I recently heard and felt cracking and popping noises when I move my jaw around. I was getting pain in my left ear everytime I swallowed. I was diagnosed as having TMJD. But...just recently I was lying on the sofa and coughed reasonably hard and immediately felt pain in my neck and the pain in my ear was excruciatingly painful. The pain subsided by the next morning but the usual pain when swallowing was still there. I was told by my doc that I probably pulled a muscle in my neck. Anyway, two days ago I was having something to eat and as I swallowed, I felt and heard a click in my neck near my larynx (like the sound you hear when you crack a knuckle). The pain radiated from my neck to my left ear and again, it was unbelievably painful. So much so it brought tears to my ears. I've been on Neurofen Plus (ibuprofen + codeine) for the last 3 days to help combat the pain and things have settled nicely. Until this afternoon when I was driving home and was singing with a song on the radio. As I hit a high note (poorly) I immediately felt pain radiate from the same spot in my neck up to my ear. The pain this time wasn't as strong. I don't feel any pain if I hit a low tone in my voice.
I'm lost as to what it could be and I think it's something as well as TMJD. Have I strained something in my neck that could cause that pain to radiate to the ear?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
P.S. I had a CT scan (neck) and barium swallow study last year for something unrelated and nothing untoward was found. I also have an appointment with my head and neck specialist in late March.
You may be having a nerve compression at the cervical (neck) level. The nerve compression could be due to an osteophyte, growth or a disc. This could be causing the referred pain. A neurological examination by your primary care physician may confirm this. He may then ask for blood test, an x ray and if needed an MRI to find out what is causing the compression. This is usually treated conservatively (without surgery) with physiotherapy, traction and cervical collars. Please consult your primary care physician for further evaluation.
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