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Vakul Aren
Vakul Aren, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 3713
Experience:  MBBS,DTM&H( Univ of Liverpool),34yrs experience in practice
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Throbbing Pain in Right Side of Neck Today

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I woke up this morning at 5 am and was greeted with a throbbing pain in the right side of my neck near the carotid artery. What could this be? Today it is lasting on and off throughout the day and I noticed when I push my shoulder back, there is extreme tension in the area where it is painful near the artery. (This happened a few weeks ago as well...the last time I worked out was Friday with weights) I am planning on calling my dr tomorrow and visiting the ER if needed...any guidance or insight? 
I am very active, workout 3-5 days per week.  Mom had carotid artery blockage and surgery when she was 61. No high blood pressure last time i checked and cholesterol was normal.    Thanks!
The throbbing pain in the neck,right side,near the carotid artery can be due to many causes.They include- extension of upper back pain secondary to musculoskeletal causes,pain due to involvement of spinal cord(disc prolapse or spinal nerve compression),peripheral cascular disease involving the carotid artery,cardiac ischaemia needs to be ruled out,thyroid disease and cervical lymphadenopathy secondary to infection or sore throat.The common causes would include musculoskeletal involvement and a pinched spinal nerve root in the neck spine,but coronary ischaemia and Carotid involvement should be evaluated as that would avoid any serious problem.You may need a ECG,Lipid profile,spinal imaging studies and a Doppler study of the carotid vessels apart from other studies if the symptoms persist.
Avoiding weights and strenous work outs,use of muscle relaxants and Ibubrufen may be tried in the interim.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Dr. Aren-

Thank you for your response! Would Carotid issues typically come on this strong and wake someone from a dead sleep or would the more likely problem be nerve related due to limited other symptoms presenting itself. (Now I will see my vascular Dr. this week).


It would be suggestive of a musculoskeletal pain induced by change in the position of the neck and neck muscle involvement,or a nerve root compression due to compression in the spine.The carotid artery problems and the carciac ischaemia have been mentioned as they are relevant here and a evaluation (not urgently needed)would rule out potentially serious problems.
Carotid artery stenosis shall usually present with no symptoms or symptoms such as TIA,weakness and tingling of limbs or face,visual disturbance and other similar problems.Since there are no other such symptoms, the problem is likely to be of muscular or spinal root origin.