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Carotid Artery Pain / Neck

Recently I have been experiencing pain on the right side of my neck, in what feels to be my carotid artery.  The pain is a very sharp pain that only last a couple of seconds, and starts up every 15-20 seconds.  This can last about a minute or two, and then sometimes even longer.  I'm worried about some type of carotid artery disease?  Is this something I should go right to the dr's about?  I had my blood pressure taken yesterday and is was 126/73.
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Avatar universal
I've had pain there too, although I don't know what caused it. It kind of comes and goes for me.
Avatar universal
Do you have any other symptoms especially in the head?  If you have no sysmptoms it quite likely is just a temporary thing.  On the other hand if it affects your head (brain) then you should have it checked out right away.  It is strange that it is on the rightside rather than the left; is anything happening in your abdomen or chest that might relate to it?
Avatar universal
You describe almost exactly what my husband has been feeling! Have you found any information about it since the time you posted the question?
thanks, Jen
Avatar universal
HI, I am 28 years old and a mother of 3 little girls.  I am a 1/2 pack a day smoker x 10 years.  However most of my life I have been very active and exercise regularily.  I have been having this too.  ONLY on my right side.  I exercised 20 minutes on the eliptical this am and had the pain start up during and has continued in intervals for the past 2 hours.  Mine is more like a dull aching pain.
Avatar universal
pain in neck. For awhile i thought the pain i get in the left side (mainly) of my neck was serious too. but Dr's checked my arteries and they are fine. my Doctor says it's muscle spasms and he's probably right. i do have problems with spasms due to neck and lower back problems. so it's mostly muscles but try relaxing, heat and maybe even an aspirin. good luck.
Avatar universal
I am also having this pain and this is the first chat page I've gone to for insight.

I am 19yrs old and atheletic, I usually do hard cardio work for 20minutes 4Xweek, and walk or some mild exercise(cycling) on the off days. I usually eat quite healthy and I do not smoke, drink or do drugs.

