Thyroid UK
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I am a pain in the neck - possibly resolved

Having had upper spine and shoulder pain long term and coping with exercise and 'rubby in stuff' expected than the stiff neck and pain which started a year ago was just part of the multi various undiagnosable, that no amount of Vit D B's T4 would resolve...

Loads a money spent on pillows; wearing scarves and explaining to folk that I was not giving them snidey side glances but was restricted in movement and in pain was ticking me off. Had almost resigned myself to dowagers hump and hyper hoo and nobody cares or can cure me.....and

Then I had a 'moment' this pain started when I got my new varifocals a year ago. Different make of lenses than previously (cheaper..not that this always bad)was assured that these were of the same functionality as others.

What I did was, whenever possible, used off the peg ready readers for computer and hobbies and the stiffness and pain has eased so much (no more locking on one side) over the last few days..that I am convinced that in order to get things in focus with my varifocals have been developing 'unhealthy' postural habits causing the creaky neck. Not done this when shopping and have noticed after looking up/down/around in any shops pain was worse afterwards.

It would be wonderful if the right type of lenses were the solution however as anyone who wears specs knows buying the perfect lenses for you is not straightforward.

Anyone out there know what I am on about? Is it really worth buying Zeiss lenses how do you discern?

Here's hoping pain in neck is history? Maybe this a Q not a blog?


11 Replies

Hi Woolywyn, I get this too, also accompanied with teeth ache. Trying to sleep at night is when it's worse, and seems to coincide when i'm at optimal thyroid treatment. I sometimes wonder is it to do with the suppression of thyroid activity and the likes of calcitonin and parathyroid activity causing a calcium imbalance, but am yet to find any significant information.


Just looked up what you mention paul44. Had forgotten this function of thyroid. I have had severe jaw pain and locking thankfully only occasionally.

For now have found chinese remedy...rubbing ones neck furiously with back of a spoon!!? Some good comments here for me. Nearly one year back on levothyroxine and waiting for appointment to talk about T3..wyn


Being an Opticians sister and doing the accounts for her Independant practice of 23 yrs I had to comment on your comment Woolywyn. I'm not medically trained but know how we work and Daley do we have a rejection to our lenses chosen.

Know it's a bit off subject but you are right to question your specs.

You do get what you pay for in lenses sometimes, not all cheaper ones are bad but more crucial to which Varifocal lens is chosen is which one is right for you. Each lens type has different properties and a good dispensing optician will find a lens that suits how you sit, read, what activities you do and find a lens that fits in with you. Many opticians try and fit you into one or two types of lens because that's all their allowed to offer or want to.

The wrong lenses can have a huge impact, headaches, dizziness, balance issues, neck aches, nausea and so on. Which in turn can cause even more damage to our spines and nervous systems.

The point I'm really getting at is its a bit like trying to make us all take T4. One type of treatment does not fit all as we here are very aware.

Our dispensers first question when trying to pick a lens is usually, " show me where you like holding your book when you read". Not, "this is where you should hold your book" and so on.

I still hate wearing Varifocals but they do stop me bumping into things and I love my Office Specs.


Thanks Jacksatlast..knowing what to ask about and for is half the battle. Discussing it here has saved me some time and wasted money.

Will research more. i will start by talking to an independent least I now wont feel as though am waffling given what you say.



A while back I was offered bifocals - or even varifocals! So I did as I always do and had a search around. This revealed at least a significant number of people dissatisfied with the ones they had got and neck pain was well up the list of reasons.

Luckily for me, I don't really need reading glasses, so I simply got single focus glasses which have a gap at the bottom. That is, they are shallower than most people would choose and I can peak underneath easily enough if needed. But even with that compromise, I can find myself moving my neck and head in less-than-optimal ways and end up not wearing glasses most of the time. Plus restoration of a decent thyroid hormone level improved my eyesight noticeably.



This helps too. Will be moving the specs around on my nose and not sticking my neck out! As it is I look over the top when walking home in the dark...weird..feel I can see better.

Not found right dose of levo for me yet so there is hope on that front then?wyn


I have worn varifocals for years BUT the last 2 pairs have been horrendous and I keep going back to frames that are now over 6 years old as they are the only ones I can see out of properly. Now reverted to using readers for my computer and e reader, the old ones for TV and reading books and new ones for vanity when out to the shops. I have found that my varifocal sun glasses new prescription cheapest lenses are the best.


meki, it was great to just have one pair but with all the comments on here it seems I too will be going back to specs all over the place.

My cheapest Asda prescription sun glasses are good too but then the lenses are huge and turns out no good in strong sunlight as it gets in top.

Comments appreciated thanks.wyn


Had real problems a few years ago, finished up with a very painful trapped nerve. I did a similar analysis. It was computing with varifocals that was causing the trouble. Having the monitor at the normal height, causing me to tip my head back to read the top of the screen. The answer was to place the monitor at a much lower level. Instead of the top of the screen level with your eyes (the recommended position) I placed it level with my chin. Problem solved!!!


I was told not to wear varifocals with osteoarthritis in my neck as it would almost certainly make it worse. Hope all okay from now on.


Muffy sorry to hear that. This is what I hope I have not got. Lenses have developed and improved so much in short time but they are very expensive.

So from what you say it is well known that some varifocals can cause or make neck problems worse. thanks wyn


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