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Charlotte asked...

Could a massage have provoked my muscle pain?

I have had trouble with my neck since November 2013 (after waking up with a creaked neck and then spending the day painting). I have spoken on numerous occasions to specialists at AXA and the last form of treatment I have been receiving is from a chiropractor.

I had my last approved session only 2 weeks ago, and I was happy not to have any more as my neck was 90% better and certainly bearable.

I have, only 2 days ago, woken up with severe pain turning left and right (although each time the pain is on my right) and feel like the last 6 months (when the pain started to decrease) have been a complete waste.

Whether it is just a coincidence, but I did receive a Swedish back massage the day before the pain returned, and I don't know if this has re-awoken the nerve or muscle pain but it is unbearable again. I am at a complete loss as to where to go as my GP wasn't very helpful the first time around (just referred me to a Physio and there was no improvement here).

Is this normal for a massage to cause the pain to flare up? Can you suggest anything at all please?

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The answer

It would be unusual for a muscular problem to continue for nearly a year and unlikely that a massage would cause further irritation. Usually neck pain is related to muscle tension, but there can also be nerve related issues such as trapped nerves or inflammation of the nerve group related to a pressure issue, either pressure on the nerve from the nerve being trapped in the cervical spine or narrowing of the spinal canal.

Pressure on the nerve from pinching usually has associated numbness and tingling in the fingers and arms, usually one arm or the other, depending on the nerve group involved. The fact that a massage may have caused the increase in pain leans more towards a nerve issue.

If you have not already had an MRI scan, I suggest this would be a good way of getting a diagnosis, ideally a scan of the cervical spine and upper shoulder area. If you have not had a referral to a neurologist, this may be an option for you. Hopefully this will answer your question.

Answered by Health at Hand nurses.


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