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Suggest treatment for neck pain caused by the use of the cane

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Posted on Thu, 28 May 2015
Question: Hello, I just turned 66 years old a few days ago, ( April 28th. ). I had previously hurt my left leg while at work. I haven't walked much the last couple of months due to this injury. The injury was to the center of my shin. A huge hematoma developed and I've been under dr.'s care since the accident. Last weekend myself and my family decided to go to the mall to see with the aid of a cane how well I could walk. We went to a restaurant for lunch, then to a store in the mall. All seemed good. Not too much pain in the leg. Later we went to another mall and to two other stores. We went to another restaurant for a quick supper. Afterward we went straight to the car. We drove home. I experienced pain to the effected area after the day, and during the evening while trying to sleep. The next day in the later afternoon my neck started to hurt. I thought it was due to using a cane ? On monday it effected my left side of the neck and really was quite sore. I was unable to turn my head to the left. I just figured I strained it by trying to walk fast at the mall. By wednesday it started to effect my right side of my neck. I can't turn my head to to either side as it painful. I feel like I had been in a car accident and might have whiplash. Sleeping is difficult. I haven't taken any pills other than the pain pills for my leg. The pills are Hydromorphone 4MG.
Should I put a warm cloth to my neck ? Do I need to call my physician ? I figure that I strained it by pushing down on the cane way too much to support my weight that day, and its effected my neck because my body was out of wack ? I have no fever. Other than my leg bothering me after I walk on it there is nothing else except this stiff neck. That's about it. Can ya help ? What does it sound like to you ? Thank you. Don Baker.
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Answered by Dr. Matt Wachsman (7 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
tricky

Detailed Answer:
ok... the leg if it is improving in pain and swelling, then improvement in symptoms are a good sign and not an indication to look for blood clots or other complications.

That being said, it is quite a stretch to go from the leg to the neck. Changes in movement/location/position can cause strains (I think you mentioned this possibility from the use of the cane which will put some stress on the shoulder and neck area).
Muscle spasms can be quite painful. Muscle relaxants, non-steroidal medications would be a first step. (ice in the first 24 hrs MAYBE... sometimes it triggers spasm) then moist heat and gentle stretching.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Matt Wachsman (11 minutes later)
Ok I got your answer and can I get a muscle relaxant over the counter, or do I contact my physician ? What kind of non-steroidal meds are there that I can get over the counter ? I've had stiff necks before and they usually go away after a couple of days. This time it just seems different because I never had to walk with a cane for any length of time before. Am I leaning too much on the cane ? My family physcian is treating me for my leg issue and its coming along ok. This just started as I'm trying to walk more now with this cane. They want me to go back to work on May 20th. if I can ? Thanks Doc.
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Answered by Dr. Matt Wachsman (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Good questions.

Detailed Answer:
All muscle relaxants in the US are prescription. They all last about 8 hrs have the same side effects. And all are totally different.
Carisoprodel. Controlled substance. One in 10,000 people metabolize it into barbiturate which can have serious withdrawal (seen it once in my life). It is often used by idiots to knock themselves out. Otherwise, it is incredibly safe. It acts as a spinal anti-epileptic and although it relaxes muscles, it also works very well on disk disorders to increase the effectiveness (but not the toxicity) of other pain drugs (narcotic and otherwise).
cyclobenzaprine. works on muscles. Is at its highest safe dose at the usual 10 mg three times a day and was implicated in the deaths of XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX and her son at only mildly overdosages.
Baclofen. works on muscles. There are concerns it can perhaps cause heart failure in some people (without a lot of evidence).
methocarbamol, probably like carisoprodel, chemically similar. Not a controlled substance.
Skelexin probably like cyclobenzaprine but significantly less toxic.

Naproxen, orudis, maybe many others are non-steroidals that are over the counter. Ibuprofen also is, but is a bit weaker. Tylenol is over the counter but entirely without anti-inflammatory effects.

Brief physical therapy for walking with cane and working on range of motion of neck and other parts would generally be helpful. but, yeah, the angle of the back/neck can change and be out of balance if leaning on a cane. Doesn't take that much out of balance, and not that much leaning.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Matt Wachsman

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Practicing since :1985

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Suggest treatment for neck pain caused by the use of the cane

Brief Answer: tricky Detailed Answer: ok... the leg if it is improving in pain and swelling, then improvement in symptoms are a good sign and not an indication to look for blood clots or other complications. That being said, it is quite a stretch to go from the leg to the neck. Changes in movement/location/position can cause strains (I think you mentioned this possibility from the use of the cane which will put some stress on the shoulder and neck area). Muscle spasms can be quite painful. Muscle relaxants, non-steroidal medications would be a first step. (ice in the first 24 hrs MAYBE... sometimes it triggers spasm) then moist heat and gentle stretching.