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Chronic muscle tension in neck, shoulders,upper back
31 Replies
hindsfeet - September 3

I have had chronic headaches related to muscle tension in these areas for the past few years. The muscles never seem to relax and casue a lot of pain. I have never been diagnosed with anything-after mnay medical tests-except "chronic muscle tension." Has anyone had experience with this. My doctor recently prescribed Tizanidine (Zanaflex) as a muscle relaxant to get me out of this pain cycle. Any experience out there with this drug?


bob d - June 14

I had it once but it was not covered by medicaid and expensive however it helped better than any others until i was given soma which helped with tension and pain both!!


Jan - June 17

I get this all the time but get no help with drugs, so I cant help you with that one but it is unbearable when it comes, I never put it down to Fybro though


Mindy - June 18

i have taken Zanaflex and it worked wonders for me. i have taken almost every muscle relaxor out there and zanafel helped the most. soma made me very sick,flexaril did nothing for me,skelaxin helped but was way too much money...


mandix02! - July 15

I have these pains very severly,they are hard to live with. I live in Portugal, but I travel to the UK every few months to see a Consultant in Pain - he gives me some injections, in my neck, under sedation, which are wonderful. I also take a drug, Arcoxia, which helps with the other painful areas.


Joni - August 14

I get some temporary relief from taking 10 mg Baclofen (muscle relaxer) & .25 mg alprazolam (zanax). With this smaller dose I am still able to function around the house.


Janet - June 27

I get the tension you describe. In a pinch, I can take a shot of espresso (or a mocha) with an Alieve to make it act stronger, and take a Xanax before bed. I'm trying to pinpoint the cause of my tension from this list:
- Constantly holding my head so that my chin juts forward. I'm trying to just let my chin drop, even though it makes a double-chin. :(
- Letting anxiety cause me to hold tension in my shoulders, stomach, butt. I have to remind myself every stinking 10 seconds to let go. >:( I was surprised to find I subconsciously try to keep my arms back and tight to my body.
- Chronis sinus infections. For this, I use nasal irrigation and Zicam nose spray.
- Constantly getting food stuck inside my left tonsil. I'll sometimes see something sticking out of the top of the tonsil. I can push it out (from the bottom up) with a sterilized finger and spray my throat with Zinc.
The last two can create a situation where your body is constantly fighting infection, making every tissue more likely to be inflamed. Last night, did everything (took an Alieve, pushed a LOT of stuff out from my tonsil to the point where it bled, sprayed my throat, took a Xanax, stretched my neck a little), and this morning, NO TENSION!!
Good luck!


Anne R. - July 6

I also have intense upper shoulder, neck and back pain. I was sent to physical therapy where I learned a lot about how our posture affects our muscles. As Janet says, you have to really think about how you are holding your head and shoulders until it becomes habit. MUCH easier said than done. The PT also helped me with my TMJ, which can affect your ears, neck, head and cause major head aches. If your insurance covers a good physical therapist you might consider going. If you can afford a massage now and then, deep tissue massage can help but is also painful, so beware - you won't feel great afterwards, but the muscles may loosen a bit.


Janet - July 13

Good point about PT. Sometimes I think the tension is fixed 100% by that. I get convinced that it's due to what I eat or microinflammation or whatever. :( But there's no doubt PT is effective. Has anyone tried this guy's ideas, It looks so bogus and gimicky, I'm hesitant to try it.


katie - September 3

I have very bad headaches and can not function. I've been told they are migraines but
while at the chiropractor he thinks I have fibromyaliga. The muscles in the back of my neck, between my shoulders and across my chest get to be unbareable . I had muscle spasms in my back and had 3 injections in one week then was prescribed valium for muscle spasms and I can tell it relieves some tension in my neck .


Jozette - September 3

I have been taking it for about 3 months now and I feel it helps. Also with sleep. My Dr. gives it to me for my sleep problems and for relaxing muscles. Much better than taking sleep aids. Goood Luck!


uptight - October 13

I have chronic muscle tension as well. It appears to be exacerbated by food allergies and acidic foods. I take magnesium citrate capsules (150 mg)with each meal to relax the muscles. These can be purchased at most pharmacies or health food stores.


CuredByVemma - October 13

I had all of that! I couldn't sleep because of it. I started to have muscle weekness and in my line of work - dog trainer - that didn't help. The muscles in my back were constantly tight and my legs ached. If someone poked me or tapped me it would send excruciating pain to my core. My doctor put me on Topomax - a migraine medication. He also gave me Flexeril for a muscle relaxant. Even then I still had a few aches. Then I had a friend tell me about Vemma. I started taking this liquid vitamin along with my medication and noticed that the aches went away completely.... So, I decided to quit taking my meds completely to see what would happen. The first week or so I had some muscle pain, but nothing like before, I could actually live with it. Then, everything went away. I FEEL GREAT! And no side effects! The Topamax made my fingers and toes tingle and anything carbonated would burn my tounge and throat. I would get dizzy if I took 2 Flexeril (which was what was prescribed). Well, I'm happy to say that this Dr. Pepper lover is drinking all the Dr. Pepper she can get her hands on!!! No burning. Vemma has Mangosteen in it. Mangosteen has xanthones that help reduce the inflammation in the body, which is directly related to most Fibromialgia cases. E-mail me and I can give you more information about it. I wouldn't be telling people about it if it didn't work for me! My e-mail is - [email protected]


kdbbev - October 16

I also have had severe pain also in my shoulders and upper back. The zanaflex works great for me at night, it makes me sleepy during the day. But helps me sleep very well. I have fibro and that is usually the area I am hit the hardest.




wow...this is me to a T and I starte seeing a chiro long before my fibro dx due to the headaches i was getting.. seeing the chiro one ever 2 weeks for mainenance keeps the headaches at bay although muscle and shoulder pain isn't helped


slider210 - June 16

I am living with the same constant muscle tension in the same areas of my neck and upper back. Recently I've been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I also have Facet Syndrome in my c-spine and t-spine. I have been prescribed Zanaflex also. I have found this drug to be good for putting me to sleep for 1-2 hours, but I get 0% relief from the non-stop muscle tension. I have found that taking a combination of 800mg Motrin with 1000mg Tylenol every 4-6 hours takes the edge off the pain. Flexeril, also a muscle relaxer helps a little better than the Zanaflex. Ask your MD about taking this combination of NSAIDs and pain reliever. Above all, do your best to be persistent about finding the answers to your condition and never stop Advocating for yourself.


kikafika321 - June 21

If you have chronic muscle tension and/or bone pain of inexplicable origin, you may want to consider taking a vitamin D test. Recent research has shown that chronic muscle tension
can be caused by a vitamin D deficiency. See for more info. For me, the main symptoms were chronic tension in the neck, shoulders, back and hamstrings. It took me three years before I figured out what was wrong. After I started taking an ultra high (50,000 IU/week) prescription dose of vitamin D (D3 to be exact) the symptoms gradually went away over the course of a few weeks.



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