you need to see your chiropractor. or a D.O.- to help that out- kristin
Oh, I'm so sorry! Keep knitting as long as it works. Hope you feel better soon.
You have my sympathy. Take the day off. Baby your neck with a heating pad, and use the button on the telephone to amplify it, so you do not need to hold the thing to your ear. Maybe tomorrow will be better.
Please get that checked out- we don't want anything to happen to you. You are one of my most favorite blogs out there. Get well soon.
it was probably the weaving!
I actually had a similar thing happen to me about a week ago. It resulted in me passing out in the shower. Icing it seemed to work pretty well for me, if you haven't tried that already.
Please go to the doctor, and ask about physical therapy, and get an earphone for the phone. Your public needs you, and cares--Jenn
Had the same thing a few years ago. A chiropractor helps if he/she can use a machine to exhaust the muscles and make them relax. Also, really hard pressure with a large electric massager at the under-the-shoulder blade point helped when nothing else did.
Stephanie, you might want to invest in a headset for your phone - that way you don't have to bend your neck to hold the phone when you are madly knitting, etc.
I have that neck thing now and then. Don't put the phone between your ear and your shoulder. Hang on to it with your hand. That is hard on the neck after a while. Massage always helps me when I get that. Hope it goes away fast.
I'm going through the exact same thing with my left shoulder. My recomendation is heat packs, muscle relaxants and a trip to the chiropractor as I believe something is out of alignment.
I find that knitting is the only thing that makes the stresses go away and lets the muscles relax.
Another vote for the chiropractor. They can do wonderful things for bad necks.
It's very likely your SCM muscle which is attached at the exact spots you described (behind the ear down to your clavicle) AND helps turn your head in the opposite direction (so that's why your right side hurts/sears but you can't turn to the left). One thing you could try is having someone put a little pressure (on the spot where it hurts)while your head is turned to the right , then slowly turn your head to the left while they keep pressure on it to stretch it some. Do it slowly and with the least possible amt of pain. I'd work on you if you were closer! A DO/chiropractor could help too.
Emilie (massage therapist)
1) see massage therapist
2) buy headphone for telephone
3) investigate the whole VA thing (or pirate crew: http://www.fluentself.com/blog/stuff/structure-sanity-and-the-life-of-a-pirate-queen/)
4) knit more
5) write more
Oh! I had that last week. I blame the 17lbish baby who loves the sling. You could try some arnica pellets. That and time. And hey, if knitting helps, I say seize the day. Or yarn. Whatever.
I agree with Emilie about the pressure on the knot, but also recommend Mentholatum Deep Heating Rub. It smells like wintergreen and burns like stink at first, but it really helps get the spazzy muscles to settle down.
Knitting and your body have secretly teamed up to get you away from that floozy loom. It's a labor of love, but you are definitely worth the effort in their view.
Get thee to the massage therapist. And get a headset for your phone FGS. Hope you feel better very soon! (I'm afflicted with a similar pain running down under my shoulder blade... it's caused by knitting and spinning but I deny it and claim it's caused by working at a desk. Tho funnily it gets worse on the weekends. Hm.)
Massage therapists are the best!! And do buy a headphone. Watch out for the electric massagers - you can do more damage than good if you aren't careful. That isn't the gansey, is it?!
Wow---You had me worried there for a second that knitting had CAUSED the injury. That would be tragic indeed. Joe's gansey here you come!
OUCH!!! I've been there, may I too suggest a visit to the chiropractor and/or a massage therapist.
Ouch. I hate bizarre muscle pains that come out of nowhere. I hope it passes soon.
Oh no! I second Shell's suggestion. Try a heat pack between the shoulder blades and over the top of your shoulder. Also go for a hot shower for the back of your neck and upper back. This one's going to take a few days.
The reason knitting feels okay but other things don't, by the way, is because the angle of your hands is different from the angle when typing. I used to think that my neck pains were just psychosomatic (fear of work and desire to knit instead) until someone explained that one to me.
Please take care! You are the only one of you that we have.
I agree with Kelly above that a headphone set would be the way to go. If you were in the US, I would say that the $50 spent on the device would far outweigh the medical costs involved; but you Canadians have the radical leftist idea that supplying universal, competent medical care is good and socially responsible. However I think the pain, discomfort and lost writing time may also justify the expenditure.
Sounds like a torticollis - white hot lightning pain. Use a heating pad or lie back with a hot water bottle. This usually resolves in a day or so. Good luck!
Feel better, Steph.
Last week, when you were complaining about having no knitting time, I was down with a backache, and unable to do anything but knit. I hope your neck is better before you get as sick of knitting as I did.
In addition to all the excellent suggestions (massage, chiropractor, heat, ice). Tiger Balm (effective by stinky and available at your local drugstore) or Aubrey's E-Tomic Balm (better, less stinky, but you need to wait for her to ship it to you) are your best friend when this happens. Trust me, I know.
Here is the link for the E-Tomic balm: http://goodiesunlimited.com/neatstuff.html
yeah, the loom. right.
listen to your knowledgeable friends about muscle spasms, etc!!
do you like the hot sock cure? (rice in a cotton sock tied at the cuff, heated in a microwave, then resting over your aching shoulder/neck muscles)
and think serene thoughts ;-))
You have my entire sympathy. I have a torticollis on my right side and knitting is the only thing that doesn't hurt, apart from napping. I used to be prone to them but they had stopped for a few years. It's the second one this year so far. Grrr. *resumes knitting*
I agree...I think it's the weaving. First day I got my Flip RH loom, I worked on it for a few hours. Next day, upper back pain, starting in the neck. It took a few days to find the right position AND the right angle/chair.
Keep the knitting up, maybe the gentle movements of the needles will soothe your neck muscles...
One word...headphone. Every phone needs one.
I say do more of what doesn't hurt.
I had a similar situation, diagnosed as torticollis. Extremely painful, lasted for five weeks. Good luck
Get thyself to your chiropractor pronto! If not for my chiropractor of 30 years (who is also now my fiance - nice perk!), I probably wouldn't be able to hold my head upright. Just one of the many, many ways he supports my knitting habit!
Either massage and/or acupuncture should fix that right up. As others have suggested...a hand-free earpiece for the phone...or speakerphone. My productivity with everything goes up dramatically when I use the earpiece. And they need never know what multi-tasking is going on!! Take care.
