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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5330
Experience:  Neurology & Int Medicine (US Trained): 20 yrs experience
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I have been having this deep dull pain inside my neck. (left

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I have been having this deep dull pain inside my neck. (left side of neck, if I were pointing inside of it. I have just a tint of a problem swallowing, but not very often. Not knowing if it is related, the right side of my scull tingles and is a bit numb. Again, that isn't very often, but it does happen. (fyi) My thyroid is normal.

Hello. Is this pain inside you neck constant or intermittent? It is not likely related to your head tingling, though you should keep in mind that there are some major arteries going up the neck into your brain (i.e carotids and vertebral). These arteries can sometimes become narrowed, or occluded, or even tear (carotid dissection). This latter condition can cause the following symptoms:

  • The most common symptom is headache on the same side as the dissection, usually around the eyes. Other symptoms include severe pain over the carotid artery in the neck, drooping eyelid, small pupils and bruits, or blood flow murmurs audible to the patient.
  • Ischemic symptoms, those related to low blood flow through a vessel, include visual loss, weakness, numbness or speech difficulties. These events may be transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or permanent.

If you were to develop some of these symptoms you would need to be evaluated promptly. Otherwise you can schedule an appointment with your family doctor in the next couple weeks and have him examine your neck and order any appropriate tests to further evaluate your pain.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The pain in my neck is a thick constant dull pain. The neck pain, which by the way, I'm having a hard time describing it as pain, more of a thick feeling with discomfort. I forgot to say that my left ear hurts too, deeper inside of the ear. I don't have an ear infection.
Did the ear pain come on at the same time as the neck pain? Any problems with your hearing or balance?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The ear pain feels like it follows a path down to the discomfort in my neck. Yes, they have been present together. I don't have any hearing problems, nor do I have any balance problems.

That area of the neck and ear gets its nerve supply from the superficial cervical plexus, a web of nerves that comes off the upper portion of the spinal cord and emerges from under the large muscle in the side of the neck that allows us to turn our head.

 

These nerves can get irritated along this path quite easily. It could be from inflammation or hypertrophy of the overlying muscle or from other neck problems, even from wearing tight collars or jewelry. Eliminating any pressure on these nerves, taking anti-inflammatories such as Motrin or Alleve, and sometimes taking nerve-stabilizing medications such as gabapentin or pregabalin, can help with the pain.

 

If nerve decompression and medication do not help, you may need to have a CT of the neck performed to look for more unusual causes. While rare, certain head and neck tumors can cause this type of pain and would need to be considered, especially if one is a smoker.

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