Severe Neck Pain after VM: I was wondering if... - Meningitis Now

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Severe Neck Pain after VM

Faith8990 profile image
12 Replies

I was wondering if anyone has any insight on neck pain after Viral Meningitis. Before this illness I would have normal, stress related type tightness in my neck and shoulders from leaning over a desk. Now as I recover I am having terrible issues with my neck. My MRI showed that I had arthritis and a bulging disc in my neck. I never knew any of this was there before. So the doctors are blaming the pain all on this, suggesting physical therapy and seeing a chiropractor. I can imagine that the inflammation from the virus stirred some things up that might have already been there. I am taking anti inflammatories and using heat daily. What is strange is that it is almost like the pain, the major pain, comes in waves. I feel like I kind of experienced those waves of pain when I was in the deepest trenches of the illness. Like I would feel so-so and then it would just hit me hard. (As I am writing this I realize I need to journal my flare ups.) I do not feel like I am doing anything strenuous when I feel the worst pain or anything that would cause it to react. I plan on going to the massage therapist whom I have used a long time and I trust. Something is just bothering me about this. As usual the doctors have brushed me off. I am just wondering, could this be the last part of the illness flaring up? Physical therapy kind of makes me nervous bc I am not as quick to jump to it is physically repairable as much as I am just going to have to let my body repair as I did with everything else. Then again, maybe I am just getting old and need to slap on my icy hot. ;) I just wanted to feel you all out bc it is very painful when it does hit. Best wishes!

12 Replies
Mashall89 profile image

I️ have also had neck pain before. Yes this does feel different and weird. I️ have been going to my chiropractor since I️ have been sick. It has help I️ would try that.

Faith8990 profile image
Faith8990 in reply to Mashall89

Thank you! Always reassuring to know its not just me yet once again. I will look into the chiropractic care after i work with the massage therapist. :)

Mashall89 profile image
Mashall89 in reply to Faith8990


MarkJohn-SD profile image

I am convinced practicing Medics are no more than automatons spouting whatever they ingested in med school. There is really no independent thought - it is all about statistics. And big pharma.

So, yes, I explained to my doctors, including my neurologist who diagnosed me with SFPN, that I get this pain "in my spinal cord" running from my neck to mid thoracic ever since VM. He said not possible. Categorically. My primary also was skeptical when I mentioned it.

I also had been trying to get therapy for a neck injury I had sustained a year prior to VM. That was going nowhere. In fact, while in for VM, my insurance approved my therapy for my neck, which I couldn't do for at least a couple months now, and then it expired in 30 days. I had to go through the entire evaluation process all over again - three times - from spine specialist to therapist to insurance to therapy to something gets the heck in the way!!! Now it's been over 18 months since injury, six since VM.

My neck cannot find a comfortable pain-free place to rest my head. Ever. Constant. Unbearable at times. Massage helps, but then the deep spinal pain sensation like a whirling fire comes back through my upper back.

It has also messed up my vision and fuzzed my brain a lot. I can only tolerate so much screen time before I get real headachy.

I am sorry you are also having all this issue, but this is the first time someone posted something so similar to my experience. I'm happy to share mine. For whatever it's worth.

I just keep remembering, when Paul was writing about a "thorn in his side", referring to some health issue, and he was praying for it to be taken away, Christ replied, "My grace is sufficient for you." So I try to hang on to that, with any real hope of recovery from all of 2017 diagnoses and disabilities, that when I am returning to Him, all my pain will be gone also.

I have a friend who has similar leg issues as me - much further advanced. He's been in a wheelchair for several months now. Same age as me. Same faith as me. And he also encourages me in my faith through my pain, as he continues also to realize His grace IS sufficient.

It doesn't take away the physical pain. But it does make it much easier to tolerate.

CBD and THC help too, where legal.