The universe's answer to you saying you didn't have enough knitting time...sometimes you get what you ask for in unexpected ways.
You need a headset! I had the same neck thing when I started a job requiring a lot of phone time. The chiropractor fixed me up and I insisted upon a headset. I hope you feel loads better very soon, and that you get a lot of knitting done in the interim.
See if you can get a referral to a physical/occupational therapist. I have have problems over the past 15 years with tendinitis in various parts of both arms (related to rheumatoid arthritis & being a writer who had to type her own work & had to spew out 8-10 pages a day.) Nothing helped as much as the occupational therapy paid for through workers' compensation (& the TENS that she used). Interestingly enough, I too found that knitting was one of the very few things that did not make me feel wors!
Ouch - - well at least you can knit - - thank goodness for that. I hope you feel better!
Sounds like your having a reaction in your levator scapula. Which could be caused by trouble in a number of other areas. You should definitely see a massage therapist. If the problem is more serious, then a chiropractor, though it sounds more tissue than skeletal related. I'm actually in school right now for massage therapy in Los Angeles and have just finished my second level of deep tissue and hydrotherapy. For immediate self-care, I would suggest a castor oil pack (coldpressed/coldfiltered oil soaked into a piece of flannel) and gentle heat from a dry source like a heating pad, not a water bottle. You can put a piece of saran wrap and a towel or two between the oil and the heat source.
With the stress of all the work you've been doing with Sock Summit on top of everything else going on, I think a massage would work wonders. :-)
Well, you were saying you needed to find some more time to fit knitting in...
Sorry to hear about your neck pain. I've been dealing with this somewhat regularly as I've gotten older. A midwife and fellow neck-pain sufferer recommended Dr. Riter's Real Ease Neck Support and it has helped me quite a bit. I bought mine on Amazon but you can probably find one locally in stores that carry products for relieving neck & back pain. Hope you get some relief soon.
It probably has already been said by everyone else: 1) go to the doctor and get a referral for physical therapy; 2) immediatly buy a telephone headset; and 3) rest. You may need muscle relaxants. You probably need ice and heat, etc.
This will NOT go away by itself. Take care of yourself.
Does light bother your eyes? You sound like me when I had meningitis. Be very careful. Please.
Amazing. Remind me to call you the next time I need to justify my knitting as physical therapy.
Ouch!!! It sounds familiar, but mine always went away. The secretary at my school swears by the headset that has a button on it that allows her to pick up the phone "no hands" and then to talk while continuing some other desk task. She got it after being sidelined for 3 weeks with back pain that she tried having a chiropractor and an acupuncturist fix. Unfortunately, the pain was from a major blocked artery and she had to have a stent put in to open it up and restore the blood flow. Don't neglect it if it doesn't go away soon. Enjoy the knitting time.
Knitting rules! (and maybe some Arnica)
Ow ow ow. I had something like that happen a few months ago. I was twisted around removing armpit hair with my epilator. How's that for embarrassing? It took 3-4 days for the pain to go away, and muscle relaxants really helped with the spasms.
ouch! I've had that exact thing before. What helped me was ibuprofen and very hot showers. You don't have a shower though, right? maybe a heating pad will help.
Then again, knitting might be just the right thing after all!
Without wishing to disagree with all these worthy diagnosis, I think it is psychosomatic- you did cheat on your knitting, with a loom!, and now your inner being is MAKING you spend time with your life long partner, as recompense. Once your knitting feels loved and secure again your problems will disappear!
Get well soon enough .. enjoy the knitting meanwhile :)
I get that fairly often too, and agree with Janel that hot showers help...as does calling in sick to work and getting my little sister to bring me take out Thai food!
Glad you are still able to knit. Sometimes I can, and sometimes I can't. Am always able to watch DVD of Battlestar though!
What is that lovely thing you have on needles? That is a great grey.
I have been plagued by this problem off and on for years. I have this exact pain as we speak. In my case, it's caused by sinuses. Right now the pollen count is very high and you have sinuses in places you'd probably never guess including the back of the neck. Good luck!
Get a phone with a headset. It will work miracles!
Sounds like you need a headset for your phone, so no wedging between shoulder and ear needed.
Knitting - good for what ails ya!
Feel better soon!
What Jill Packard said. I had the same thing last fall--it was awful! Massage therapy cleared it right up. The bonus has been that I haven't had a single migraine since starting MT either.
Perhaps it's karma. You mentioned not having anymore time for knitting. Maybe the knitting Gods took pity on you.
That's just your body telling you that you haven't been knitting enough.
"I tried working. I tried typing. I tried housework." For yarn's sake, woman, is this your normal response to pain??? Hope you're feeling better soon.
A physical therapist did the trick for me. Of course, carrying a ton of stuff at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and playing with my new spinning wheel for six hours has brought back the dagger pain and the sparks in front of my eyes. Moderation, moderation, moderation.
Ouch indeed....Sounds a bit like a 'Frozen Shoulder'.....my osteopath sorted mine out... tho it wasn't instant..and gave me exercises to help in future!!!....result of a long ago whiplash injury :( Reflexology is good too......even if it just relaxes you enough to fall asleep....I never thought I'd be able to let someone 'reflex' my very ticklish feet, but it was great.
Knitting...the cure for what ails you!
I've been going to a Neuro-Muscular therapist for some alignment issues. It's a very, very painful form of trigger point massage but, dude, it is AWESOME. She's restored movement to me I didn't even know that I'd lost. Might be worth checking into...unless the knitting is making the whole thing worthwhile and you'd rather let the pain sort itself out while you finish a sweater.
Hi. I get this occasionally. I think a hot bath might help, or ICE, actually... gentle stretches from side to side, putting your ear down to your shoulder GENTLY one way, and then the other...and seeing a chiropractor asap.
Feel better soon. And ibuprofen. Kathleen
You know it is probably due to the weaving you did. You muscles are programmed for knitting not weaving!
I had that same thing, for pretty much the same reason. Massage, chiro, and a headset that plugs into your phone. Also have a lie down about halfway through your day (for about 30mins) to help take some of the strain of holding your head up.
Take care of yourself lady!
