Hello Olivia, I'm going to suppose here that you mean 2-3 months after post-surgical pain receded. As in, about when the pain caused from surgery itself had also alleviated as with your original pain. As all your pain cleared before this I can only suppose you already went through the shooting pains before, either as a result of the injury to the neck region and/or worse as a result of surgery to fix a worse pain. So having a plate put in my own neck several years ago and still suffering I can relate, but I've never had any total recession of pains at any time. Please note I also have spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the vertabrae that surround the spinal cord which affects the tension of the nerves that have to come out of the bones.
Disc's don't rupture for a car accident that didn't even leave you with whiplash (at least not mentioned) either way, you have to have another underlying disease to cause this to occur. BTW, did you bump your head on the roof? In any case, sounds like you have Degenerative Disk Disease also known as Degenerative Joint Disease and is the result of advanced Osteoarthritis. I don't know your age so I can't say if it's also premature (as in the woman in their 30's that get struck down by it) If you did bump your head on the roof, chances are you have other disc's that took some damage to and they're just beginning to let themselves be known.
Is there a chance you reinjured the tender area, it is a little soon after that kind of surgery to be doing ANYTHING heavy. Though I have heard another boast his own recovery was quick but his neck injury was also due to an accident and not disease. Every muscle in the upper torso is connected directly or indirectly to the neck, mainly via ligaments if not the muscles themselves. Therefore, even moving, pulling or picking up a heavy object could/would cause pain to regenerating tissues/muscles &/or ligaments etc. Pain also defers which means it radiates or on occasion shows up in a different place altogether but along an associated nerve path. You'll notice those shooting pains don't following along known muscle paths. They shoot around like lightning on water. Not like along a nerve as would be felt at the actual site of injury or a site of progressed disease. A muscle relaxer helps with these. Laying down has been the altime best answer but you have to stay down, because when you sit back up or stand up your time is pain, the weight of the upper parts above the traumaed area is going to put slow and steady pressure, you might feel it right away but then you might just be blessed to get to hold your head a little while.
My osteo definately hit my injured areas first. As a matter of fact, it started in the most damaged areas and worked itself into the next most damaged area and then the next and so on. However, it's been years since these injuries took place, the neck injury never recovered completely after the last trauma to it. (there were more than one). On it's natural coarse (all people would eventually get it if they lived long enough) usually osteo will start on the weight baring joints first. Knees, hips and lower back. Natural wear and tear. But there is an premature advanced kind of osteoarthritis that progresses at a younger age than normal. Spinal stenosis is a part of this disease, some people get it others don't.
I truley truley hope you don't have this disease, I'm not going to be cruel and point out it's worse case scenerio here as you have reason to believe that you've simply sensitized the area and now it's gonna b**ch till it heals. Or second worse scenerio, you have another disc that's been damaged and only an mri/exray will show it. You don't have spinal stenosis, you would had the pain of it before your accident, not to say you don't have it, but you don't have it to any degree that's causing your current pain, although, who am I to say how quickly it can develop...this I have never read in any summary of the disease.
Anyway, you'll go out there if it sticks around for 6 months or so...if it is the osteoarthritis I have.
I just cut out a whole paragraph to save you and anybody who reads this the 'getting to close syndrome'(yes even the doctor's who as humane beings don't really want to get that close-who can blame them they want to live in the "get over pain ASAP' like every other normal person- the idea of chronic pain in any of it's forms and it's repercussions on the mind and heart as a REALITY is just to easy to deny,are a little much for any human being) Whether it's chronically persistent, chronically reoccuring on movement, chronically reoccuring on inflammation. I'm sure there are more but these I am personally experienced/aware of.
Lots of love - Sandra