Some people experience neck and back pain after a stroke, and it is unfortunately not uncommon for some survivors of a stroke to experience pain in their lives following recovery. In many people, experiencing this type of pain is a signal that their body is being harmed in some manner. When it comes to a stroke, however, this is not always going to be the case. Unfortunately, sometimes damage from a stroke can cause long term damage to the brain that makes it so even a normal touch can feel painful. In other cases, pain is experienced as a result of tightness in the muscles or weakness of the muscles.
You may experience one type of pain, such as neck and back pain after a stroke, or you may experience several different pains at once. The key when it comes to experiencing pain following a stroke is to work with your doctor to determine why you are experiencing pain so that the cause of the pain can be treated.
There are a number of different types of pain that can be experienced, including but not limited to:
- Different pain intensities, such as mild pain, moderate pain or severe pain,
- Constant pain or pain that is experienced on and off,
- Pain that is experienced on part of the body, or on just the side of your body that was affected by the stroke,
- Pain that is experienced in the face, leg, arm or torso,
- Different types of pain, such as aching pain, sharp pain, burning pain, itching pain or stabbing pain,
Local neck and back pain after a stroke is generally felt in your joints. Oftentimes, this type of pain comes from a joint taking an unusual positioning resulting from muscle tightness, spasticity or a stiffness, as all of these things are common to people that have survived a stroke.
Central neck and back pain after a stroke is pain that is constant, and is moderate or severe in nature. Constant pain of this caliber is generally worsened as a result of movement, touch, emotions and even changes in the temperature. This pain tends to hone in on just one specific part of the body such as your neck or your back, but it may be centralized only to the side of your body that was affected by the stroke. This type of pain may not appear until weeks or even months have passed following your stroke.
Central pain results from the damage that the brain sustains as a result of the stroke. It does not actually stem from damage to the nerve endings in the area where the pain presents itself. Instead, the body is sending normal messages to your brain in the response to touch, cold, warmth and other types of stimuli, but the brain misunderstands these signals and registers these stimuli as being painful.
Determining the cause of your neck and back pain after a stroke is important to ensuring that you can get treatment for it.