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Pain Management

Relaxing Neck Muscle

01/24/2008

Question:

I have constant tension in my left side neck muscle. I go to a pain management doctor who has done trigger point injections on this muscle which did nothing and he also has given me muscle relaxant medications to help. The muscle relaxant does little for this problem. Can you please tell why this muscle will not relax?

Answer:

Often, the muscle is tense because a nerve is telling it to stay tense. A common cause of muscle tension is herniated disc and facet related pain. Facets form the joints on the back of the spine and like any other joint, they can be involved in arthritis and that can result in muscle tension. The pathology is rarely in the muscle.

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Response by:

Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University