Chiropractors were practically the equivalent of a cuss word in our family after one caused irreversible back damage to my BIL. Nevertheless, I took myself to one this past winter when I experienced pain very much like what you described. Two visits and I felt great, and, in fact, have better range of motion than I did before the pain began. I found that knititng while propping my cell phone between my shoulder and ear was the likely cause of my problem. I now use my Bluetooth regularly and have not experienced any further problems.
I hope you heal well, and soon. I am sure you will find what is best for you. Sorry for the pain.
I have just tried that - and the only advise people had to me, was that I should not move my right arm and sit still some days. Yeah, right - my oldest is 3 and my youngest i 1 year old.
But I also discovered, that knitting did not hurt - since I knit continental (I think that is the right word - I learned knitting in Denmark, so I hope you know what I mean...)
Hope you get well soon!
Oh, the knitting gods are getting even with you for all the weaving you recently got into! Hope your taking to the needles will make the neck feel better soon.
Oh my gosh, I woke up with the SAME problem today! Horrible. Only mine is on the other side. I can't turn my head or sit up entirely straight and even 800mg Advils are barely taking the edge off.
I feel your pain. I am knitting too. Yay silver linings?
Sounds like a pinched nerve to me! I've had that problem several times, I could turn my head to the left, no problem, but if I tried the other direction I'd get shooting pains down my right arm!
I've always just found that it'll work it's way back to normal after a day or two.
Oof. Yeah, I've had that. If it's just a pinched nerve, which I usually managed to get from sleeping with my head in a weird position, it'll sort itself out in a day or so. But it's annoying as anything while it does the sorting :(
If it keeps up, though, definitely take care of yourself and find a doctor!
Ouch! Glad to hear the knitting is good. Sounds like repeated stress and stress of spinning too many plates.
Maybe some 'Thread the needle' or other suitable yoga poses to stretch things out -- or you could just keep knitting and ignore the rest....
I once came home from two weeks in Ireland (hauling heavy baggage over my shoulders and sleeping on an unbelievable variety of pillows) and could not turn my head to the left. A chiropractor fixed me up pronto.
Oh, my, that's not good. I would go along with all those who recommended massage ther... wait, wait, wait. That knitting. It's grey. It just couldn't be the g****y, could it? Nah.
Did the same thing years ago, only playing a trombone - same angle as the telephone, believe it or not. Very painful. Doc called it a pinched nerve and prescribed Valium. Not sure how the Valium worked, but I was so relaxed I didn't care about the pain anymore. Also went for a massage which was not relaxing and caused more pain, but helped work out the knots.
Try alternating heat and cool on the muscle. The chiropractor had me alternate 20 minutes of each several times a day when I was having back/hip pain. The heat relaxes the muscle and the cool reduces inflammation. The heat felt much better than the cold, but I sucked it up and did as told...
I won't try to give you any more good advice, but know we ALL care and do take care of yourself. A headset is marvelous-- you can then roam around, do projects, and KNIT while enjoying the phone for the first time in years.
From the Sock-Shaped State, Marjorie
I've had problems with back spasms in that area for years - the result of being a way-too uptight person. (Sad, but true.) The first time it happened, I woke in the night and found I literally couldn't move. Since then, I've discovered that the only thing that really works is lots of exercise. Anything to loosen it up and get it moving, but especially lots of rotation in the shoulders. The more you baby it...the worse it gets.
the pain in the neck MUST BE THE LOOM'S FAULT!!
Another vote for a headset for your phone. My mom gave me a cordless phone with a little thing in the side for a headset and it's awesome for knitting while on hold and stuff.
And so it was called the anti-claw. And it was good.
Hot showers. Analgesics. Lots of sleep and rest.
And potentially yoga. Sometimes yoga can loosen the muscles in my neck when I get like that.....
I've been having success with a physio who does IMS - intramuscular stimulation (with acupuncture needles). Maybe there's a PT in your area who does IMS.
Aww, I can (almost literally) feel your pain, having had my share of problems with neck, shoulders and upper back. A good massage, ice gel, and a few days of ibuprofen, and rest... And get the headset people recommended! On the bright side, lots of knitting time ahead if you need to take a few days off. ;)
By the way, I was surprised as hell to learn after all these years when different doctors and physiotheraphists have recommended varied daily excercise to me, that they have actually been right all along. I would never have guessed... ;) I haven't found a way yet to incorporate knitting to any of the classes at my gym, though.
And see that?! See how forgiving the knitting is?! It took you back even after that shameful episode with the loom. A LOOM for heaven's sake. We won't even speak about your REPEATED infidelity with the spinning wheel, that was bad enough, but a loom?! And, not that the knitting cares what the spinning wheel thinks, but how do you think the wheel felt when it saw you with the loom on your lap? I hope your daughter's didn't see you behaving like such a wanton. A whole scarf, Steph? How could you?
So now that you're hurt, who do you turn to? You don't see the loom OR the spinning wheel hanging around to comfort you when you're feeling lousy do you? It's the good old reliable knitting to the rescue. The knitting who has always been there when you needed it. It's the knitting that loves you even though it knows you're a Harlot. You just remember that missy, the next time you get the urge to play patsy fingers with a loom!
Like the other 100-odd commenters before me, as a responsible adult I'll tell you to go to a doctor, even though it's likely it's just sprained muscles. You can never be too careful.
Personally, though, as a knitter, I think it's called 'revenge of the needles'. They know you were *whispers* weaving.
I am afraid this is the revenge knitting has wrought on you for deserting to weaving!
Maybe you want a headset thingy for the phone so you could use it and knit at the same time without the need for a chiropractor afterwards. In the meantime I really think you should knock off the housework, just as a precaution you understand.
Chiro's scare me.
I'm currently doing PT for a locked up neck that was probably caused by holding a phone on my shoulder with my ear, so I can really empathize.
I've found the information on this site helpful: http://saveyourself.ca/index.php . Down to earth info on what works and what doesn't, with good research to back up the claims.
OK, I know 95 out of the 97 people that commented before me said head set but I'll just chime in too. They tend to be less than $10 and they free your hands up so you can knit while on the phone! I couldn't live without mine.
Actually, I put my cordless phone in my pocket, wear the head set and I can do dishes, cook, etc. while wearing them. It makes me a little more tolerant of people who like to chat on the phone a long time.
