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Pain in the neck

by Meghann on January 19, 2010

I woke up this morning with the biggest kink in my neck.

I am not sure if I slept funny or what, but at around 4:30 this morning a throbbing pain from the back right side of my neck was so bad that it woke me from my deep slumber. I tried to stretch the muscle, take some advil, and coat it with icy hot, but nothing seemed to help. Any quick turn of my head and I was in agony.

I managed to hold my head straight long enough to sleep until my alarm, but that’s not saying much.

When I did finally crawl out of bed, I was determined not to let the pain interfere with my running plans. I laced up my shoes and cranked out a solid 4 miles. Luckily the actual running had no impact on my neck at all, it was the whole turning my head that had issues. I’m sure I was a sight to see as I had to use my whole body to look both ways when crossing the street.

As I type this my neck is still  bothering me. I have my fingers crossed it goes away soon or staring at a computer all day is not going to be fun at all. 🙁

At least my breakfast was fun this morning.


I finished off an economy jar of almond butter over the weekend and put it to good use as a vessel for my over night oats last night.

In the jar:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (dry, not cooked)
  • Fat Free Milk
  • Plain Yogurt
  • Cinnamon
  • Chia Seeds
  • Raisins
  • Butterscotch Chips


This morning I topped the pretty jar of oats with strawberries and a crumbled almond butter cookie.


I loved the pretty layers you could see through the glass.


If anyone has any suggestions on how to alleviate this kink in my neck I am all ears! 🙂

1 megzzwinsatlife January 19, 2010 at 9:31 am

awww I am sorry… I would just say slow stretches.. I doubt you pulled anything it is probably just sore.. Look up some stretches online.

Hope you feel better girl!

2 Jenna January 19, 2010 at 9:34 am

I am defs Gonna try your version of overnight oats with yogurt in the jar!!

3 greensandjeans January 19, 2010 at 9:39 am

Stretch and heat! I’m also a massive fan of chiropractors (I know some people are iffy on this), but a lot of them will accept walk ins. Might be worth trying to get in to one before work!

4 amanda @ fake ginger January 19, 2010 at 9:48 am

Ugh, neck pain is the worst. Feel better!

5 Kate January 19, 2010 at 9:51 am

Oh man do I know what you mean. I had the exact same thing for over a month, finally tried a chiropractor and was disappointed in her methods (quack! she wanted me to abandon vegetarianism and adopt the Paleo Diet!). I know a lot of people have found good ones that they love, though. I was lucky enough that mine just went away on its own.

Hope it feels better soon! And hey, now you have an excuse to go get a massage 🙂

6 megan January 19, 2010 at 9:53 am

that’s the worst! Unfortunately I don’t know any quick way to get rid of it. Normally if it happens to me, it just slowly gets better. keep taking advil and stretching it out a little at a time. 🙁

7 Luna January 19, 2010 at 9:55 am

it sucks…it happened to me before, just put some “heat rub” on it (like tiger balm) or use patches if you can locate the exact spot… massage is helpful too, and using a silk scarf (or wool – make sure to avoid any cold air stream!!!) and… be patient 😉
get well soon 🙂

8 erin January 19, 2010 at 9:55 am

You should try seeing a chiropractor! Also try to stretch it a little.

9 foodfitnessandfreya January 19, 2010 at 9:59 am

Hehe love that you eat oats out of jar 🙂 you must need a long thin spoon tho!
Sorry about your neck, that sucks 🙁 I don’t have any ideas other than keep still!! Have a good day 🙂

10 Tammy Eros January 19, 2010 at 10:00 am

Take deep breaths as you slowly attempt to turn your head…it helps the muscles relax…I swear by SalonPas patches too…I use those things on a regular basis for my running ailments…a nice warm sensation with topical analgesic, but dosen’t burn.

11 Molly January 19, 2010 at 10:04 am

as a person with chronic neck pain I can say that is NO fun. and to be honest the only thing that makes it go away is regular doses of TYLENOL (yes, tylenol, not advil. this is what my doctor perscribes). it will help it a lot, I promise.
Hope it gets better!!!

xoxo- Molly

12 jodie January 19, 2010 at 10:07 am

Sorry about the kink in your neck. Acupuncture works really well for this, when I had a kink in my neck, I got the treatment and it went away. You may want to try that. Awesome run, I signed up for my first race in March.

13 busygradgirl January 19, 2010 at 10:12 am

Hey Meghann – I had similar neck pain a few weeks ago and it was awful and came our of no where.

I highly recommend going to the chiropractor in a few days if you aren’t better. Also – ice not heat if it’s inflammation, 20 min a couple of times a day. may want to google ‘neck trigger points’ and see if this is the kind of pain you are having. there are some myofascial release exercises you can do. feel better!!

