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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Neck Pain (pinched nerve switching sides)

 teddyg - Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:38 pm

Hi, I have what feels like a "pinched nerve" I had a separate case of the same thing 2 weeks ago and it got better over the course of 4 days. Now I got it again, it started suddenly with a ton of pain and low range of movement in my right side along my trap (kinda near my shoulder) and up into my neck, couldn't pull my neck fully back without tons of pain and sleeping is painful. The weird thing is that this time on the third day I felt it was getting a tiny bit better and then while at work sitting in my chair yesterday I felt it coming on to my left side and in about 5 minutes is fully on my left side and seemingly fully gone from my right. So it is now basically mirroring itself on my left trap muscle and left side of the neck (now only the left side hurts when I pull my neck back). I'm young (26 years) and have had this happen to me about 4 other times in my life (except for the switching sides part). Any ideas?
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:45 pm

User avatar Hello,
Some testing of the cervical spine and the neural tissue would be in order.

This would include:
cervical x-ray
clinical testing: deep tendon reflexes (DTR), muscle strength testing in the upper extremities (myotomes), and sensory checks in the upper limbs (dermatomes).
Also, do some specific neck range of motion and compression/distraction testing...palpating and inspecting the muscles and cervical motion too.

All in all a thorough assessment of the neck and upper limbs is in order to accurately assess the cause of the problem. This can be done by a physician or a physical therapist.

Without neurological symptoms, the condition would likely be classified in the mechanical neck pain category and treated conservatively with NSAIDS, hot/cold packs and theraputic exercise.

Take care.

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