It's a sign from The Universe that you're not spending enough time knitting. Definitely take the hint (and stop with the housework already!!).
Just two words of warning:
1. If you get a prescription muscle relaxant, don't take anything else that has sedative side effects. I took a muscle relaxant and an allergy pill together last year, and had to spend a day in the emergency room, after I fainted and wrenched my back even worse.
2. Again, if you get a prescription muscle relaxant, don't do any cables or lace. Do garter stitch, or stockinette. Try anything complicated, and you'll just have to frog it once your mind is clear again.
Another person chiming in for the wonders of a telephone headset. I spend many hours at the paying job simultaneously talking on the phone and typing ... the headset is indespensible.
Then - my sweet father (who lives 1,000 miles away) gifted me with a headset for the home telephone. It's a gift for the both of us as now I don't have to choose between knitting and chatting with him. "Let's do both!"
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Hot stone massage-and some acupressure. Have a friend or neighbor with a hot tub??
Those spasms can make even a grown woman with teenagers cry for mercy.
Hope something works for you-keep trying all suggestions til you find your solution.
A headset for the phone sounds like it might be a good investment.
Stephanie....try ice, had both shoulders fixed with surgery, ice is your friend, even a bag of peas will work....feel better!
Let me get this straight.
You had an affair on Knitting with Weaving. Suddenly you have a pain in your neck and the ONLY thing you can do while having this pain is knit.
Coincidence? I think not. *eyes Knitting curiously*
I agree that weaving may be the culprit. Every time I work on my RH loom I end up with some sort of shoulder/neck/back ache. Glad the knitting is okay and hope you heal soon!
Seriously, don't do the ear-phone-shoulder thing. I ended up pinching a nerve that caused half of my hand to go numb and it took several weeks to work itself out. Get a headset and work hands free. It also works great for when you want to get some knitting in and a long-winded relative calls.
I'm having the same problem but with my left side. I had a friend that is a massage therapist come over on Friday and she worked on me a bit. She suggested that I do a stretch to help. Go to a doorway and place your hands on the side. Then step through the door as far as you can and hold the stretch. Repeat with your hands at different heights.
When you figure out a solution, could you email me? Been dealing with a similar problem - but on the left side - for ages....
At least you can still knit. Follow all of the advice you are comfortable with, and know that this too shall pass away.
PS It is my personal fear that someday I'll develop a physical kink that substantially limits my knitting. Shudder.
I'm so sorry for your pain. You're lucky. Knitting is actually the main thing that causes me to have neck pain and pinched nerves. But I do it anyway because I love it so. My chiropractor and I are on a first name basis.
Chiropractor! A Non Directional Force Technique-practicing one, to be precise. Not Low force, No force!
Please go to the Doctor! He/she will find out what is wrong and recommend/send you for the appropriate treatment. Doing the wrong thing could make things much worse. Don't try to be tough and put up with it. We moms need to take care of ourselves like we do our families, and I for one take much better care of my family than I do of myself. It is an occupational hazard.
Yes, headsets are AMAZING! I'm quite bummed that our current phone has no headset jack, AGHHHHH! I would also recommend considering a chiropractor, but then, I DID work for one for five years, LOL! IAC, feel better soon... (And take advantage of the knitting time!)
I hope you'll get well soon! Keep going with knitting.
What they said. Esp. the ice and the stretches. In addition, a cervical collar may help. It allows your head/neck to COMPLETELY relax. I've had this problem on and off for years and finally, the rheumatologist suggested the cervical collar/neck brace and I haven't had a problem since. I wear it when I can feel my neck is tired or starting to hurt and presto-the pain goes away. You can get them at the pharmacy with no RX. Hope you have a speedy recovery. And I DID notice the gray yarn... That isn't the Gansey, is it?
Self refer yourself to a pysiotherapist ... chiropractic stuff scares me (crunching is a bit frightening) - a pysio. will give you some massage, some deep heat (or maybe ice) and will set you on your way with some excercises to do to keep the muscle loose.
I have neck issues from typing and spinning, (and my pysio. thought from knitting, and told me to stop - I did for 10 days ... the hardest 10 days of my life - and the pain GOT WORSE! Knitting was helping! LOL!), and now I knit with rest breaks, and am mostly fine (unless I do a marathon session to get something done by a deadline).
I wish you a good day, with no pain.
From your friendly physical therapist:
-use any antiinflamatories that you typically use. Try to keep them "on board" for at least a day or two.
- use ice if you can tolerate it at all. You can use a bag of frozen veggies, personally that does not give enough numbing. Freezing a two liter bottle with water in it is good, it fits along the neck quite well. Put a thin layer between your skin and the ice. You want to feel the numbing. This will also decrease inflamation, and can assist in stopping spasms.
- Do gentle neck motions, in all directions, side to side, forward back, circles in each direction, shoulder shrugs, shoulders back. Do these just to where you first feel the pain. Do at least 10 in each direction, you can do more. This will increase blood flow to the area, which will help flush out toxins, which are part of the viscious circle of pain and spasm.
Hope you feel better soon!
I am sorry you aren't physically well. I hope it subsides soon.
I would like to know what you really thought about weaving. is the loom yours to keep/ Will you be doing more weaving?
Can you make things in one width or does it vary? I am so intrigued but know that i don't need another hobby. maybe you can tell me how much it really stunk.
Sounds like a muscle spasm; pulls your shoulder up to your ear and hurts a lot? Heating pad alternating with ice, ibuprofen and have someone rub the opposite side (the side not scrunched up) and gently stretch against the pain. Takes a few days to go away the earlier you recognize it and more proactive you are the sooner you get relief.
Ice every 4 hours for the first 48 hours
Ice alternate with heat the next 48 hour
Anti inflammitory (OTC -over the counter)three times a day (about every 8 hours) with the last dose before bed ( as long as you can tolerate it.. ( Pharmacist will help you with the right choice...)
Check your pillow ....
Check this site- www.plantronics.com or your local phone store for a hands free head set (- it will be one of the best business investments you will make... )
See medical help if not settling in 3 days..
Bill will be in the mail - lol :) Mau
I hope you have a shawl at hand that you can wrap around your neck and shoulders. Warmth is usually doing good and will relieve pain.
