Bad neck leads to nasty MAV episode

Hello all,

There seems to be more and more evidence stacking up that my (and I suspect others’) MAV ramps up when other things are going on.

Yesterday morning I went to pick something up and BAM! my neck seized right up in a major spasm. I went to work and tried to tough it out but after a couple of hours the pain was so bad I had to get someone to take me to the physio then take me home. It was so bad the physio laughed at me (in a fun way, she’s nice) as I was moving like a Dalek (Dr Who). Anyway, she did her thing, I went home, iced it, stretched it, took a bunch of Ibuprofen and a few Panadeine Fortes.

Today a significant amount of the pain has gone away but I am now in full MAV mode. I’m out of it, major derealisation, anxious, wobbly, feel completely weird and nauseous, light headed, pale but flushed, clammy and just generally “sick” etc. I’m pretty sure it’s MAV as I took 2.5mg of Valium and it’s helped a bit. But just a little bit I’m afraid. Sigh.

Do other people find neck pain or other seemingly unrelated health issues set them off?


Hi Vic,

Sorry to hear about the big flare up. For me, definitely. The whole time my neck was bad late last year and early this year it just kept me feeling extra crappy in the head. I’m sure a screwed up neck/ spasmed muscles act as a trigger in their own right.

In terms of unrelated health issues, I’m in week 2 of a very bad cold which just won’t die and the MAV is very nasty indeed, having progressed to a MAJOR episode over the last 3 days. I know the fear you’ve got going on. Yours will die fast though. You’re nicely drugged up on Prothiaden so it’ll never get stuck in. funny how when it hits hard, it’s so easy to believe you’ll never get out of it again. What would we do without valium eh?


Maybe not the same but a similar experience, was also having neck issues and went to the chiro on Monday night, gentle manipulation and trigger point and some muscle stim…felt great slept like a baby, no adverse effects if anything felt better, went last night Wednesday for a haircut and they due kidda a spa experience while washing you hair so alot of massage of your scalp and neck which at the time feel amazing but BAAM!! within 1 hr of getting home was reaching for the Ativan and feel like a train wreck this morning. Horrible night another Ativan dose since and now the second guessing begins. Too much stimulation too close together?


Thanks for the feedback Scott and Cecilia. It’s like we’re a genus of delicate, precious flowers. Or migrainey prima donnas. Sigh. Everything has to be Just So or all hell breaks loose. It’s been a rotten day. People at work were kind - they kept hovering round, tentatively offering me cups of tea or suggesting I go and have another lie down in the sick bay (I could have stayed there all day).

Anyway, while my neck (and back now) is still on the fritz it appears the worst of the MAV onslaught is waning - 12.5mg of Valium later (honestly, it barely touches the sides). Scott, I think you’re right re the Prothiaden - most of the time it keeps the beast at bay. Hope you pull out of that viral swamp soon. Cecilia, I think you’re spot on with too much stimulation too close together. Hope you get better soon also.

Thanks guys,

I’ve had a terrible couple of days…had a tight neck all last week, couldnt look right without turning my whole body, whilst stretching it 3 days ago there was a loud crack…Could be related to the bad coupleof days I’ve had but we’ve also just had a bank holiday weekend (alcohol, bad food, disrupted sleep patterns…etc etc) which is more likely the cause


Does anyone ever feel like their head is buzzing, kind of ‘wired in’ like a current is passing through their head?
Its hard to describe, I think it may be described as spaced out, out of touch, off etc

CJL – I get the buzzing thing if I’m really symptomatic and then drive a car for a long period of time. I’ll get out of the car and within 15 minutes it’s like I’ve plugged my fingers into an electric socket. People tell me I look “wired” in the eyes when this happens - like I’ve just seen a ghost.


I can support what you’re saying by describing the opposite sort of experience.

When I’m out of it, anything that brings my feet back on the ground clears my head nicely, and more often than not in a way that lasts. For me this sometimes is swimming, sometimes is structural integration (a.k.a. rolfing) at the hands of a master, occasionally osteo or psychotherapy.

Okay, in the spirit of FULL DISCLOSURE…lol…when I was young, I tried smoking pot. (GASP! Sinner!! ) and I hated it because I felt that my head was buzzing and I felt out of it. Must have been bad stuff…lol
anyway, that is how my head feels most of the time now…although better on meds. But it is that hard to describe feeling.
My doctor was trying to get me to describe my lightheadedness and had me blow on my prescription sheet till it was horizontal as he was holding it. He told me to keep blowing on it for like 2 minutes…sure enough, it’
duplicated the feeling. So I went home and had my husband do it, and now he knows how I feel ALL THE TIME…so you might want to try that to see if it works, and if so, have everyone around you do it so they can sympathize
with how crappy it feels!!

My headache symptoms can be triggers by neck pain. When I get my hair cut the following day I will have a screaming migraine. I know it is because I spend time tilted back and it puts stress on my neck. I now go in with my hair washed and wet so I can avoid that all together. If I go to the chiropractor right away she cracks my neck and upper back and it alleviates most of the pain. If I wait to long my dizziness gets MUCH worse. I try and go to the chiro ever week and a half as a preventative measure. I pay the price when I miss my window. I stretched it to just over two weeks and I had a screaming headache for three days. I went to the chiro yesterday and today and I feel like a new woman! Neck pain definitely plays into my MAV symptoms.