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Chronic neck and face pain with speech
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Chronic neck and face pain with speech

About 4 years ago I woke up one morning with an extrememy sore throat that felt really low in my throat.  Speech was painful, but I spoke anyway.  A few weeks later I laughed really hard, then woke up the next morning with my current problem:

Whenever I speak, the right side of my face gets so tight it is indistinguisable from the numbness induced by novacane.  There is a sharp but constant pain that runs from the base of my skull, down the side of my neck, and terminates just under my shoulder blade, all on the right side only. There is no pain whatsoever on my left side.
The tightness/pain results in me not being able to tilt my head, look up or down, or turn my head to the right. The pain returns to all the previously described locations (face, neck, back) whenever I speak, lift items with my right arm, swim, or work out at all. I have stumped many ENT specialists in a couple different states; they all look down my throat and say everything looks fine.
I found an excellent speech pathologist who gave me some "vocal warm ups" that allow me to speak with decreased pain (this took several months to be able to do).  However, even with the warm ups there is substantical pain, tightness, and numbing. If I speak without doing the warm ups sufficiently, or if I sing or make any sounds other than my "natural" speaking voice at a medium volume, the pain is so great I typically don't speak for a few days afterwards.

Treatments I've tried so far:

Speech therapy: I got cleared. When I speak, it is "correct".
Botox injection into the neck: No effect.
Physical therapy: No effect
Massages: Provides temporary relief until I move or speak, then the pain comes back with a vengence.
Antacids: No effect
Anti-inflammatories: takes the edge off, but does not eliminate the pain.
Lay perfectly still with my neck supported: Makes pain ease up but not disapear. I do this as often as I can.
Muscle Relaxers: no effect
Stretching: Makes the pain much worse.
Light exercise: makes it worse.

Possibly usefull information:
I was a trumpet player. and I don't think it is unheard of to pull muscles in one's face. However, the 4 year persistance after all exercise and trumpet playing ceased seems to rule out a pulled muscle.

I got my left labrum repaired as well as a bone spur removed from my left shoulder (all in one surgery). This was approximately a year before the facial pain started, with no complications

I used to work out a lot, but I don't recall being injured.

If anyone has any ideas or experience with this type of thing, any insight/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time in reading this.
2 Comments Post a Comment
1751596 tn?1406776760
I think it may something to do with the base of your skull. Cranial nerves, cerebellum, path. of craniocervical junction, cyst of cerebellum, tumor, chiari malformation. You need to get an mri to answer this. There is an indication.
Avatar m tn
google neck and face nerves

use reliable sites mayo clinic etc

trace these muscles see how they work and connect

read all you can very important find the nerves in the jaw and neck

once you have this info take to a doc possibly specialist

me im a chiro fan 15 or so i now have the best i have ever had

i was in security i was hit with you name it in the face and head trying to knock me out

point is i had to have my jaw set by a chiro for over 2 years eating talking pain when chiro set it it was all gone

good luck i hope you find some answers
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