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Neck pain from back to shoulders and ears, stronger when head is turned. What is causing it?

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I am having a neck pain starting from back of the head to shoulders. There is also acute pain back to ears. I feel strong pain when i try turn my head. I recently traveled from India to Providence, Rhode Island
Posted Wed, 18 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 12 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
The pain in your neck seems to be due to a musculoskeletal spasm or a sprain due to a long journey and abnormal body posture.
This kind of pain usually takes 3-4 weeks to subside completely after proper treatment. If the pain does not resolve in a week to 10 days, there might be some degenerative changes of the vertebral disc involved. For proper diagnosis and to assess the extent of soft tissue problem, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan) of the neck is advisable after trying conservative measures.
Meanwhile following measures can help you-
1. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and other muscle relaxants might be helpful. You can get these prescribed from your orthopedician.
2. Cervical isometric exercises are beneficial to maintain the strength of the neck muscles. Neck and upper back stretching exercises, as well as light aerobic activities, also are recommended under the guidance of a physical therapist.
3. Hot fomentation helps in relieving acute symptoms.
4. You can avoid using a pillow.
5. Use of cervical collar helps in immobilisation and brings relief.
6. Methylcobalamin supplements are also recommended for nerve compression symptoms.
Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Rakhi Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Neck pain from back to shoulders and ears, stronger when head is turned. What is causing it? 24 hours later

Thank you for your good suggestions . I came here on
friday night and dint have pain till saturday night . suddenly the pain came when i just tilted my head . I am also very new to this cold weather here . We right now dont have insurance and will be getting our insurance only from feb 1st . is there any way we can get over the counter drugs ( without prescription ) or any temperory treatment .

Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 1 hour later

Thanks for writing again.

For temporary relief, you can start with tablet Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) 400mg, one tablet after breakfast and dinner for three days.

Hot fomentation and local analgesic gels will also help in relieving the pain. If the pain is persistent then you need to have muscle relaxants like Chlorzoxazone prescribed from your Orthopedician.

Hope my answer is helpful. Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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