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Swollen/Stiff Neck - No Pain
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Swollen/Stiff Neck - No Pain

I am a 20 year old male. For about 14 months I have been experiencing a swollen/stiff neck in the muscles all up and down the right and left side of my neck. This also includes a few swollen lymph nodes. These symptons of swollen/stiffness occur at there absolute worse after a long night of drinking (6 to 9 beers). They also occur after eating a large helping of food, usually food thats are salty. Finally these sypmtons also occur aftera lot of physical activity like running (I am a college soccer player). When these neck sympton are at is worse my motor skills are always off, I feel weak and tired, my vision may go imparied for a split second irregular heartbeat, increased mucus lining in my throat, and I'll sometime experience quick shot of nervous energy up my body. Then I start to have a great tingling sensation in my neck if i run my fingers up and down the sides of it. The tingling eventually starts up in the ckeeks of my faces and hands. Usually the only way to help these issues when they are at its worse is to take a nap or somehow get to sleep. I don't know why but thought maybe while i am asleep my neck muscles are fully relaxed. I also would like to note that I am not experiencing any sharp pain in my neck, rather it causes more of a great discomfort and uneasiness. I have seen a few doctors, gotten all kinds of bloodwork and a ct scan but everything has come back negative. A chiropractor I occasionally see claimed that there is definitely somethings cause a swelling in my neck, but he wasn't sure exactly what it could be, as x-rays showed that nothing was wrong with any off the bones in that area. Before this started about 14 months ago, I had never once experienced any of these symptons and then they just started abruptly, specifically after one night of a lot of drinking, smoking, and no sleep. Since then it has been absolutly consistent and seems to have gotten worse little by little. Please anyone, help me with any advice you can offer, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
6 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, first let me say, I am by no means a doctor.  OK, with that out of the way...

Drinking alcohol and eating too much salt can cause your body to suffer dehydration; especially if you don't drink enough water.  Exercise can also bring on dehydration.  Again, if you don't drink enough water.

Dehydration can cause your joints and muscles to become stiff and/or swollen.  Also,  CHRONIC DEHYDRATION CAN CONTRIBLE TO A REDUCTION IN LYMPH FLOW.

The tingling could be from your neck being stiff and swollen and compressing nerves which would cause tingling sensations.  Like you said, when you are sleeping, you are relaxed and therefore, your neck muscles are relaxed and not causing the nerve compression.

Smoking can also cause dehydration ~ it gives you dry mouth.  Not getting enough sleep can also wreck havoc on your body and cause dehydration and mineral loss.  It's also been suggested that dehydration is the number one cause of back and neck pain and stiffness.

I would bring up the dehydration factor to your chiropractor or doctor and see what they say.  Try drinking more water and see if that helps.

Good luck, Kay

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Avatar_m_tn
wow, i have the same exact thing its pretty weird. i am also much of a hypochandriac. i wish i knew why this happens, it causes me alot of anxiety.
Tom
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? It is good to know that the blood tests, CT and and xray results were normal. THis could be neurological or musculoskeletal causes. Was there a previous injury to your head or neck?  It is best that you have this checked by a neurologist to rule out nerve issues as well. Your complete medical history and physical examinations are important.  Ice packs and pain relievers may help provide relief. Take care and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

I have had loads of problems with the muscles in my neck and after searching every physical cause possible (chiropractors, doctors, osteo's, physio's, x-rays...) it was finally diagnosed as anxiety...feeling anxious causes muscle tension which when chronic can be very painful..not sure if this is your problem but it is worth checking out...see if there is any correlation between symptoms and times of heightened stress/pressure/anxiety etc..
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? It is good that the cause of your neck pain was identified to be due to anxiety. This would surely help a lot members who may have the same issues like you. Take care and do keep us posted. Warm regards.
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Avatar_m_tn
I do to have similar problems. Usually a night out drinking equals to my neck going stiff specially below the base of the skull. I have swollen knots on both left and right ends. I have tried everything but these are somethings that help me 1) I drink less and when I do drink, I make sure to have plenty of water before I sleep. 2) Advil or any NSAIDS the next day temporarily relieves the pain. 2) I found a massage therapist and get a upper back and neck massage once a month 3) carry 2 bottles of water to work everyday and make sure I finish it. 4) Cardio exercise; run for atleat 10 minutes a day. And the most important a DRY/Clean(change the pillow case once a week)/ ergonomic pillow.

It does help, I figured all this by myself after 3 years of excruciating pain.

Nigel
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Allentown, PA