14 RunToTheFinish January 19, 2010 at 10:12 am

Can’t remember are you running Gaspirilla or the Donna?

15 Anna January 19, 2010 at 10:26 am

Oh no! There’s nothing worse than a crick in the neck…so sorry! Hope it gets better as the day goes on 🙁

16 jenngirl January 19, 2010 at 10:27 am

I would suggest alternating heat and cold compresses if you can, hope it gets better!!

Overnight oats in a jar is genius!

17 Erin January 19, 2010 at 10:29 am

If you had a heating pad, that might help loosen things up but I’m not sure how that would go over at work. 😉

18 Mara @ What's For Dinner? January 19, 2010 at 10:32 am

UGH those are the worst!! I’m with Erin… a heating pad, even one of those TheraPad things would help. I walk around with one when I get a neck pain! (and not my students, they’re usually pains in the neck!)

19 Jen January 19, 2010 at 10:36 am

I’m another huge fan of chiropractors. They can definitely help with neck pain. You’d also be surprised at how much your running times improve once you’ve had chiropractic care for a few weeks. Good luck. Hope you feel better!

20 jenn January 19, 2010 at 10:48 am

i would definitely recommend NOT running with that pain in your neck. you can make it much worse and then youll be out of commission a whole lot longer. you should at least rest it all of today, and possibly tomorrow since you did run today if its still bothering you tomorrow. my bf woke up once with a neck pain and by the end of the week he couldnt even turn his head.

21 eaternotarunner January 19, 2010 at 10:51 am

Sorry about the neck :-/

22 Casey January 19, 2010 at 10:52 am

Yikes….that sounds painful. If it’s not better by tomorrow, I would definitely go to the chiropracter…you don’t want it to get worse! Sometimes that kind of pain will just work outself out after a couple of days, but it’s definitely no fun :(.

Hope it gets better!

23 Jacquie January 19, 2010 at 10:55 am

Try to get a Thermacare heat pad for your neck. I once really hurt my upper back and then had to sit on a plane all day to go to CA and that’s the thing that saved me from the pain.
Also, of course, chiropractors do wonders. I’ve gone to one for at least a year and he’s my favorite person in the world sometimes 🙂

I hope you feel better! 🙂

24 Heather January 19, 2010 at 10:55 am

Hope your neck feels better! I’d try out a hot water bottle…it may not cure you but it’d sure feel good!

25 Tracy January 19, 2010 at 11:05 am

Oh no, those are so painful! Last time I pulled a muscle in my neck, I scoped around for some information online and found a video with a massage that worked most of the kink out. Maybe try applying pressure to various parts of your neck with two finger tips on both sides until you find the exact spot. Then just massage it up to the bottom of you head and down to the base of your neck (or even shoulders) until it starts feeling better. It might hurt more at first, but if you keep applying pressure, it really starts to feel better. My pain only lasted a day though, so if yours goes longer, then I would definitely thinking about having a professional check it out. Hope you feel better!

26 learningtocookeatandenjoydeliciousfood January 19, 2010 at 11:25 am

I think your granola looks delicious and I am really sorry to hear about your neck… I hope that it goes away soon!! I have a quick question, but might be silly how do you get to your oatmeal of the huge jar???

27 Meghann January 19, 2010 at 11:26 am

With a very long spoon 🙂

28 Matt January 19, 2010 at 11:26 am

Sounds like you need a massage!

29 Heather (Heather's Dish) January 19, 2010 at 11:27 am

i’ve had the worst kink in my neck since october…i’m so excited to be going to see a chiropractor friend on thursday though! maybe you should try that, or just a great massage 🙂

30 Megan January 19, 2010 at 11:30 am

I second the thermacare heat pad suggestion. Those things are the BEST…althought you’ll def look like a freak at work!

31 brittany January 19, 2010 at 11:32 am

I think that you take exercising way to serious. Doctors and all health officials say that you only need 30 minutes of MODERATE exercise, where you just break into a sweat, per day to be completely and totally healthy. Taking a day off because your in severe neck pain will DEFINITELY not harm you especially since you eat a very very healthy diet every day. I take days off if I don;t want to wash my hair again haha! So I’m deleting your website from my favorites because I think you take exercise way to serious and make others feel bad about their smaller and less intense exercise.

32 K January 19, 2010 at 12:35 pm

I couldn’t agree with this more. You are so obsessive with exercise. TAKE A DAY OFF for goodness sake!! Seriously! I need to stop reading your blog. It is very triggering!!!!

33 RhodeyGirlTests January 19, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I have a friend who runs 4-5 miles every weekday and 7 miles every weekend day and she is perfectly healthy and happy. Meghann does take active rest days. I understand being concerned with her running with neck pain, but I am sure she knows her own body to know if running would make it worse or not.

