It put all the pieces together for me, and it brought me back to the land of the living. I have to share it! I hope it helps you too.
Brian tell us how this all started
Brian: Six months ago I started experiencing pain at the back of my head around the base of my skull. I woke up one morning and I could not turn my head in either direction. Well I could but I felt it down to my toes when I tried. I wondered what the heck has happened to me. I must have just slept in a bad position. I took some Aleve and went on with my life.
I did not think much about the fact that this started occurring twice a month and then once a week and then twice a week. When my neck and upper back between my shoulder blades began to hurt so much that I only had relief for a couple days a week I realized something was wrong. At this point my vision had become blurry at times, and I would feel dizzy. It wasn’t just from sleeping wrong. It was denial I guess.
So I went to a doctor and I had an MRI done. After the MRI I got referred to a Neurosurgeon. He was pretty cool. I found out I had a serious problem and needed surgery. So my problem came from a herniated disk, bulging disks, bone spurs, and basically this all sums up into Degenerative Disk Disease or Osteoarthritis.
I told him I was not going to have surgery and I’m not going to take pain pills. He said that’s ok. There are other ways. He said first thing we need to do is make you comfortable. He proceeded to tell me about 3 things that have relieved my pain enough that I can get on with life. I would say my pain before was a 9 out of 10. Now it is about a 2. The pain is not gone but it is MUCH better.
What are those 3 things he recommended?
Brian: The first thing he mentioned, that has impressed me the most, was Magnesium oil. I started using it and found it is a VERY effective way to relax my muscles when they are spasmed and eases my tension, and it stopped my headache in about ten minutes after I applied it. I bought Magnesium Oil Lotion (link to Amazon.com), which is a natural muscle relaxant. It completely relaxed me from head to toe. It helped me start my day feeling confident and strong, when I usually feel tense and anxious. I apply it in the morning, and use it again before I go to bed. I normally lose sleep because of stress from the day and my pain, because I was tense. I have always felt so tired and sleepy during the day because of the sleep loss. I would fight off the urge to sleep all day long. Once I started using magnesium oil at night I slept great, and felt little pain. I would wake up refreshed the next morning. If I was having a headache I would apply it right then. Magnesium oil quickly relieves my neck pain, back pain, and headaches. I have also found out how good it is for leg cramps, and restless legs. I bought some for my dad to try on his leg cramps and he loved it! Nothing else he tried worked.
What else did he say to do?
Brian: He recommended that I use a certain brand of Numb Master Lidocaine Cream that is stronger than most. You have probably heard of aspercreme that people use for pain. This is the same but is 5% lidocaine, and soaks in much better than most other creams that I have tried. This is very similar to magnesium oil in that you rub it on and experience relief shortly after. I love this stuff! It works very well every time, and I can apply it anywhere. If I’m out running errands, and start getting a headache, or my neck starts hurting, I rub this cream on my neck and feel complete relief in 5 to 10 minutes. It is Awesome! My favorite thing to do is rub the lidocaine cream, wait a few minutes for it to dry, and then rub the magnesium oil on. This is a VERY effective way to stop my aching pains right in their tracks.
You said there were three things right? What else did you try?
Brian: Another thing he told me about was a Ten’s Unit. He said that anyone that has back pain of any kind should have a Ten’s Unit. I only thought chiropractors had those. He told me that “there are Ten’s Units you can use at home and you can buy on Amazon”. He even showed me where to order it. The one he showed me the that I now recommend that is the same power that the professionals use! I ordered it right then. I use it on the areas where I feel pain, where my muscles feel tight, and afterwards I thought man I feel quite a bit better. I have been through a lot so I’m not going to be a believer that fast. I hate to say this because I don’t want to jinx myself but you know what…I have been using that thing for 15 minutes a day for six days and I have been pain free for those six days! That is amazing for me. I never go for six days straight. Usually I’m thankful if I get two days. I have tried acupuncture, massage, and pain killers. Nothing worked as good as this! The great thing about it is that I felt better after the first treatment. It just got better and better from then on. A Ten’s unit makes a great gift for someone with back problems.
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Magnesium stops the Headache at the Base of your Skull
“Magnesium has an important role in neuromuscular signals and muscle contractions. When you don’t acquire enough magnesium your muscles can go into spasm. Magnesium helps muscles to relax and contract and also enables you to move around.” source Dr. Josh Axe from Draxe.com
If you experience these symptoms: stressed, muscle tightness, can’t relax, headaches, anxiety, hyperactivity, irritability and even chest tightness. Then you need to know about Magnesium. Magnesium plays an vital role in allowing muscles to relax. One role of magnesium is that it controls entry and exit through the cell wall. There are channels on the cell membrane that allow some things in at certain times and at specific levels. Magnesium is responsible for allowing calcium into the cell when a muscle needs to contract or a nerve needs to fire. Calcium makes the muscle contract. Magnesium makes the muscle relax. Magnesium is responsible for pushing the calcium out of the cell when its job is done. This allows the cell to return to normal and the muscle to a relaxed state. If there is insufficient magnesium, calcium enters the cell and never leaves.