I also did this number to myself by doing housework with the phone crooked in between the shoulder and ear. Very very bad pain. But seriously, I am the nth vote for a headset. I don't answer my phone without it anymore. That way I can just keep on knitting or doing whatever I was doing.
P.S. Please rest and get well soon. You are a very important person to all of us. I send my best get well vibes cross the world for you.
I won't offer advice, I'll just send good thoughts your way and hope that you feel better soon.
Get a headset for your phone!
I second the comments about the chiropractor and phone headset. For someone as busy as you are, you can't afford to be set back like this. Plus, you'll need every advantage you can get with those teens!
I've had the same problem--and I can't emphasize this enough: phone headset. Seriously. I now have a bunch laying around the house--you can get cheap ones for under $10 US here. It has eliminated a long and painful series of pinched nerves and other neck pain. Don't phone without one!
See a chiropractor. If the cost is prohibitive, check out a massage school for a lower-cost massage. Heck, if you can afford it, do both. Then hie thee to a store and purchase a headset for the phone. Headset = no more pretzel neck. In the meantime try alternating ice packs and a heating pad. If the knitting helps keep your mind off it, knit on. Hope you feel better soon.
I've been a telephone operator for 40 years!!! GET A HEADSET if you're on the phone more than 6 minutes a day. They were invented, back in the day, to keep BOTH hands free to work those old switchboards with the cords. (I remember them well!) Hands free means comfortable knitting, too.
Take care of yourself. --Petunia
Radiculopathy. Nerve root pain. Stop it. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories if your stomach agrees. Nobody knows if heat or ice is better. Stop the offending motions.
I second, third, and thousanth the suggestion to get thee to a highly skilled chiropractor and to a masseuse. Seems you have this flair up every time you're working the hardest, and so need to get it under control and have professionals you can call when it flares up like this.
Then again, an excuse for warmth on the neck, relaxing a bit, and catching up with your old friend knitting can hardly be discounted.
Hope you're feeling more yourself very soon.
Thank goodness you can knit! I hope you heal quickly. Take care of yourself!
I get that sometimes - feels like an intense muscle cramp in my eardrum?
PS. Is that's Joe's gansey in the picture?
Bet you're sick of all the unsolicited advice, eh? A short term solution that will allow you to function for at least a few minutes at a time, depending on the severity is traction. Place your hand on your cheek on the offending side and slowly turn your head to push against that hand, while also pushing against your cheek with the hand. It can sound scary if you've got spasms going, but it's magical. The pain WILL lessen for a little bit and the spasms will subside for a few minutes. Hugs! I really feel for you! I had a nerve pinched in my neck that set off spasms that I found FAR worse than labor and childbirth. Go get fixed. NOW!
One word for you: headset. Or two: Bluetooth headset. You can roam, baby!
Sneding virtual massage.
A muscle is in spasm, and it's putting pressure on a nerve. Take an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen or aspirin) and then put a heating pad on it for 20 minutes. (The formula is "20 minutes on, 2 hours off" for heat therapy.) If it is still bothering you tomorrow, put an ice pack on it for the same formula. And rest.
Ditto the above post regarding Ibuprofen and heat. In addition a visit from a tall, handsome masseur named Sven might be in order. (He's my imaginary knitting friend, but I'd be willing to share). So... what are you making with that lovely grey yarn?
Poor Stephanie! I think it's SS stress. You go along thinking that you're doing okay with it all but your body has its own ideas. A pretty major reason why the SS is such an outstanding success is because you (and the rest of the SS team) have poured so much of yourself into it. Now you've gotta give yourself a BIG atta girl and relax, or at least not worry anymore about it. It will be great, we will love it, we love you, and would really like you to enjoy yourself... and not be twisted up into a pretzel!
... you also might want to get one of those in-the-ear phone thingies... and a beer ; D
- Denise (aka dlotter on r)
I had that, likely a result of too vigorous a yoga pose. Acupuncture saved me. I highly recommend it.
- get a headset for your phone
- take some painkillers; put ice (or was it heat?)on your neck
- go to a good chiropractor, several times
- get a massage, several times.
No need for muscle relaxers.
Hope you feel better soon.
You've gotten lots of good advice so I'll just say feel better soon! Pain like that is no fun at all.
Ouch! I had that Robocop thing a couple of times in my life and and and and I still can´t speak of it. It´s too painful even to wear a head on top of the neck!
Apparently halasana is said to improve it, but altough I was told this when I was in my Robocop version, I couldn´t even imagina myself doing it - visualizing alone was painful.
I hope you get better soon (but then again, if you can knit... well, soon enough!). Ice+hot water bottle, maybe?
I use an ergonomic phone rest, similar to the one linked to above, when I'm on the phone. It helps with that phone induced shoulder/neck/back twinge.
Dearest Harlot, I have not time to read all the caring comments, so this may be a duplicate. I have had spasms just like this off and on most of my life. The thing that I finally found that REALLY WORKS is to lie down on an ice pack between the shoulder blades for twenty minutes, or until the area the ice touches (through your clothing, of course) is numb. Now THAT's some magic. Don't run out to buy ice packs from the pharmacy, waaaay too spendy for not-yarn, and don't even sacrifice the frozen peas in the wee bag. Take a gallon zip lock freezer bag, pour in two cups of water and one cup of rubbing alcohol. Measurements must be exact. Zip it closed, squeezing out as much air as you can. Place it inside another gallon zip lock bag and close that one the same way. Freeze hard. The gunk inside the bag will turn to icy slush that will conform to your curves and do the job, and can be re-frozen and used for years.
Wishing you well, and take better care of yourself please. Sock Summit is not so important we can lose you over it!
hmmm.. the gods of knitting obviously want you to get off the phone and get back to your needles! you simply must concede defeat and obey..
Ha ha, I guess you should be careful what you wish for - you did want more knitting time!
Seriously, though, I hope you feel better soon!
Oh Stephanie, I did the same thing - clamping phone with shoulder/ear and typing. Messed up my neck good. Please see a Dr. and never never hold your phone between your shoulder and your ear... mom speaks! take care!
I blame the weaving. It had a terrible effect! ;-) (I had a workers comp claim for stuffing my neck up on the phone listening to unemployed poeple abuse me for not paying them.)
