Pain in the neck when up and awake but not when sleeping

by Dawn Roxanne
(Mississauga, Ontario)

Hi Joshua,

My problem sounds a lot like Amy's.

I woke up with a stiff neck towards the end of July and have had one every day since then (almost 4 months).

It is only on the left side.

When I move my head from side to side or turn it from side to side I get a sharp pain in the cords of the neck. The pain often extends up into the base of my skull and most often down into my shoulder and upper back (left side only).

I've had a cervical x-ray which did not show anything abnormal for my age (58.5 yrs, female).

I have had a lot of treatment ie muscle relaxers, ultrasound, some electro zapper thing, acupuncture, physio therapy, traction, massage, $200 Swedish neck pillow, cervical collar and over the counter anti inflamitories that actually give some relief but no cure.

The pain (sharp and jabbing) is worse in the morning; seems to retreat somewhat in the middle of the day (from about 1PM to about 8PM) and then returns not as bad but bothersome in the evening.

When I am not moving my neck around I am not in pain but the area feels thick (not to the touch, but internally).

Mercifully, I am able to sleep but once I'm up I have to deal with an aggravating pain in the neck for most of the day. I am a teacher so I have two months in the summer to relax
but this summer, because of a major presentation I was responsible for organizing and presenting the first week of September, I will admit that I was experiencing stress.

Do you think this is tendonitis?


Joshua Answers:

Hi Dawn.

It could be Tendonitis. But...I doubt it.

A Tendonitis and Pain Causing Dynamic, certainly.


1. I assume you saw a chiropractor in there too?

2. Do you have a history of Whiplash? Or any other head/neck trauma?

3. Any reason to suspect a thyroid issue or some weird cancer thing, since you said 'the area feels thick'.

4. What exactly did the massage therapist do?

5. Did you get -any- benefit from any of those methods?

6. Gotten your Vitamin D checked lately?

7. How's your diet? Nutritional supplementation?

8. Describe the pain in more detail. Who what how when where how?

9. Pillow wise, did you/do you sleep with big pillows, or little pillows?

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

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Comments for Pain in the neck when up and awake but not when sleeping

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Nov 24, 2009
What works for my pain relief
by: Anonymous

I use a bucky bodywrap and sleep with their duo bed pillow.

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