Friday, April 20, 2012


Yesterday morning while getting ready to go to work, I pulled a neck muscle.  I don't even know how it happened.  I literally was just turning my head and all of a sudden I felt a stinging sensation on the right side of my neck.  Major soreness and stiffness ensued shortly thereafter, leaving me in a state of stunned disbelief.  Ruefully, this is my second incident of sudden neck pain in three months! 

Apparently it's become a challenge for me to get dressed in the morning without injuring myself.

Sadly, even bubble-wrap mummification wouldn't have helped prevent my recent muscle pull.

The neck stiffness got worse throughout the day to the point where I felt like a walking scarecrow.  Thankfully since I am in front of a computer all day long it didn't impede me very much, but I did try to hide at my desk and avoid seeing anyone in the office.  It is on days like yesterday that I am really glad that I am not a construction worker or fitness instructor, or any other profession that requires a lot of active movement.  It would have gotten ugly real fast!

Through the magic of WebMD and other great online resources, I learned that the suggested home treatments for the neck muscle strain were very similar to what they suggest when you have running-related aches and pains: rest, ice, compress, elevate (RICE).

After getting home from the office, I spent the better portion of my evening on the couch cradling a towel-wrapped bag of frozen peas over my neck.

The neck icing helped.  I'm not sure if it was because it was doing its anti-inflammatory magic or if it was simply numbing the pain, but regardless it did make me feel better.  Unfortunately, like many other health remedies it had its side effects - namely, that it made the rest of me very cold.  To combat this, I wrapped myself tightly in a blanket, leaving only a small gap for the frozen peas.

I can only imagine how I must have looked in that state.  I'm sure there would be nothing more unnerving to an observer than a woman who has mummified herself in blankets and towel-wrapped frozen peas, while leaning to one side to hold the frozen peas in place.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I iced my neck as much as I could handle throughout the evening.  Then I unmummified myself from the throw blankets on the couch and immediately proceeded to remummify myself with the blankets in my bed. 

I decided to use an extra pillow to sleep.  This was both to elevate my neck, as suggested, but also to provide some more stability.  I tend to sleep with my head at an angle, which I've been told can have adverse affects over time.  The extra pillow ended up helping a lot in preventing the angular tendencies.

When I woke up this morning, I feared the elevated level of stiffness and pain that I thought might have accumulated overnight.  Without moving my head, I gingerly unmummified just my arms from the blankets.  Then I literally used my hands to lift my head up off the pillows (kind of like in my junior high gym class where I would cheat on my situps). 

Much to my very pleasant surprise, much of the pain and stiffness was gone this morning! 

My range of motion has improved tremendously and I'm not operating in fear anymore of having to turn my head.  I'm still not 100%, but overall I am definitely feeling a lot better today.  Thank goodness!

I have seen some folks who keep daily gratitude journals (great idea, by the way).  With that and with yesterday's neck incident as my inspiration, today I am very grateful for:

  • Home health remedies and knowledgeable health experts
  • The versatility of frozen peas
  • Cushy pillows
  • Successfully getting dressed this morning without inducing further injury
  • The ability to mummify and un-mummify myself at will


  1. Glad you are feeling better! I hate it when I pull my neck.

    1. Thanks, Jack! It really is amazing how much we utilize our neck muscles without even realizing it. The things we take for granted when we are healthy!

  2. LOL @ the versatility of frozen peas! So happy you were able to fix it! Neck pain is the worse!

    1. Thanks, Kim! And I decree that frozen peas should be a staple in everyone's freezer - one way or the other! =D