When my neck does that, I trot off to my chiro, very carefully twisting my torso to look to the affected side. She works wonders on me!
Find the source ot the pain --it will come back and usually a time that you don't need to deal with a pain in the neck. Women tend to deny, rationalize pain. Find a great
folllow with a therapy massage
JUST DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Go get a massage! We LMT's can do wonders with neck pain. Chiro's are good, but if the muscles are still in knots and tight like bridge cables it'll pull you right back out of alignment. If only I were somewhere near Canada, I'd give you one for free =)
next time you are in Texas... look me up =)
well, I'm a huge believer in the emotion/mind-body connection. And neck pain usually is a symptom of being inflexible or unable to see the other side of something.
Figure out what you're being inflexible about, heal that, and your neck will get better!!
Okay - was going to say the Stiff Neck thing I had as a kid, it lasts about a week -- but that spasm thing is really odd. Sounds like you ought to get in to be seen, anything that causes your nerves to spasm uncontrollably like that shouldn't be allowed to let go for too long. It likely is nothing, but it could be something nasty lurking undder the surface--Michael J Fox's condition started with a spasm in his pinky one morning...
I won't give you any more advice because you've gotten lots of it, but I'll give you my sympathy because pain sucks! I hope you feel better soon!
Steph....... your knitting needles KNOW you betrayed them with the loom the other day. Your pain (as bad as I feel for you) is a direct result of your needle betrayal and enjoyment of another yarn-related-object-of-your-affection. Feel better, gf...... and don't ever leave your needles alone again!
Three words for you:
Your neck, shoulder and ear will thank you!
Ouch. Trigger point. I agree with Emile. You might consider checking out:
worked well for me.
This is a repeat, but I think you are the kind of person that needs to be told certain things repeatedly. Don't ask how I knew that. Something about repeatedly ignoring pain or repeatedly ignoring socks that are the perfect size for giants or--wasn't there a sweater incident in the not too far off past.
Anyway, find a good chiropractor, a good massage therapist and a good headset. If you are lucky, you can find the chiropractor and massage therapist in the same office. I have an appointment with my pair tomorrow.
one of the other posters has it -- revenge of the weaving :)
Both of my shoulders hurt, but that's because they are not used to using crutches... which is due to breaking my ankle two days ago. Definitely more knitting time in my future!
Yowza, that really sucks. Hope you are feeling better soon.
I hope you feel better soon!
You have gotten tons of Western medical advice already - but here is the Oriental Medical perspective (which explains why knitting helps). One of the meridians (energetic pathways) that run through the affected area is aggravated by the "go, go - busy, busy lifestyle" and other frustrations that you have recently been experiencing. The other meridian in this area likes balance in all things... work/play, activity/rest, give/receive, doing/being. Knitting is one way you come back to yourself and find balance - yoga is another. Some yoga poses to help would be "thread the needle" (for hips), supine spinal twist, eagle arms, and then some kind of back bend like supine bridge.
( Shiatsu practioner (acupressure), deep tissue bodyworker and yoga teacher)
I was going to write something like non-stop weaving causes muscle pain, but instead I will vote with those who say go to a "physiotherapist." (I am a PT in the states). Especially since you have both direct access and a national health plan.
Feel better. Don't knit too long in the same position. Take posture breaks (and motrin).
Oooo- not fun. A pain in the neck can be..... a pain in the neck. I get it doing too much mousing, or weeding, or massaging someone else's.
Rest, massage from a man's thumb, not less than 800 mg Ibuprofen, and maybe a muscle relaxer, if not Rx, then Scotch, but with plenty of water on the side... and some arnica salve...and an easy enough knitting project to go with all or any of the above.
Best in healing!
OOOH, lucky! The last time I did something like that to MY neck, I could do everything EXCEPT knit! And turn my head, obvi!
Hope it passes soon, unfortunately I don't have any advice on how to make it go away faster . . . actually, if you find secret cure, please share!
I get that all the time when I knit or crochet. I have hubby run his fingers down next to my shoulder blade and find where the muscle is knotted. I have him put pressure and "iron" out the knot. Usually within 10-15 minutes my neck is moving nicely again...it's tender, but it is moving. By the next day...it's gone. I always get the same knots...and I just pay attention to what my massage therapist does...and in a pinch...crown hubby as my therapist and have him do the search and fix. It holds me until my next appt.
I think you had better try 3 ibuprofen! But happy knitting : )
(The knitting part I mean) ;-)
I fused the small facea in my neck with too much phone holding. Neck massages and strenghthening excercises from a physiotherapist eventually helped out. I feel for you. Best of luck and wonderful wishes for a speedy recovery.
Ice is good for that kind of pain. My chiropractor says "Heat is for stiffness. Ice is for pain." It works great. Trust me.
And if you can't be bothered to get to a massage therapist, but you can co-opt a daughter, here are some active releases that might help:
Lie face up. Have Your Assistant rest their hand against the right side of your head. Slowly, VERY GENTLY turn your nose towards your right as you breathe out, into the person's hand. That will get some of upper traps/levator scapula. You can do that twice.
Lie face down and have someone push straight down directly on the shoulderblade. Wait 30 seconds. That should mobilize the shoulderblade.
Lie face up, put shoulder blade at most ear-towards-shoulder comfortable point. Have someone squeeze from shoulder in towards midline (sternum). That should release the collarbone joint.
(With love from a New York city massage therapist)
telephone wireless headset - as much as that means I talk more on the phone that I'd like to, it keeps my neck somewhat limber. Hope your necks eases up soon, happy knitting.
You need a chiro with a pro adjuster machine.
I'm going twice weekly right now.
My neck tries to live in the back of my skull.
My shoulders try to live in my neck.
Been being on the phone a lot lately too does not help. But all of a sudden you can't wear a pony tail...or have your sunglasses on top of your head or even have your purse on your shoulder any more. This has been me for 2 weeks now. It comes and goes. I'm having a bad bout of it currently.
The original injury happened when I was loading groceries into the back of a Jeep Cheokee. The hatch came down on my head. 6 years later I still get this nasty neck disease once in a while.
When all the help I can afford isn't enough I take ibprophen and skelatxin.
Plan b- Step 1- send daughter to massage school and step 2 hire her as your personal massage slave....haha!
