Does neckache causes your brain to not function at its full potential?
March 25, 2009 6:32 AM   Subscribe

Does neckache causes your brain to not function at its full potential?

I've got a neckache for four years. It had been aching everyday for the whole day and it stretches up to my shoulder blades. Did an MRI and the doctor said that the gel between some of my bones are decreasing and they are rubbing hard against each other thus causing the pain.

My question is, is it possible that the bad structure of my neck will cause lesser blood to pump to my brain and thus does not let my brain work at its full potential.

Cheers
posted by red_rika to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Being in chronic pain will itself cause you not to be at full potential. The stress chemicals shrink the physical volume of your brain. You should be able to see this on an fMRI (of the skull). There is a chance it will only get worse. In that case, you may notice the pain itself significantly distracts you from your work. I don't happen to know if this effect persists when it is treated with pain medication.

Especially if you are young, you should do all you can to investigate this.
posted by gensubuser at 6:49 AM on March 25, 2009


What gensubuser said. Your body has ways to compensate for blood flow issues (and these can be issues on their own). It can't really do much to fill in for the parts of your brain that find themselves occupied with the message, "pain, pain, pain, pain!" no matter how much oxygen it gets.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:57 AM on March 25, 2009


Aside from that, the pain will distract you and keep you from using your full potential anyway.
posted by Slinga at 7:57 AM on March 25, 2009


Potential is a holistic concept. Being in pain or overly stressed will keep you from your potential. Having a negative attitude will keep your from your potential. etc. I think having an overly-mechanical view of this is inaccurate. Brain blood issues cause ischemia. Are you suffering from brain ischemia? If so you would know it. The symptoms are pretty obvious.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:20 AM on March 25, 2009


My question is, is it possible that the bad structure of my neck will cause lesser blood to pump to my brain and thus does not let my brain work at its full potential.

I agree with everyone here, though I don't think the specific question is being answered, which I think a doctor is more equipped to go over with you. I do not think that there is a direct link between your specific injury and your brain. They are in different systems. What you seem to be describing is a bone and muscle problem, not a circulatory one, so your blood sounds like it's flowing and connecting just fine. However, making a point to relax, meditate, not push yourself too hard, recognize when your body is telling you to stop are ways that you can help your overall function including reducing the stress on your immune system and yes, brain.

I also recommend yoga for specifically increasing the lubrication of the joints, and realigning. A Physical Therapist will be able to treat your specific problem and recommend ways to relieve pain, but in my experience tight muscles cause pain and constrict the bones/joints causing pain and reduced lubrication. My PT proscribed rolling the area with a foam roller or a stick and stretching it every day, eventually healing the area. It worked for me. These things will help increase bloodflow to the area and your brain; physical therapy and activity always help your brain.

I don't know where you're located but if you're in NYC I can recommend some people who may be of help.
posted by scazza at 9:35 AM on March 25, 2009


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