After Whiplash, Could a combination of all of the symptoms mentioned be nerve entrapment?

by Gayle
(North east England, UK)

Hi, I was wondering if you could offer an opinion on my symptoms.

I was involved in a car crash 13 years ago which resulted in whiplash.

I hope it's okay if write this as a timeline of events.

I wore a collar for 4 weeks. Ever since, about 3 or 4 times a year I trap a nerve down the left or right side of my neck, into the shoulder blade, which is so painful I find it difficult to sleep compfortably, or turn my head to the side of the trapped nerve.

I cannot turn over in bed without 'throwing' my whole torso over, as turning with the neck first usually results in a trapped nerve.

It can be brought on by doing something as simple as drying my hair, or turning around. It takes 2 weeks to go away, and during these periods I have pain down my arm, but not really in the hand.

18 months ago I slipped at work and landed on a wooden floor, landing on the heels of both hands which I had put out to break my fall. Apart from the heels of my hands stinging a little, and a little pain in my neck, I had no other symptoms. About a month to 6 weeks later, I typed up a report for work, typing on and off for six hours, (I usually only do small amounts of typing at work.

I remember my hands aching a little as I did this. About 2 days later, I was aware of a strange burning sensation down both forearms, tingling, burning, itching hands, itchy sore tendons and itchiness over the carpal tunnel entrance to the hand, it was worse on waking in the morning, the burning in my hands and arm muscles alos woke me at night, and once I cooled my arms by lying them on top of the covers, it went away a little, although I never woke with clawed hands.

I also had aching joints in my fingers. This lasted for over 2 weeks, even though I wasn't doing anything repetative. I also noticed slight tinlging in my toes too.

I went to the doctors, and she said that she thought it might be repetative strain injury or mild arthritis, and to come back if the symptoms persisted. (I might also add that I was terrified that it might be MS, as one of the symptoms is pins and needles in your arms, and someone close to me has this condition and their quality of life is horrific, and even though the doctor said it didn't sound like this, every time any of these symptoms occur I begin to feel sick with worry)

From then on I would get ocassional pains, such a tingling when typing, itchy forearms, pain in the arm muscles, but only for a day or two.

Around the same time I also got a car and began to drive to and from work, a journey that only took 30 minutes or so. I began to experience a buring, painful itchiness down the side of my thigh muscle when driving, that would sometimes last all day. I also experienced aching finger joints. I Googled this, and it was a common thing that drivers could get, so I didn't worry about it tooo much.

I had very few symptoms last year, but at the beginning of December 09 i began to wake with burning, tingling arms and forearm muscles, every day, waking at night with burning arm muscles, pain in the thumb muscles, aching under the finger nails, buzzing in the finger tips it lasts all
day, and is still going on 7 weeks later, I also have pain in the leg muscle, even though I didn't drive for 4 weeks, and I have a tingly sensitive spot on my left foot that won't go away either. (I fell from a ladder about two years ago, landing on my left foot, I heard a lot of popping sounds, which I was later told may have been torn ligaments, I only rested it for a day, then went back to work with it bandaged, so maybe it is something to do with that).

I went back to the doctors again last week, and they again said they thought it was not MS, but repetative strain injury, and are sending me for tests in 8 weeks, time, but I'm so worried that I'm even thinking of going privately just to get it over and done with as I worried sick every time I wake up and the symptoms are still there and I don't do repetative actions, and can't understand why i'm getting this all the time. i do sleep in a funny position, with my hands under the pillow and my arms bent, so I'm trying to train myself to sleep on my back.

I don't think that it's just carpal tunnel syndrome, as I also get golfer and tennis elbow symptoms. I have looked at lots of stuff on the internet, and one of the things that keeps coming up is entrapment neuropathy, distant, reffered pain, from trapped nerves in the neck which can produce all the symptoms of carpal, golfers and tennis etc. so I'm wondering if it's maybe something to do with my neck after all.

It was also interesting to read that changes in pressure on body tissues can result in some of these symptoms, and I do sucba dive regularly.

I really want to get to the cause of the problem and not just treat the symptoms.

Anyway, i'm sorry to have gone on so much, but it was such a relief to find your site and read other people's experiences, I look forward to hearing from you, and I will try the ice therapy.

Gayle, North East England


Joshua Answers:

Hi Gayle.

The good news is, MS doesn't really run in families (more because families are in the same environments), and it is HIGHLY related to Vitamin D deficiency.

Easy fix. Get your Vitamin D level checked. And then get your level up into the 40-80 range.

Have whoever is close to you get their level up around 100, it is proven to decrease relapses (or however you want to say that)

Do read's MS and VItamin D information

Moving on.

Thanks for including the timeline and all the details. That saves a lot of back and forth.


Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Jan 28, 2010
PART 2 - After Whiplash, Could a combination of all of the symptoms mentioned be nerve entrapment?
by: The Tendonitis Expert


The bad news is, you're hurting and it feels complicated.

The good news is, it's not really all that complicated.

1. Get your Vitamin D level up pronto. This is cheap and fast and easy to do. Easy.

2. Start supplementing with Magnesium for Tendonitis and make sure to read about Magnesium Dosage.

You've been in pain, muscles have been super tight for long periods of time. Tight muscles use up a lot of Magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency equals shakey muscles, fatigued muscles, spasm and twitch, muscles being locked tight, etc.