Looks like I am "out-voted", but I figured you were going to tell us, at the end of your post, that you had polio.
Whew! I am sooo relieved.
Happy knitting (as therapy) and all the best,
Since you live in a civilised country with universal health care, please see a doctor. Please.
One word: HEADSET
Get a headset for your phone. Shoulder/ear phone is really bad and even holding it in your hand to your ear will aggravate things if you're all ready miserable.
Actually, get three headsets. So there's always one around.
This is experience talking (my left should was oddly stuck in my left ear for way tooooo long).
Oh, yeah, and don't let a chiropractor "manipulate" your neck, unless you think having a stroke is a good idea (yes, arteries in your neck can be damaged by chiro neck "manipulations" resulting in strokes, at any age).
Exactly the same pain with me and the same timeline too.
My sweater is looking so good, and if I can move wednesday it will be ready to wear to knit night.
O dear, Stephanie - the knitting gods revenge! I found that an icepack (a bag of frozen peas) works most times. Otherwise - you are just going to have to go visit your local doctor - something I avoid if at all possible. And yes - knitting does help - cures what ails you - though gin helps, too!
I know you have been told before but...
Working for years in a call center taught me the advantages of using a headest. Free hands (for typing or KNITTING) and no neck pain. Nowadays I don't even hols my cell phone... only use it with the headset too...
But then again... strange how a knitter's mind works isn't it? Hours of waiting in a dr's office? Hurray, knitting time!!! A train trip taking hours? Oh good, I will knit! Stuck in the metro? I hope I didn't forget to put my knitting in my bag! I can't move around witouth pain? At least I can knit witouth feeling guilty!
1. Stop doing whatever hurts
2. Slap an ice pack on it.
3. Get thee to your doctor who will most likely give you anti-inflammatories to reduce the swelling.
4.get thee to a chiropractor.
5. GET A HEADSET or it will just come back worse.
6. This will all take time (a few weeks)so knit.
You should definitely see a doctor or chiropractor about this! Traveling pain and spasms are not something to trifle with.
Ice it, wear that gorgeous cashmere cowl to make it feel better, and go to the doctor, please! for the love of wool!
i'm a massage therapist & this is what we specialize in--soft tissue injury. don't do pills. get a massage. use reflexology & gently rub the shaft of both big toes for 10 min or so. no lie--it will loosen up your neck. please believe me, i've been doing this for 25 yrs. and alternate hot & cool (no ice). no more than 10 min each. it's common misinformation to ice it for 20 min. that will only cause your muscles to constrict & tighten up. let me know if this makes you feel better. also, epsom salts in the bath. sucks all the toxins out through your skin so your muscles can detox. cheap, effective, & nontoxic.
Ouchie!! Sounds like a pinched nerve. I had one once and was given alot of drugs. If I had taken them as prescribed I wouldn't have been able to form coherent sentences much less continue to work. I highly recommend Ibuprofen, or your pain relief of choice, and lots of hot baths. Followed by glasses of wine, which I supposed could be your pain relief of choice.
Knitting made me actually clean parts of my house that otherwise would probably never get cleaned (like under the couch and other dark - and apparently filthy - corners) as I searched for some missing needles that I suspect my 2-year-old "hid" somewhere. Knitting for the win!
Not all pain gets better/goes away by itself! You might want to get that checked.
We don't want our Harlot to be ouchy.
I did the same thing in January - rubbed my sore neck. Got the same result. Lesson learned : don't rub sore neck. Hope you feel better soon.
Is this ""knittings"" way of getting you back to your first love and away from the weaving etc? It's a mean trick and sure hope that now you have the needles clicking again you get well SOON.
I don't want to get into anything graphic here, but you need to get that checked. A moist heating pad while you are knitting might help too.
Been there, done that.
MASSAGE THERAPIST. I couldn't even knit until she unkinked the muscles.
But hopefully you'll find something that works for you. She blamed it on having the phone on my shoulder and using the mouse and keyboard at the same time. I think she was right!
Maybe this is your chance to catch up on some of those UFOs you mentioned recently. Like... dare I say it... the Gansey? (How many years have we, your faithful readers, been waiting for that? Oh, and Joe too.)
everyone has already given much advice...so of course I have to as well! take some kind of anti-inflamatory around the clock for a few days, advil or something similar.
Stephanie, I really hope that this clears up for you very soon. This is sounding too much like my life and you don't want to go there... it lead to not being able to knit for 10 years!!!!
It's time for the phone head set so you won't put that neck out again and I highly recommend MASSAGE to release the tension built up in the muscles. Maybe you could knit while the massage therapist works you over :)
Apply one or more cats to the affected areas! Need to consult with cats first! I agree with all the other comments, especially chiropractic and massage therapy! Hope you feel better soon!
Oh noes! As much as it's nice to have a good excuse to knit all day, maybe it's a good idea to see a doctor? And girl, you need a headset for your phone! It makes it so much easier to walk, knit, clean, etc., when you're on long phone calls. =)
Ouch! Sounds like you have a case of torticollis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torticollis). I have this chronically and found much relief from the chiropractor and massage. Oh, and anti-inflammatory over the counter meds for the pain! Moist heat can help as well. It can come from repeatedly holding the phone between your head and ear. The muscles don't like that position at all, so you'll want to get out of that habit. Then, to aggravate that area further, you may have slept on it funny. There are pillows you can buy that fit the healthy contour of your neck. They do help. Ultimately, you should see a chiropractor or an osteopath to get it looked at and your spine/neck adjusted, or else over time your discs will fuse together causing greater problems.
Good luck and hope you find relief soon! At least you can knit!
I'm going to put in a plug for osteopathy here. You are unlikely to find a DO in the TO, but there are lots of DOMTPs and DOMPs around. If you are worried about chiropractic care, keep in mind that there are lots of different ways to "adjust" a neck - you certainly don't have to do the high-velocity thing. And opt for cold over heat. Just avoid anything too heavy. Even a hand towel soaked in cold water and wrung out (to drape around your neck) can help with inflammation. (and FGS, enough with the phone between the ear and shoulder!!)
Oh dear. . . I concur with the massage recommendations. I am fortunate enough to have a massage therapist in the family & she does magic. It still requires some time after massage for the muscles to feel better. Are you getting enough calcium? Magnesium? Could you get a bluetooth for your cell phone?
