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Burning pain radiating from outer ear, down into carotid artery of neck...
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Burning pain radiating from outer ear, down into carotid artery of neck

Over the past couple of years I have been having a reoccurring pain that starts in the lower part of my left ear where it connects to my head, and extends down into my neck and carotid artery area.  The pain is a dull burning sensation as if in the nerve.  The pain is not inside my ear, rather it starts in the base part of the area where my ear protrudes from my head, travels down my neck from behind the ear and under my jaw/chin into the carotid artery area.  In the past I have had pluresy (sp?) in my carotid arteries on one side and then on the other, but was told that was just a common infection of the lining of the atery at that time.  

The pain often starts in the ear area and later develops in the neck area in a burning throbbing manner which is quite distracting, but not extremely painful.  If I place pressure on base of my earlobe, or on the area just behind my ear at the bottom where it connects to my neck, or on the carotid artery itself (underneath my jawline at the neck), the pain is slightly relieved.  To me it seems like a nerve pain.  My doctor suggested I go to the dentist about it and see if it is TMJ, but somehow it does not seem to me like it would be a TMJ pain.  

What are your opinions on this pain?

Thank you in advance for any information you can offer.
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3 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Could be carotidynia. I had something similar to what you described and the pain/burning lasted over 2 weeks. Do you get migraines too? Sometimes this can be a part of a migraine. If it doesn't go away within 2 week I would see a neurologist.
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Avatar_n_tn
Just to let you know, I went to the dentist 4/7/06 and it was discovered that I have a cyst on the root of a tooth that had had a root canal 4 years ago, and the cyst was growing outward from the root into the ligament that lines the root of the tooth, so while the nerves of the tooth were dead, the ligament is not and that was the source of the pain.  I will be having oral surgery to have the tooth removed so the ligament can be repaired.  If I had waited much longer, eventually the cyst would have eaten through the ligament and into the bone.

I am still having the pains, of course, but now at least I know the cause and will soon be fixing it.

Just thought I would post this here in case anyone has had similar symptoms to give them a chance to review all aspects of their health that can cause such pains.

Thanks for your comments.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have pain that runs all the way down my neck as well. I was diagnosed with Carotidynia. They said that the outer lining of my carotid artery was inflammed.  Mine first started on my left side, and now it is on my right.  When I press on my pulse in my mid neck, it hurts worse.  I am on Naproxen(anti-inflammatory). It hasn't seemed to help.  I don't know what causes this and neither do the doctors.
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