That being said, Meghann, try sleeping in a different position tonight. It might just be a kink! I’ve had that happen before.

34 anon January 19, 2010 at 3:15 pm

If her blog is triggering you then obviously you should stop reading it and leave it at that. She had a small crink in her neck…she took plenty of days off after the marathon and if she wants to run she can.

35 Marisa Kaneshiro January 19, 2010 at 11:32 am

I totally know what you are feeling!! I had the same problem a few months ago.It was even difficult for me to take a deep breath. My Doc referred me to a physical therapist who said I had dislocated two ribs (I wasn’t even sure you could dislocate a rib but, apparently you can). It seems to be a reoccuring thing now so what I do is roll up two towels as tight as you can and place them along your spine. Sit up and hug your knees and gently roll out of the little ball your in onto the rolled up towels…this should pop them back into place. I hope this works!

36 DiningAndDishing January 19, 2010 at 11:34 am

That neck pain has happened to me a few times before. I don’t know what causes it exactly but for me the only thing that makes it go away is time. That and being very gentle with it – I know it can be very painful!!

– Beth @

37 Liesl January 19, 2010 at 11:54 am

I would recommend trying a heating pad on it. That has helped me in the past, and massaging the area. Hope this helps!

38 Kate January 19, 2010 at 11:58 am

I have a heating pad and use it regularly to help alleviate muscle pain…perhaps heat and gentle stretching? Hope it gets better!!!

39 brandi January 19, 2010 at 12:41 pm

I hate waking up with a crick in my neck!

Try just stretching to each side, like neck rolls, but very slowly and gently. Also, you can put a heating pad/warm towel around your neck.

And I swear by the chiropractor – we go once a month and I’ve never felt better!

40 Jocelyn January 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm

15 min of cold followed by 15 min of heat therepy and repeat.
also..take some time off of physical activity! (bet u hate that one!)

41 meg c. January 19, 2010 at 1:03 pm

that’s happened to me a lot, i have neck issues. maybe you can get your hands on some nice muscle relaxant pills?

once i had to stay home from work because my neck pain was so bad i couldn’t get out of bed. sucked.

42 Ali January 19, 2010 at 1:14 pm

That stinks!!! I hope you feel better, try to keep stretching it throughout the day. I love jar oats!!

43 Viddy January 19, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Same thing happened to be a month ago? Did you sleep with the window open? That’s what did it for me. 🙁 Anyway, I just had to give it time and heat and it eventually went away. Ugh, it was the worst when trying to drive.

44 Spoon-Keeper January 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Yoga!! That always does it for me 🙂 Maybe do some handstands to get the juices flowin?

45 Angela January 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm

I’m sorry about your neck! I hope you feel better I don’t really have much advice than to keep stretching it every once and awhile! Your oats in a jar look delish!

46 Ashley January 19, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I ran a 5K on January 1st and later that afternoon I had what I thought was a kink in my neck that turned out to be a muscle spasm in my shoulder. After almost two weeks of trying Icy Hot, Tiger Balm, heating pads, massaging, etc. with no luck I finally went to my doctor’s office (which is also a sports medicine practice) and ended up getting cortisone injections in my shoulder muscle and two pages of stretches to do twice a day for a week. It feels so much better now that I wish I hadn’t waited so long to go to the doctor. I hope yours is just a kink from sleeping funny but if it’s not going away soon I would definitely get it checked out!

47 allisonisactive January 19, 2010 at 2:24 pm

I get neck pain all the time! Sounds like you’ve tried most of the at-home remedies I know of. If it sticks around, maybe make an appointment with a massage therapist or chiropractor?

48 Retta @ RunRettaRun January 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm

When I get a stiff neck like that I am usually a big baby so way to go on running! I just stretch it out a lot and take ibuprofen.

49 rebecca lustig January 19, 2010 at 3:13 pm

oh no! I hope your neck starts to feel better.. perhaps a heating pad can do the trick?

hope youre doing well darling <3

50 theprocessofhealing January 19, 2010 at 10:05 pm

I’ve never tried overnight oats in a jar, just cooked oats, but that sounds so good!

51 Mark Josefsberg January 20, 2010 at 12:46 am

Anyone with neck pain really should look for an Alexander Technique teacher to get rid of the pain permanently. We cause our own neck pain; we can learn to get rid of it. Much of the time we compress our spines, which can eventually pinch nerves (My story)
There are teachers all over the world. Good luck!
Mark Josefsberg- Alexander Technique NYC

52 Kath January 20, 2010 at 7:15 am

That happened to my neck before Christmas and I am JUST NOW healing!! One thing that helped was to stop turning my neck to “test” it. I think that’s when I started to feel better. Hope you do soon!

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