Persistent Stiff Neck and Shoulders
Q: About a month ago, I injured my neck and shoulders lifting heavy bundles
at my job. Now, I'm constantly stiff and have been experiencing headaches on
a daily basis. I've seen a chiropractor, but he hasn't helped. I don't want
to have to go on disability. Is there anything else I can do?
Dr. Donnica: Chiropractors and disability are not your only choices! To
begin with, you need a diagnosis. Start by seeing an internist to rule out arthritis
and to evaluate the headaches. Ask for a referral for physical therapy. A properly
supervised exercise regimen should help with the muscle aches and stiffness. An
occupational therapist can also train you to use safe, proper lifting techniques
on the job.
Have you tried over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines (e.g. Motrin, Advil,
Nuprin, etc.)? Many people avoid these medications thinking they should only
take them when they have significant pain. These medications can reduce inflammation
and may help your headaches as well. Massage, warm soaking baths, and getting
sufficient rest should also help.
Created: 5/1/2004  - Donnica Moore, M.D.