The pain seems to come when I increase my heart rate while exercising and stops after exercise(it does not come everytime I exercise though). It also comes when I drink sugary drinks-pop but not sugary food.
775583 tn?1235617697
I'm 41 years old and have been getting pain in my carotid arteries now since I was 22. I've been to a few doctors for it, even a headache specialist. The pain is always on one side, but has switched between sides. I get them evey day, and usually about 3 or 4 a day. I had a real physical job and noticed that while I was at work I did better. Once I was home and tried to relax, theres where the pain started. I get the pain as soon as I awaken evey day. The only thing that has helped is pushing on the artery when it hurts,a script from the doc,( amytripillin, )and beer. Beer was my first break from the pain. I'd have 2 or 3 a night, and the next day I'd be neck pain free. After about 1 year, that stopped working, and back to the doc I went. Thats when they tried me on amytrip. and that worked for a while,(almost 2 years). The pains in my neck come and go in cycles. I am currantly getting them and my last bout with them lasted 6 mounths. I was hoping that someone else may know more then I currantly do about the pain in my carotid  arteries and post something that may help. I almost forgot, hot coffee in the morning usually helps in no time, (maybe 30 mins.). I have a 28 oz. cup and sip it all day to keep the pain at bay. Hopefully this can help some of you who get this darn pain.
1 Comments
still alive?
Avatar universal
I have had this several times now.  The first time lasted ~6mos.  The last time it only lasted a couple of days.  I am on Day 2 of this current episode.  I had ultrasound, went to an endocrinologist (they were thinking it might be thyroid, but it wasn't) and they couldn't figure anything out.  I also have TMJ and my jaw gets out of joint, and I get it then as well, but only as long as my jaw is out.  Mine also feels somewhat better when I push on it.  I suppose it might be muscle spasms, but it sure it deep in there.  Ibuprofen only helps a little.  It is nice to find others that have the same thing.
Avatar universal
I am 21 years old and have been experiencing pain in my neck for over a year. My ENT said my carotid arteries were inflamed, but he did not know why.  I get migraines along with the pain and I am really suffering.  When the artery acts up I get head pain.  I can't bend my neck certain ways because the arteries hurt.  I also have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and I'm wondering if it's all connected. I have anxiety so I was thinking the pain is from my anxiety.  I get chest pain on the left side of my chest and it happens suddenly without warning.  Does anyone have any suggestions?
Avatar universal
So in June 2008 I reported that I was on my 2nd bout of the carotid artery inflammation which had happened 2 years to the month apart.  This week it happened again.  I and my Doc still cannot tell anyone why, other than I have been very physically active lately because it is summer.  I have to wonder if it is being sedentary most of the time and then going highly active due to nice weather that is causing the problem.  In any case, the pain and inflammation are real.  I need to go back to the Doc for another prescription of Naproxen (anti-inflamatories).  They work great though.  Within a week it is all resolved and I am back to normal.  Otherwise it feels like my lymph nodes are all swollen due to infection and I have a lump over my carotid just under my chin.  Never had anything like this all my life (53) and I have really been a go getter the whole time.
Avatar universal
I am also a female in my mid twenties experiencing right-sided shoulder, neck, and eye pain when I exercise.  The pain goes away shortly after I am finished exercising, but I can't figure out what could be causing it.  I was wondering if any of the previous posts ever figured out what was causing their similar symptoms?
976897 tn?1379167602
If you are worried your carotid arteries are restricted, I believe a simple doppler test on the arteries (used in echocardiogram) can indicate if there is a flow problem. Mine were checked this way before bypass surgery and a  complete flush during an angiogram later confirmed the results were spot on.
My mother in law has 60-65% blockages in her carotid arteries. Her symptoms were dizziness and occassionally fainting. They have since put her on medication and although the blockages are there, she feels fine. That is apart from the headaches, which she has had for a long time now. However, they seem to believe living with headaches is better than the risk of surgery.
Avatar universal
I get the same pain as some of you have stated.  A left sharp pain in my neck that lasts for several seconds then goes away and repeats itself.  I have had a full cardio workout, so I do not think it is heart related.
Avatar universal
I have also just now experienced this at 50 yrs old for the first time.  I also suffer from bad migraines, and have horrible fibromyalgia.  But, I also have a "charlie-horse" type sharp cramp under the chin when I yawn.  Has anyone had this explained to them, or do you know if it goes with these cramp type pains in both sides of my neck (carotid arteries)???  Please help if you can.  For the first time in my adult life, I am without med insurance, so not going to the doctors, which is scaring me. Stroke & high blood pressure run in my family, but I have always had low B.P., but the migraines & stroke history in family scare me.  Thanks!
Avatar universal
I have a pain in my neck but it is not a sharp oain that comes and goes. It is there all the time for the last day or so. Wondering if it could be carotid artery or enlarged lymph node doe to strep or other infection?
Avatar universal
I too have had a couple episodes of this weird unexplained pain.  I had my first last year in Nov at age 43 and again this year right now in Feb.  Last year my Dr. decided after research that it was"Most Likely" carotidynia.  Check into this diagnosis...it seems to fit for me...My treatment included several different antibiotics - each of which got stronger and stronger and still didn't work - and ended with a cycle of steroids which did work.  I have been on anti-inflammatories for the last 2 yrs due to a back injury but they have not helped with this condition.  Last year before the final treatment I was in so much pain I could barely open my mouth, my head pain war horrible and moving my neck in any direction was next to impossible.  For me this seems to have followed a bout of a cold and Sinusitis.  Due to my injury I have not be active so it's not due to exercise...ie muscular but I am also on muscle relaxers and no relief.  I think my Dr. had the best idea so far.  My new Dr today has no idea what this is but is treating it the same way my last Dr did and referring me to an ENT.  Hope this helps someone...I am hoping to feel a lot better in a day or 2 with this new set of steroids  :)
Avatar universal
I am 54 years old and have this sharp pain on my right side that comes and goes. It lasts for seconds only and I rub it for relief. My mistake is not tracking how many years I've had this. I googled the symptoms and came upon this site.
Avatar universal
I have been getting this pain in the right side of my neck.  I am on warfarin lifelong following a dvt already so this is worrying.  My mother had a major stroke age 64 last year and her father had a blocked carotid artery that gave him a stroke and was close to being fatal.  Her mother had a dvt as well.  I am scared!  A bit relieved to hear others have been having the same for a while with no severe consequences.  I have no faith in the GP who failed to diagnose my dvt early enough and who dismissed my mother's stroke symptoms as a 'virus' despite her family history.
Avatar universal
My wife has the same symptoms.  F/W/62 123#s, 5"2".  No on going illnesses.  We went to an ENT.  He gave her a dx of carotidynia.  I hadve not seen anyone who posted on this site mention this dx.  I hope this may give everyone another area for research.
Avatar universal
I'm 50ish and I've been having a pain where my right carotid is for about three to four weeks off and on.  It starts when I'm reclining in bed. My blood pressure was kind of high the last two times it was taken, say 138/100. I've never had a pressure that high before. I did buy a new bed 3 weeks ago. It's one those adjustable beds. I have severe fibromyalgia. It's hurting right now and has for the last hour.  I googled "my carotid artery hurts" and this site came up. Going to check out what carotidynia is.  I'm going to try to chart the pain.
976897 tn?1379167602
If your carotid artery is hurting, then it is either blocking or inflamed. If a blockage is severe, you would normally get pains in the neck, face and then go on to experience dizziness.
I'm not trying to be funny, but rather than researching and chart drawing, you should get to a Doctor if you think it's your Carotid artery. Why? because the Carotid arteries feed the Brain and if they contain Plaque, there is a higher risk of stroke. I wouldn't waste time.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your reply. I read several other web sites after posting. I never experienced dizziness.  I was able to ask a nurse that I know what she thought. She said that there are 4 arteries that supply blood to the brain. Even if one is somewhat blocked, sufficient blood supply remains. As I recall, I was doing what something that would be considered strenuous for someone with fibromyalgia, before the pain started. I have also read that the pain could be a migraine. They don't only happen in your head. There are so many possibilities.


