What causes sudden stiffness and soreness in neck, anxiety and severe headache?

Posted on Fri, 19 Jun 2015 in General Health
Question: Two wednesdays ago, after working out I turned my head and felt a weird sensation where I couldn't move my neck. The next day I was very stiff and sore but was fine by saturday. On sunday, I spent the entire day vacuuming my inground pool which was a long period of looking down. On monday, about a half hour after I woke, my neck became very stiff again but worse this time. I couldn't lean my head back or to either side. The pain is strong on the back of my neck and to the right of my neck. I also have what feels like a lymph node and right above my collar bone (I'm not sure if this is the artery or not) there is a small, fixed lump that is hard. My doctor said that my muscles are just very, very tight due to physical excersion and stress but I am very worried about a vertebral artery dissection, which my doctor immediately dismissed. My anxiety is really setting in. I should also add that I get a splitting headache up the side and back of my head.
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 33 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Can also apply analgesic cream locally&massaging as following...

Detailed Answer:
Hi my dear,

I have gone through your medical history carefully and understood your concerns.

I agree with your doctor's opinion: the pain you are feeling on the back of your neck and to the right of your neck is due to muscle excursion.

When you turned your head that day, the weird sensation you felt that impeded to move your neck is due to sudden contraction of the muscles in the neck.

Tylenol can help ease the pain; if not, can take ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin). Heating pad can help together with applying analgesic cream/gel locally.

Massaging can also be helpful; can use olive or lavender oil for massaging and then, applying heating pad immediately after massaging.

Taking hot baths can also help relieve the stiffness of the neck muscles.

Hope it was of help!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Albana Sejdini 4 minutes later
Thank you for the response. Most of the pain is when I turn my head right, there's a shark pain below my hair line diagonally down from my earlobe. (Sorry that's the best way to describe it). I think I am mostly just anxious about an artery tear because I have heard that it can result in stroke. Do you have any suggestions as to illiminate those fears?
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 31 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Your symptoms are not indicative for artery tear...

Detailed Answer:
Hi back my dear,

Definitely, no such artery tear. Please bare in mind my dear that when a blood vessel (including artery) is getting torn, there is bleeding and bruising. The arteries are well protected and cannot get torn easily unless a severe trauma is happening.

From what you are describing, should not fear of artery tear. Muscle strain/contraction is the cause to pain. It will need a few more days to disappear.

Hope it cleared off your fears:)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Albana Sejdini

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 6663 Questions


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