is nothing worse than nerve pain. Sleep is so important - I hope you get to see your GP soon and get some relief.

Luckygirl3 Mon 28-Feb-22 07:35:46

By the way I agree that you should not see anyone else, especially not alternative practitioner, until you have seen your GP and got a proper diagnosis. Pain and weakness in your arms needs checking out by a qualified medic before you let any0ne loose on it.

M0nica Mon 28-Feb-22 08:16:35

Snoberry DH had the same problem and the GP was totally useless and just recommended patracetamol.

After 6 weeks we paid to see a consultant, who immediately recommended Gabapentin, whuch the GP prescribed, which worked despite side effects and after an MRI scan it was found that his top vertebrae were crumbling and that was why his nerve was trapped and the eventual treatment was three massive steroid injections.

That was nearly 10 years ago and no trouble since.

Katyj Mon 28-Feb-22 09:02:19

So sorry neck pain is terrible. I’m sat here with another headache caused by arthritis in my neck. I’d go for physio too. I had treatment years ago with an osteopath, caused me to be extremely dizzy, and had to stay in bed three days.
I use deep relief with ibuprofen and levonmenthol purple tube, on mine plus paracetamol and ibuprofen. Good luck hope you feel better soon .

snowberryZ Mon 28-Feb-22 09:08:39

Thanks everyone.
Lots to think about.
I slept a bit better last night as I dosed up on ibuprofen biut I can feel it starting up again.
Only two days till doc. Appointment.
So maybe that'll get the ball rolling.

Chestnut Mon 28-Feb-22 09:27:18


By the way I agree that you should not see anyone else, especially not alternative practitioner, until you have seen your GP and got a proper diagnosis. Pain and weakness in your arms needs checking out by a qualified medic before you let any0ne loose on it.

I'm afraid that a proper diagnosis might be months away. I have been waiting ages for a diagnosis of pelvic and leg pain. The doctor will simply refer you for tests and if they don't show anything up immediately then more tests. I haven't actually spoken to a consultant or had a physical examination since I was referred last December. The doctor doesn't actually do anything except refer you.

Katyj Mon 28-Feb-22 09:29:20

Sorry it was a chiropractor 🙄

netflixfan Mon 28-Feb-22 09:35:23

A good physio will help you immediately unless there is something more serious underlying your pain - GP will help you there. My physio is also a qualified acupuncture practitioner. Acupuncture is amazing! Hope you’re feeling better soon.

henetha Mon 28-Feb-22 10:35:48

We can refer ourselves to physios now without going through the doctor. I did this a couple of years ago, successfully.
It's worth a try.

Elizabeth27 Mon 28-Feb-22 11:12:09

Sounds the same as me, mine is arthritis, especially the headache that is worse laying down. Physio has worked very well for me. Before I had my appointment I used YouTube and found exercises for cervicogenic headaches.

Charleygirl5 Mon 28-Feb-22 14:08:40

You need a diagnosis before embarking on treatment. If you have not had an accident it is probably osteoarthritis but you need an x-ray for confirmation.

Taking pain killers long term is not a good idea but a short and sharp course that does the trick should be fine but try to steer clear of Paracetamol.