Hope you're better soon.
p.s. Are we working on the same sweater? Mine is green. (Ravelry "Bellinghamster".)
You should go to a doctor (advise I hand out but never follow myself). Hope you feel better soon.
Massage therapy is a wondrous thing...
Then go buy a headset for the phone!
Oh. The dreaded neck pain. Knit on Steph!
I haven't read past the second paragraph -- just had to give you an award. You are one of about six people on the planet who know that it's "bated breath" and not "baited breath." Yay!!
Don't know how I got that comment in the wrong place -- it was meant for the blog entry about the $65 dishwasher repair. Sorry!
OMG. You see, the knitting goddess is taking care of you. Fixed appliances and more knitting time, just when you needed them most.
I have to put in here, I LOVE reading your blog. Most days I get a good belly laugh, or at least enough giggles that I feel that I have gotten a good workout for my tummy muscles, and my whole day feels lighter. Thank you for putting in the effort to make us all smile. It is a light at the end of the tunnel some days. And others, just the icing on the cake. I have been reading since you wrote about a trip to New York, and finally coming to understand the reason why New Yorkers must honk. Honk until you feel better. I think I fell off my chair laughing that day, and knew that I had found an online friend.
Interestingly, I have the exact same pain but it was caused from stepping on my shovel after planting a rhubarb plant. The handle came up and hit me on the side of the head, planting a big goose egg over my right temple. The jerk from the shovel attack put my whole right side out of kilter. You don't think you were planting rhubarb in your sleep do you?
I love how we all repeat each other in the comments, but I cannot help myself and I do not have time to read through all the comments to see if my suggestion has been made. You can ignore it if it has! (That is, if you yourself make it all the way down to this comment at all!)
First, you must go to the doctor, before the chiropractor. It sounds like you have a muscle spasm and need medication. I have had countless muscle spasms -- stress and tension and then the muscle just goes, and it's usually my neck.
Of course it is important to look at why the injury occurred in the first place, but right now just get rid of the pain. A strong muscle relaxant (Baclofen) at night combined with Naproxen has always been my best bet. Hot showers, baths, massages, etc, are also nice, but you will be in pain a lot longer if you only go that route!
Good luck! Don't let it spread to your knitting muscles! I can't wait to attend the Sock Summit and take the class of the woman who helps knitters develop habits that prevent muscle and joint injury, especially carpal tunnel. (You can tell I've had issues if that class is at the top of my list!) Cheers! You are often responsible for the only laugh in my entire day.
You can get these weird plastic thingies you attach to the phone's handset which will prevent you having to half kill yourself when you're holding the phone with your shoulder - but the best thing for it is to get a phone which allows you to put it on speakerphone so you can talk AND knit at the same time without putting your neck in to spasm.
Seriously, though, it can end up in something called torsion, which can mean your head and shoulder cramping up together AND STAYING LIKE IT, and the only solution is surgery to release the tendons etc etc. All very messy and painful stuff, so prevention is better than cure..............
yoga stretches then a hot shower. While you are in the shower with hot water spraying on your neck write the alphabet with your nose. Trust me it feels good! M
Honey, you need a headset! They're not expensive (I got one for about $22), and if you spend any time on the phone while trying to do something with your hands, it will pay for itself in mere minutes. Plus then you can knit with abandon whilst on hold... or talk to your sister while you do the dishes... :)
Try handsfree phoning, or speakerphone, and a laugh yoga club to loosen up.
Dude. Listen to everyone and get a headset. I cannot live without them, and nor should you.
that happened to me once it went away after a few days i think i must have yanked a muscle in my sleep. feel better soon
I recommend Deep tissue massage, which is what my chiropractor does 99% of the time when my neck is killing me. It goes like this: Have someone you really trust do a Spok where your neck and shoulders meet (as in both sides at once) and squeeze like all get-out. He/she should squeeze hard enough so you feel like yaking. This should be done 5 times to the count of ten. When done, =you= should drink a huge glass of water.
(This massage saves me $20/visit)
Oh, and the next time this happens have someone check out the sore spot. He/she will probably find it a bit warm to the touch and maybe even red. This is the Spok spot waiting to be abused. By the way, if you ever feel a headache inching its way over your head towards your eyes, this means the neck/shoulder pain is about to begin again and you should look for your Spock.
If you have no one to do the massage for you, stand on a step-up stool under a doorway and push up on it with your neck/shoulder area. Make certain you do both sides or you'll be lopsided.
This is a little late, but at least you'll have something to try if it happens again.
I didn't read through all the comments so not sure if some one may have already mentioned this. I get pinched nerves in neck and shoulder on a fairly regular basis as I do beadwork for a living and knitting for fun. So one shoulder always seems to get tighter and tighter until a vertabrae in my neck gives out. The hot and cold is a good idea then use a "Thera-cane". It's a wonderful cane shaped object with knobbly ends so you can put pressure on areas that are hard to reach. I think Gaiam sells them. The tight muscle is usually somewhere under the shoulder blade and you can hold the theracane there and move your neck to stretch. Chiropractic and deep tissue massage do help but I've figured out how to handle it on my own as $70-100 a pop were often not an option. Yoga and the Theracane work.
See you at the Sock Summit!
Get a headset!!! This is sure to help your neck in the future. Those of us who work in the phone have them. It's ok for "civilians" to use one, too.
*Levator scapula* -- I'm having similar trouble on opposite side and this was my chiropractor's word on the subject.
Wow! That sounds like an ambitious week to me, and way more than I can could get done! But not many are as slow or get sidetracked as easily as me. Love your sweater! But you probably won't need it until you hit the airport when arrive back home.
As one who has felt your pain (literally), I have four suggestions:
1. No refined sugars. (Depletes calcium in the body and causes muscles to spasm.)
2. Lots of chlorine-free water. (Between 1-2 ounces per pound of body weight daily. Clean out those muscles!)
3. 1-2 quarts of Red Raspberry Leaf tea daily. (Tons of iron, calcium & potassium--it's the only thing that would get my back to STOP spasming. It's magical.)
4. Go see a chiropractor. Find a good, gentle one. And go back.
Among those four, you'll be pain-free in a day or two, and back to good as new in a week or two.
Meanwhile, knit. :o)