I suspect you will notice a real difference from adequate oral Magnesium supplementation, and were I you, I would get some Magnesium Oil and start rubbing it into the front and back of the neck at least once a day (make sure your skin isn't sensitive to it before you go slathering it on).

Also, see what happens if you take an epsom salt bath. There's magnesium in epsom salts. You may find the bath extra relaxing.


3. This is the complicated part.

Your neck sounds jacked up. Specifically, your Scalene muscles are SPASTIC and TOO SHORT AND TOO TIGHT and your nervous system is freaking out about it.

Hello Whiplash!

So you have super tight scalene muscles on the front of your neck. Everything you describe is a perfect fit for that.

The 'Nerve Entrappment' you speak of is the nerve being stepped on by the Scalene muscles and local connective tissue.

That's just a matter of loosening up all the structure that's tight and compressed and crowding the nerve.

And you probably have some ligament level damage in the neck there in a variety of places.

This can be tough to self-treat, but not impossible.

First things first.

* Take care/start on the Vitamin D and Magnesium.

* Start doing the wiggles as described on the Whiplash page I linked to above.

* Ice pack as much as possible for several days.

Respond, ask questions, etc, and let me know what's happening. When you respond, I'll say more about the neck.

Mar 10, 2010
PART 3 - After Whiplash, Could a combination of all of the symptoms mentioned be nerve entrapment?
by: Gayle

Hi Joshua,

It's Gayle form North East England again, just a quick note to say thank you for your reply and to let you know how much it has helped me.

I have very few symptoms in my neck/arms/hands now which is such a relief! I still had quite bad symptoms when I read yor response, so I went out and bought a multi- vitamin with magnesium and B12 or 6, I can't remember which! I also got up in the night as soon as I woke with burning arms (instead of just lying there hoping it would go away!)and 2 minutes of running my arms under the shower and the burning reduced significantly, and I slept through for the rest of the night. I bought a memory foam pillow which has really helped with my sleeping posture and has meant I don't have to train myself to sleep on my back and I no longer wake up with a sore neck or shoulder muscles.

My chiropractor is really pleased with my progress and has extended the periods between my visits to once a month.

I am also seeing a sports' massage therapist who said that I have a little tendonitis in my neck, and rotator cuff in the shoulders and tightness/tearing in the buttock muscles which is causing the mild buzzing on the outside of my leg, as it is effecting the sciatic nerve all of which he can treat though massage.

I will keep you updated, thank you again for your support,



Joshua Comments:


Apr 04, 2017
Why do I still have pain behind my shoulder blade 6 weeks after injury?
by: Ana

I am a 22 female volleyball player who is generally in good health and have not previously had any issues with my shoulders or ribs.

6 weeks ago to this day, I was involved in a fight with the neighbours. I was mostly uninjured except that I had moderate to severe pain on my upper right side around my ribs, in my shoulder, and around my collarbone.

I assume that the injury occurred as I was trying to push the attacker away, but I don't remember exactly how or when during that fight I got injured.

I had an X-ray done and was told there was nothing wrong.

After still being in pain, I went to the physio to see if there was anything he could do to help. I was able to go through the whole range of motion with my shoulder with only minimal pain behind my shoulder blade and up my neck.

The physio thought I might have sprained a couple rib joints and said there wasn't a whole lot I could do for it.

I have been doing the exercises he provided but it seems like the pain has been about the same for the past couple weeks.

I've noticed that it tends to get worse if I am laying on my right side or using my right arm too much.

I've also noticed that even though I have a good range of motion, I get immediate pain trying to do anything remotely strenuous with my right arm (particularly when it's over my head).

That pain is almost exclusively behind my right shoulder blade with some pain going up the right side of my neck and through my collarbone.

As mentioned above, it is now 6 weeks and it seems like the pain has only gotten better to a certain point and refuses to completely resolve.

I've had an ultrasound ordered but the doctor doesn't think anything will show up. I'm still not even sure if it's something with my neck, rib, or shoulder.

So....I'd love to know if you have any thoughts on the matter?



Joshua Comments:

Hi Ana.

Why might you still have pain?

1. If you're a volley ball player, your shoulder and neck muscles etc get used a lot, and it's a safe bet they're too tight.

2. If you head whipped around at all (as it might in a physical altercation of most any kind) then you could have over stretched/over-contracted your scalene muscles (attaching cervical spine to collar bone and top ribs).

3. When a scalene get's problematically tight, it tends to stay that way for a good while.

Overly tight scalene(s) can cause referred pain in the shoulder blade, and can hurt around the collar bone, and because everything else gets tight to help support it, and due to pain enhancing chemical from the inflammation process, all sorts of pain/problem can result.

Your physio couldn't test to see if you had rib joint sprain??

So, with limited info to work with, from what you've described I'm going to go with 'neck' as the source of the problem.

I wouldn't look so much for 'injury' as for 'muscles locked too tight and that is causing significant pain and dysfunction'.

Why might something stay tight for so long?
A. lack of nutrition
B. something got pulled out of place and is sending a signal forcing the structures to stay in a bad/painful operation
C. the brain just does that sometimes

You might have a small tear or something, that's certainly possible. I'd but my dollar on too tight scalenes (imagine little muscle trapped in a cramp-level contraction).

If that feels right to you (too tight in the neck pulling on/causing problems elsewhere, I suggest you get the Reversing Whiplash Tendonitis program, as it covers exactly what you need to do for the nutrition, inflammation, and tightness.

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