Repetitive Strain Injury/neck bone out of place


I cracked a bone in my neck many years ago. Then I was in a auto accident and hit back of my head real hard. Dizzyness began. Spinning sensation. Nausea. Neck pops out and I push it back in. Severe top of head pain. Severe neck pain. Both eyes hurt. Back of skull dull pain. Arms weak, hands go numb.
I've had one MRI,  one CAT Scan, several X-Rays and everyone says they see nothing wrong.
Why is that? Why can't they see anything?

Hi Delana,

I'm very glad to read that you have been to your physician and had all of the tests.  This could be a serious condition and I'm glad to see you aren't taking it lightly.  Muscles can be involved in the symptoms you are experiencing but I'd like to suggest one more medical practitioner.  There is a specialty in chiropractic called "atlas orthogonal" that focuses specifically on the first and second cervical vertebrae (atlas and axis). While all chiropractors treat the spinal column from C1 all the way to the bottom of your spine, an Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractor has taken many hours of continuing education on just these two vertebrae and also has a specialized x-ray machine that examines parts of the bone that other x-ray machines will miss.  There aren't many A-O chiropractors in the USA, although their numbers are growing.

I don't know where you are located but I know of an excellent A-O chiropractor in Apex, North Carolina.  If I was in the severe pain state that you are experiencing, I would either see if I could find an A-O chiropractor in my area, or I'd go to NC to see Dr. George Ellwanger.

My specialty is muscular therapy for chronic pain, but with your symptoms and history I wouldn't want to touch your neck (especially the muscles that are up against your cervical vertebrae) until you have seen an A-O chiropractor for fear of doing more damage. However you can treat the muscles that don't originate on the cervical vertebrae and be safe.

The muscles that are most likely involved are your sternocleidomastoid that commonly causes almost all of the symptoms you are describing. The short name is SCM and it is located on the side of your neck, from your collar bone to the bone at the back of your ear. The anterior scalenes (front of the neck) and pectoralis minor (upper chest) will cause the weakness you are describing in your arms and the numbness in your hands. The anterior scalenes go up your cervical vertebrae, but it would be safe to treat the very origination of the muscle on your first rib, just under your collarbone. I'd also look at the levator scapulae on the top of your shoulder. The levator scapulae inserts into your cervical vertebrae, but it would be safe to treat it at the top of your shoulder. If you totally avoid your neck bones you could gently self-treat each of these muscles to see if they are the cause of the pain.

If you go to and then go to the Muscles and Pain tab, you can read all about repetitive strain injuries. I suggest you also read the section titled "What's Happening Exactly." I have a book that will teach you how to self-treat the SCM and levator scapulae muscles. Especially with all you have going on, I'd rather see you self-treating than having someone else treat your muscles as you will never go further than is comfortable and safe. For some reason you can't use Firefox, but Explorer and Google Chrome work fine to see the website correctly.  

Let me know if I can help you further.  It will be good for you to start this process by being confident that the tests you've already had looked for major breaks and didn't find any. That's a very good thing, now it's just a matter of detective work to find what is causing your pains.

I believe you'll be able to get relief, there's always an answer, it's just a challenge to find sometimes.

Wishing you well,
   Julie Donnelly

Repetitive Strain Injury

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Julie Donnelly, LMT


I can accept questions that relate to chronic or acute pain caused by muscle spasms and contractions. Repetitive Strain Injury is actually Cumulative Trauma to muscles. Releasing the spasm &/or contraction will relieve the strain that is felt at the insertion point on the bone. I am the co-developer of the unique safe-stretching program "Focused Flexibility Training," which combines easy instruction for self-treating spasms throughout your body with proven yoga stretches. I have recently authored two new books: "The 15 Minute Back Pain Solution," and "The Secret to Your Best Golf Game EVER!


Since 1989 I have been working with endurance athletes and individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions. I have authored seven self-treatment books and three self-treatment DVDs and I have developed the Julstro System for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, Trigger Finger, and other Hand/Wrist pain. I am a national and international presenter at conventions, seminars, and workshops. Principle topics are "Work Shouldn't Hurt," and "The Pain Free Athlete." In 2005 and 2006 I was the massage therapist for ultracyclists competing in the Race Across America (RAAM) 3000+ mile race from San Diego, CA to Atlantic City, NJ. I've taught the Julstro techniques to physical therapists at the Cleveland Clinic, to massage therapists in areas around the USA, and I've taught Julstro self-treatment clinics to dancers at Juilliard School of Performing Arts (NYC),the sprinting team at NC State, and I am working closely with several Olympic-hopeful. We have successfully eliminated the repetitive strain injuries that could keep them out of the Olympic Games, and the best part is they know how to do the self-treatments so they can stay pain-free and flexible.

Triathlete Magazine, Endurance Magazine, multiple national and international trade journals.

Swedish Institute of Allied Health, NY, NY - Initial education in massage therapy Licensed NYS Massage Therapist since 1989. SUNY Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, NY - B.Sc. degree in Interdisciplinary Health Education I was an Associate Professor helping to develop the massage training program for SUNY Rockland Community College

Past/Present Clients
Privacy prevents me from filling in this section without prior consent from my clients. Life Experience: I have been specializing in the treatment of chronic pain and sports injuries since receiving my NY massage license in 1989. A personal bout with carpal tunnel syndrome was the catalyst to my developing a self-treatment that heals the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome quickly and without surgery. My work with endurance athletes was the inspiration to teach people how to self-treat so they could stop pains even during a race or heavy training day. Both of these situations ultimately became the products that are sold on my websites: and I currently treat people in my offices in Sarasota, FL, Cary, NC, or Pearl River, NY

©2016 All rights reserved.