permanent stiff neck

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So I've had a "permanent stiff neck" on my left side since early 2016. I woke up one morning and there it was; it has never gone away. I generally only feel pain with movement, but the pain I feel when moving my neck is severe and sharp - it also radiates down into my left shoulder and can sometimes radiate down into my upper back with stabbing sensations or electricity-like sensations.

Over this time I've tried everything I can think of - chiropractor, deep tissue massage, yoga. Nothing has provided lasting relief or even really noticeably helped. I have a had a few brief periods where the pain seemed to be going away, but they have always been brief and it has always come back just the same.

Most recently I have been working with a therapist, who seems convinced I should be able to overcome the pain through specific exercises - but once again, no lasting relief. He seems to think the pain is related to some kind of compression which exercise will relieve and has assured me I am not a candidate for surgery, based on my symptoms compared with those he's worked with who required surgery. With the risks involved in any kind of neck surgery, I'm not really inclined to do it anyway - but at this point, after all I've tried and the amount of time that has passed, I find it difficult to believe this pain is going to go away except perhaps as a result of surgery. I have also not considered epidurals, mainly once again because of the risks - I know if a neck injection goes wrong, one can end up in a world of hurt, and I figure I am already in enough pain as it is!

Does anyone out there suffer from a similar problem? And if so, have you found anything that was actually effective in providing lasting relief? I really would like to go to the root of the problem and fix it. To me the idea of masking it for the rest of my life with powerful pain medications is not really an attractive idea!

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