The Muscles Never Relax
When the Magnesium doesn’t remove the Calcium the muscles and nerves never relax and the cell stays on alert status. The result of magnesium deficiency is excessive muscle tension, which then leads to muscle weakness, muscles spasms, cramps, tics, neck pain and dizziness and blurred vision. Stress has been known to further decrease magnesium levels, so a vicious cycle begins. The only way to break the cycle and restore a healthy state is to increase magnesium.
Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
“By some estimates, up to 80 percent of Americans are not getting enough magnesium and may be deficient.” source Dr. Mercola from Mercola.com
Early signs of magnesium deficiency also include loss of appetite, anorexia, fatigue, weakness, insomnia, poor memory, apathy, worry and confusion. Brain function can be reduced because almost 20 percent of all the ATP in the body is in the brain. When magnesium is not present to help make ATP, the brain doesn’t get what it needs to function properly. As the magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, ringing of the ears, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, coronary spasms and continued muscle contractions can occur.
How can you get more Magnesium?
The best sources of Magnesium (links to Amazon.com):
- Magnesium Oil Lotion
- Natural Vitality Calm Magnesium Drink
- Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium Supplement
Whiplash can cause neck pain, dizziness, and blurry vision
Whiplash can be caused by more than an auto accident. If you experience these symptoms consult with your doctor.
Signs and symptoms of whiplash usually develop within 24 hours of the injury and may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Ache base of skull
- Worsening of pain with neck movement
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
- Headache behind the ear
- Tenderness or pain in shoulder, upper back or arms
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
The Barre-Lieou Syndrome is another thing to consider
Any type of abnormal vertebral conditions such as a vertebrae in your back being out of it’s correct position can effect the function of the nerve cell aggregations located in the front of the neck just in front of the vertebrae. The vertebral instability or malalignment usually occurs because the ligaments that support the neck become injured. This is what occurs when a person has whiplash. Not only do neck and headache pain occur with whiplash injury, but also the signs and symptoms of Barre-Lieou Syndrome.
Symptoms that characterize the Barre-Lieou Syndrome:
- facial pain
- ear pain
- loss of voice
- neck pain
- severe fatigue
- muscle weakness
- sinus congestion
Suboccipitals affect your balance and can cause vertigo
“The suboccipital muscles as we would any other muscle group in the body, we can assume that fatigue, tension, and strain can occur from overuse and/or neglect. Tightness and tension of the muscles can present with symptoms of dizziness, visual disturbances, and balance problems.” source August Point Wellness Center
You have a group of muscles in your neck right below your skull that are important to balance. In a way they act as sensors. They are a group of muscles called the suboccipitals. In all there are 4 muscles.
- rectus capitis posterior minor
- rectus capitis posterior major
- obliquus capitis superior
- obliquus capitis inferior
These suboccipital muscles are a key part of your body that help position and orient your head in respect to the world around you. The Suboccipitals contain muscle spindles. These Muscle spindles are sensory receptors the muscle that detect changes in the muscles length. They convey the condition or length of the muscle to the central nervous system. This information is then processed by the brain to determine the position of body parts around these muscles. Simply, the primary function of the suboccipital group of muscles is to send position data to the brain and the secondary function of these muscles is movement of the head.
It is safe to say that fatigue, tension, and strain will occur just like it would with any other muscle in the body. Tightness and tension of the muscles can cause symptoms of dizziness, visual disturbances, and balance problems because of it’s primary purpose of telling the body how to adjust according to it’s environment. The brain interacts with both the suboccipitals and the eyes in such a way that both organs work to help you react and adjust to objects in your environment compared to your body position. There are also a group of nerves that travel through the suboccipital area which is called the suboccipital triangle on their way back into the spinal column. Compression of the nerves tend to make the symptoms worse and, if severe enough, can cause occipital neuralgia. Another thing to consider is that cervical vertebrae C2 and C3 are connected to the dura mater of the spinal cord in this location. If the muscles attached to these vertebrae are unbalanced and pulling to one side or the other, the spinal cord will be affected and could trigger headache and migraine symptoms. Needless to say, the suboccipital muscles are important structures that contribute heavily to proper balance.
Does it hurt at the base of your skull?
