I'm asking a question for my 31 year old healthy daughter. She has complained for a couple of months about neck stiffness and pain. We dismissed it to a new exercise routine and job and home stress. However, the last week the neck pain subsided somewhat but she now has a "jumping, throbbing pain" in her jaw line on the left side. So bad that she went to see her doctor. She asked me to go with her. The doctor said she had something that basically was a carotid artery spasm. He said it was not heart related. Carotid artery = Heart, no? He prescribed prednisone and soma. She now has a "racing feeling" in her chest and is losing her voice. What's up?
The carotid artery is a major blood vessel which supplies oxygenated blood to the head and neck. It includes internal and external branches. I am not familiar with a " carotid artery spasm" but her symptoms of "jumping, throbbing pain" in her jaw line seem to correlate to a pulsating blood vessel.
The carotid artery does play a part in cardiovascular disease, but generally when it becomes occluded due to atherosclerosis and blood flow is decreased.
What testing did the doctor perform to determine that her symptoms were not heart related? Has there been any changes in her blood pressure?
The medications he prescribed are muscle relaxants (Soma) and anti-inflammatory (prednisone), and should not directly cause her other symptoms of "racing feeling" in her chest or loss of her voice. Have you contacted the doctor to inform him of these new symptoms?
What instructions were you given regarding follow-up care?
It would be beneficial to contact the doctor regarding his treatment plan and what he expects the medications to achieve.
Neck stiffness and pain are generalized symptoms which could result from muscle strains or many other conditions. If your daughter has not had a complete physical recently (within past 1-2 yrs) it may be indicated to obtain more detailed information regarding her situation. Blood work to check her electrolytes and so forth could provide a means of ruling out potential problems.
If she should start experiencing substernal chest pain or any difficulty breathing, she would need further evaluation on a more emergent basis.
Post with an update -- it would be helpful to have additional information regarding this problem.
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