Faith8990 profile image
Faith8990 in reply to MarkJohn-SD

That description of a fire coming up thru your back....I have tried and tried to think of a way to explain how the pain feels bc its so different. But that seems familiar, it just kind of starts up and then attacks. I also feel pain in my lower back when I am having these attacks of pain. AND since i have these very random, very quick, splotches of bright light in my peripheral vision. I had one doctor tell me that it could be bc something is pressing on a nerve, then of course he moved on bc it didnt seem important. Im sure your vision issues are wrapped up in your neck pain. I am so sorry for your suffering and it is so comforting to hear from someone who has experienced similar pain. I use a tens unit which is like electronic stimulation where you can attach the pads to the areas that hurt and adjust the frequency of the stimulation. Its my best friend. I try to use it every morning with heat so that maybe I can loosen up for the day but it always comes back. And i feel like it is traveling up my neck now. I feel like this illness started in my head and traveled down my body and now is working its way back up and this is where it has landed right now. I am hopeful, and pray as well, that maybe I am correct and when it is done with my neck maybe it will be done with me. If it makes its way to my head again i am searching for a specialist. I am in the US and the lack of knowledge is absurd. I feel the same as you about the doctors. There is nothing like being beaten down and feeling bad then having a doctor act like youre making it up or its some other problem just so they can move on. I actually wrote the CDC yesterday about their lack of knowledge and postings on Viral Meningitis. How they are not helping the people who are suffering and need to do more research and update their site. It says that people get over the virus in 7-10 days. And i have had doctors say that to my face. I came down with it in august and here I am still recovering. I am so thankful for this site and people like you who make me feel like I am not losing my mind! I have thought this pain was more internal and caused by the illness and your story just backs my thoughts up. I cant thank you enough! :)

ivory_tower69 profile image
ivory_tower69 in reply to Faith8990

My brother is suffering from Tubercular Meningitis. He suffers from neck pain sometimes along with the headache. He is under medication from nearly two months. So is the neck pain and headache are normal with these disease?

MarkJohn-SD profile image

After reading people’s stories here I am convinced it has everlasting effects. My aunt got it as a child and she’s in her 70’s. Still has all kinds of issues.

His grace is sufficient.

Peace from So Cal.

alstell77 profile image

I had meningitis when I was 6 weeks old and have always had problems with my neck. I am now aged 40 years old. I have to crack my neck sometimes upto ten times per day doing neck exercises and also have shooters up my neck, that is 40 years later.

Tupshaw profile image

Someone please help I am so scared. I was not officially diangnosed with VM but the neurologist thinks I had it. The lumbar puncture was done three weeks after symptoms started. I started to get a headache on Friday and by Monday nothing would take the pain away. I went to the hospital and they said it was migraines. Thinking I was going to get better i didn’t have a headache so much as constant pressure sometimes in the back of my head to the top of my head. Feel very unbalanced when I walk. I have had an MRI with and with out contrast an ct and cat and they are saying all normal. My neck pain and shoulder pain seem worse now then before. Has anyone experienced this? Anything would be helpful to know.

Thank you

peechesgirl profile image

Hi Faith-

I feel your pain literally! I first had viral meningitis in 2011 and then again in 2015. After the bout in 2015 I have constant neck pain. It's all through my upper back and neck deep within the nerves. I have been to numerous doctors who basically say the same thing that I should just exercise and everything should get back to normal. Massage does provide temporary relief. I do not want to start with a chiropractor, plus since this is more of a neurological problem I don't think that would be an appropriate treatment. For some reason doctors don't realize how lasting the symptoms are and they just shrug it off. All this to say, I'm still struggling for help too, but the best thing I think is massage. I just pray that the meningitis doesn't come back which I always feel it's on the verge when the symptoms get bad.

Faith8990 profile image

Doctors are absolutely clueless as to the pain this illness puts our bodies thru! My meningitis started back in august and i laid in bed for 3 months. I was originally diagnosed with migraines then they did a useless spinal tap a month after my symptoms appeared - which showed nothing. Bc as you may know, that will only works around the first two weeks. I had every single symptom and went on to have that awful neck pain for months. I tried everything! What finally worked for me was localized cryo therapy!! I dont know if it is bc the area gets so inflamed but having that freezing air blown on my neck area for about five minutes changed my pain level like nothing else i have tried!!! I highly suggest you try to find a place and try it out. I actually need to go back. I got this much relief after ONE treatment! I hope this can help others.....bc again the medical field doesnt seem to care to help us.

Tupshaw profile image

Did you have pressure in your head too?

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