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Inflammation of Carotid artery and neck pain
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by SBBugg, Apr 04, 2006
About six months ago my left neck began to hurt and I noticed what I thought was a lump there. I went to a head and neck specialist and he said that I had inflammtion of my Carotid artery(Carotidynia).  The lump, I guess, was just the bifurcation of my artery that was swollen. The doctor told me to take an anti-inflammatory(ibuprophen) for 2 weeks. The pain finally diminished, but about a month later it started in my right neck. The pain now runs all the way down my neck and into my shoulder and right chest a bit.  It especially hurts if I apply pressure to my pulse(Carotid artery).  It feels like inflammed nerves or something. So, I went back to another doctor and he gave the same diagnosis. He said unfortunatley the cause is unknown. Now I am on a stronger anti-inflammatory. I just want to know the cause so it won't come back. I also got blood work and a head and neck xray completed, but am still waiting for results. Has anyone ever had this?  Any similar symptoms?  Should I be more concerned? Thanks
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Member Comments (192)
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by odd, Apr 20, 2006
I have the same thing going on, just about 2 days ago i had an intense pain in the right side of my neck over my carotid artery and then the next day i felt a lump which caused me to believe it was swollen.  The lump is still there and the pain is too, i haven't been to a specialist just my family doctor who told me arteries don't get inflammed.  Then i saw this website and realized that he must have been wrong, anyway i know what you are experiencing and it is no fun!
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by SBBugg, Apr 20, 2006
My doctors said that it is just the outer lining of the artery that is inflammed.( nothing to do with the inside).  I have been on anti-inflammatories for 3 weeks now and it still hurts. Does yours hurt worse when you press on your pulse?  Let me know if you find out anything else about this condition.
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by mst2, Nov 18, 2007
I just had this happen to me.  It began about 3 weeks ago and come on rather suddenly.  I am now on prescription strength Motrin.  I am interested in knowing your results.

Thank you,

mst2
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by tina6884, Dec 17, 2007
I had the same thing about a year ago. My internist placed me on steroids, antibiotics, pain meds, and cough med. All my symptoms were pain over my left carotid artery, I had a cough that was almost constent, I could hardley turn my head, I could not lie in bed on my left side, you could look at my neck and see my pulse pounding, I had pain from my ears all the way down my shoulder. I first went to a nurse practioner who said it was all my ears and to take mucinex. I did so but continued to get orse which is when I seen my internist. She was flipping out about how bad it was and wanted me in the hospital, I refused and did meds. I was on steroids for 30 days. I have been fine until now. My symptoms started again yesterday and I go see my internist this week. SO maybe you should find an internist and good luck I think it is more serious then some doctors are acting. Hope this helps.
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by lauren81, Dec 18, 2007
Hi everyone.

Has anyone had a thryoid check? My Dad (age 53), also went through this about 2 years ago. However, his GP is an amazing guy, and sent him for some blood tests and scans. It turns out that he had "nodules" (cysts) on his thryoid, which were causing his neck to swell and inflame everything around it. He also had trouble swallowing sometimes, and coughed alot (especially when laying down.) As his were, usually these nodules are benign, but do have to be removed if they're causing breathing troubles. He made it through the surgery fine. He does still have some nodules on the other side of his thyroid, but they haven't grown & aren't causing problems, so they will just stay there. I'm not saying that any of you have nodules, but if the steroids aren't helping, or it keeps coming back, etc., I would say that going to an endocrinologist wouldn't be an over-reaction.Hope that helped.
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by meades, Feb 13, 2008
This same thing has been going on for almost a year now for me. I just turned 40 (male). A few months ago I went to my Primary Doctor and he said my Right Carotid Artery was inflamed. It is very painful to the touch and almost throbs with heartbeat. He wrote a script for a low dose of prednisone. The pain almost always goes away within a two week period, whether I take something or not, but I am very concerned as to why this is happening and if here is something else I need to address with my Doctor. I am in good health otherwise. Is this something I now have to just live with???
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by keebe, Feb 17, 2008
I was diagnosed in Oct., 2008 with caratidinia and given steroids and antibitics.  It helped.  BUT  my concern is that 2 months later, i went to my doctor with a cough that I just cannot control and now pain on the opposite side exactly like the right side and he tells me I have it again, on the other side.   I THOUGHT THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE RARE???????   so how did it come back so soon and now on the opposite side?  I refuse to go back to reg. dr., he can refer me to another doctor.   wanted to tell you I sweat like a lizard at night and sometimes during the day.   My eyes have also gotten really inflammed and itchy, and soar?  I don't know .  I am a healthy 45 yr old, 5 7 and weigh within my range.  sorry that you feel like ****.  I hope you will know where to go from here and let us all know.
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by mrswhatacop, Feb 21, 2008
OMG, just came from the dr. with the same thing, he told me to take Aleve 3 times a day....I also have a bad cough and was diagnosed today with high blood pressure and asthma....what in the heck is going on.......I am quite frightened......he did an EKG just to rule out a heart attack and some blood work, said it was routine testing but I wonder?!?!?!
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by meades, Mar 10, 2008
Follow up...

So $$$$'s later and the Doctors still do not know what is causing me to have these pains so often. The only thing they have said is that most people get this once, maybe twice, during their lifetime and never again. Usually treated with over the counter Ibuprofen to help with the inflammation. I have it this four times in the past year and they just don't know why. I hope I have had the last episode already. Blood work shows slightly high sugars and CT shows nothing. Go figure.