Neck Pain - Muscle Relaxer and Anti Inflammatory drugs

Mandakini, modified 4 Years ago at 4/26/20 3:57 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 4/26/20 3:57 PM

Neck Pain - Muscle Relaxer and Anti Inflammatory drugs

Posts: 11 Join Date: 4/26/20 Recent Posts
Hi All,
I am posting it here since Danial is a doctor and meditator. 
Some background about me - I started meditation ( Sahaj marg ) about 10 years ( 2010)  ego but moved to Vipassana - Goenka style in 2016. I started getting  neck pain since 2011  - many doctor visits and physical therapies, chiropratcors  - pain never went away. Then I went for 10 days Vipassana - my very first course when I was still had inflemation in my neck and shouldre but to my surprise during the course I fely my knots opening and when I was done with the course my pain was gone.  
Since then I understand my neck pain better.
I am a regular meditator ( 2 hours daily) and go for yearly 10 day retreat.
Many of my questions were unanswered and while searching on web I found MCBT and MCBT2 and got answers for my many questions I was looking for.

Over the last 4-5 years neck pain came back but only once every year - I was detected with c3-c4 spinal stynosis.
I always know the onset and every single time try to use meditation to relax the area - but everysingle time I have to go back to meds - Cyclobenzaprine and Meloxicam.
I take the meds after waiting for atleast 4-5 days only when pain becomes unbearable. I take the meds for few days and I am back to normal, but during those days when I am in pai,  I am miserable - I have burning sensation and very tender skull. It's very hard to sleep with those sensations. 
I hate my dependency on these drugs and wondering if there is any other solution. 
If these drugs are for relaxing muscles and for addressing inflamation, can I do muscle relaxing with meditation ?
Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Years ago at 4/28/20 8:05 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 4/28/20 8:05 AM

RE: Neck Pain - Muscle Relaxer and Anti Inflammatory drugs

Posts: 2921 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I will reply only because this thread got 18 views but no replies. 

Back pain, headaches and other bodily pains like in the lower back or in the jaw can be normal when practicing. As you know from MCTB already I'm sure as Ingram mentions these and many of us head or still have. 

My biggest pain is always neck. I find that massage just along the side of the shoulder blade , all the way along the shoulder blade, helps. My partner would use oil and then massage with her elbow up and down the shoulder blade and press very hard to the point of pain. Feels really good and funny enough the neck pain stiffness also gets released this way. It seems that this pain is really in the shoulder blade and then being reflected in the neck and I perceive it as neck pain. 

I also went to chiropractors but this never helped as much as the massage along the side of shoulder blade. 

This being said the best way out of this is to practice in a way to get to next stage of insight. The A&P. 

I see you have a daily practice which is Really good! Would you mind describing for us how exactly you practice and what you can observe (body sensations, mind states and feeling tones) ? 

Also what is your main motivation behind practicing meditation? 

Btw, welcome to DhO! emoticon 
J W, modified 4 Years ago at 4/28/20 3:02 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 4/28/20 2:41 PM

RE: Neck Pain - Muscle Relaxer and Anti Inflammatory drugs

Posts: 687 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
I had a couple of periods in life where I had horrible neck pain and spasms for about 2 years straight to the point where it was debilitating to my job, social life, sleep, etc.

It seemed to work itself out somehow, and this was all before I formally got into meditation.  I'm not sure exactly what helped for me, I think it was a combination of things.

I noticed the pain getting better around the time I got a new full-time 9-5 job.  This would have been around 5 years ago (im at the same job now) and I found the job very engaging at first, it also got me on a good schedule.  I wish I could tell you more about why it actually helped, honestly I'm not sure, aside from just the fact that my mind was engaged and focused throughout the day, being a new job and everything.

Prior to that I had a few things which I did that seemed to help:

1- Turmeric.  Just 1-2 spoonfuls of straight Turmeric powder, you can buy a 2 lb. bag for three dollars at WalMart.

2- Light exercise.  Try some easy weight training, focusing on the back, shoulders, and neck.  I found the tricep pulldown exercise on a machine weight to be a good one.  Another one to try is dumbell front and side raises for the shoulders and neck.  Building muscle in the regionhelps with balance and also I feel like it served as kind of a massage.

3- Stretching.  Try stretching 3x10 minutes a day.

Regarding meditation and muscle relaxing, there are such exercises.  You may want to look into something like Kum Nye or certain types of Yoga.  Really the possibilities are endless.  I personally haven't done much yoga or Kum Nye so I won't be of much help here.  

You also might find that using your pain as an object of meditation actually helps alleviate that tension.  You may also experiment with breathing out "relaxation" into that part of your body which aches.  Like Daniel says, remember all sensations at their root just kind of want some attention.  Giving them that attention may serve to relax them.  IMO the mind-body connection cannot be overstated. Try some different exercises out and see what works for you!

EDIT - one more thing - be aware of your posture throughout the day, and when sleeping.  Especially if you spend a lot of the day sitting like at a desk job.  Perhaps invest in an ergonomic office chair, or try alternating sitting and standing during work and meditation.

With Metta