I've have regularly gone to doctors (including head doctors), since 1993 for depression,  anxiety,  and all over body pain. Not once have I not been treated like a hypochondriac.  My fault?  Maybe, to an extent. Doctors today are not willing to broaden their expertise beyond what was known fifty years ago. I, for one, am sick of the brush-off. I'm also sick of the few minutes they spend in diagnosis and the prescription pad at the ready.
Avatar universal
I'm 24 years old and my problems are exactly like yours. I have left sided carotid artery pain that follow with headaches and I was also diagnosed with IBS a few months ago. I had a colonoscopy last on Monday which further confirmed that. I have right sided chest pains though. I was told that one of my organs was failing but no one checked them! I'm thinking it's my gallbladder. If you have stomach pain you can have symptoms that feel heart attack related. I had a severe allergic reaction to Cymbalta that put me in the ER 3 times in a short time span and I haven't fully recovered since then. I also believe that my carotid is inflamed. I'm going to get a hidascan next week to check my stomach and gallbladder and if they see any correlation I will let you know. I work for cardio thoracic surgeons and it's not cad or a blockage, I'm too young for that and I'm a healthy individual.
976897 tn?1379167602
"Even if one is somewhat blocked, sufficient blood supply remains"

Not in everyone, some patients seem to suffer a variety of symptoms. The big issue here isn't whether there is enough blood anyway, the big issue is the possibility of stroke. When a Carotid artery becomes diseased, the risk of stroke increases dramatically.
Has anyone looked for arthritic problems in the vertebrae in your neck area?
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