Magnesium deficiency can cause pain in many different parts of your body, but my readers speak of one certain spot that really bothers them. Pressure at the base of your skull hurts bad. It spreads to the top of your head causing headaches, neck pain, blurry vision, and dizziness. It can also spread down into your shoulders. This causes pain from the top of your neck down to a point between your shoulder blades. It can be a mixture of a dull ache, and sharp pain in specific points. Overall the pain seems to focus on the spot at the base of your skull. Once again, this can all be caused by a lack of Magnesium.
Remove tension from your shoulders
A bad posture can wreak havoc on your shoulders, and a magnesium deficiency can make it even worse. Do you feel like your shoulders, specifically the area between your neck and shoulders is always tight. Do you feel pain all the time, and always crave the good massage from your loved one. If your muscles are having trouble relaxing you can benefit from Magnesium as well. Having the correct levels of Magnesium in your body will act as a muscle relaxant, and ease the tension you suffer from.
Blurry Vision association
Are you experiencing visual disturbances such as blurred vision and pain on the back of the eyeball itself? The muscle responsible for this is called the Splenius Cervicis. The Splenius Cervicis muscle is located in the neck, but much of the pain it causes is in the head. Specifically, the pain is experienced deep within the skull reaching from the back of the head up and forward, concentrating sharply right at the back of the eyeball. “You experience blurry vision because the pain referral affects muscles of the eye, including the muscle that adjusts the shape of the lens for focus.” source Journal of Neurosurgery At times Splenius Cervicis can cause problems focusing the eye on one side resulting in aggravating blurred vision. This visual disturbance is one of the most debilitating aspects of the headaches, because it makes the eyes hurt to be open at all unless it is completely dark.
The best position to sleep in to prevent neck pain
Posture is one of the most important factors in stopping your neck pain. “It is important to find a way to sleep with your head and neck straight and in the correct posture that you would use during the day.” source Wiley Online Library You can work hard to have good posture during the day, and make some great headway on eliminating your neck pain, and then undo it all when you go to bed and sleep on your stomach. You need to find a mattress and pillow combination that allows you to feel like you are almost floating with minimal sensation. When I sleep in a good posture, I wake up refreshed. If not, I have a lousy day.
Two sleeping positions are easiest on the neck:
- on your side
- on your back
If you sleep on your back, choose a rounded pillow to support the natural curve of your neck, with a flatter pillow cushioning your head. This can be achieved by tucking a small neck roll into the pillowcase of a flatter, softer pillow, or by using a special pillow that has a built-in neck support with an indentation for the head to rest in.
If you sleep on your side, keep your spine straight by using a pillow that is higher under your neck than your head. Make sure your pillow is not too high—usually around 4 to 6 inches thick, depending on the density of the pillow material and the distance between the neck and point of the shoulder. This height should typically prevent your head and neck from turning or bending unnaturally to either side.
Check out this Twisting Neck Pillow on Amazon!
The bending aspect of this pillow is the best I have found to date. I can bend it tightly around my neck and it supports my neck on 3 complete sides. This pillow enables me to sleep with support and pain relief. I take it everywhere I plan to sleep overnight and find myself unable to come up with a substitution when it is not there.
Neck Traction Device use at home
Neck traction is also known as cervical traction, and is an amazing method that saved me and can relieve neck pain for anyone. It helped me with my herniated/bulging disc in my neck, and had a hand in stopping my muscle spasms. In the beginning of my trouble my neck and everything around it hurt so bad I couldn’t even drive down the road without feeling every single bump I came across. I read every forum I could find on the topic and finally stumbled across a story like mine and how it had helped the writer. I ordered one from Amazon.com here at this link. When I received it I hooked it up and used it for 15 minutes. In that 15 minutes my life improved greatly. I still had some pain, but I could finally get up off the floor. Yes, all I could literally do was lay on the floor. I was only getting 2 hours of sleep at that point. I still had a good bit of pain that magnesium mostly took care of, but I could move again! I could play with my son again! A nerve had been pinched in my neck, and had swollen so bad it shut me down. For anyone suffering from neck pain, headaches, and pain at the base of your skull, try it! It’s worth it! These days you don’t have to go to a physical therapist for neck traction. You can do home neck traction just as effectively and safely – as long as you learn how to do it and which device is best for you.
See the Neck Traction Device here on Amazon.com. Click the blue link.
Keep in mind always consult your doctor, this is not medical advice. I use this page to store my personal experiences, and useful information that has helped me with my neck and back pain.
You will probably see Affiliate links in my articles. The small amounts of money I make from Amazon goes towards my 3 year olds Toy addiction, and does not cost you anything. Just so you know.