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Avatar universal

Inflammation of Carotid artery and neck pain

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
197 Responses
Avatar universal
WHAT WORKS FOR ME LIKE MAGIC, and why:

I have these symptoms often due to severe arthritis, but the universal panacea seemed to be IR. I bought an IR bulb, from Phillips, used a standard nightstand lamp, and heated slowly the area. The infra red rays penetrate deep and act as a natural inflammatory agent. Ibuprofen destroys the heart and stomach at best. Also it is a natural antiseptic, it will kill the localized infection. Another important aspect: localized inflammation can occur due to night sweats. Use only cotton sheets and only natural blanket and pillows (goose feathers or similar). Test them by trying to breath through your pillows, and if the air does not flow do not use them.
These are the most common and largely unknown mistakes that I've done.
Hope it helped,
Marius
Avatar universal
What does it mean when your shoulders hurt, your chest muscles, her you get right eye popped blood vessel two times a month, Your head cracks the pain starts going down your arm? My whole body pulses like beats in my sleeps. The only pain I experience is in my shoulders my neck is just tight. I am 59 and I was doing kick boxing and TRX. I like to exercise but it is this cracking every time I move my neck.  This popping blood vessel thing is a little too common and embarassing besides at work. I went once to an opthamologist he said common...Neck they say drink water...I have some arthritis around my neck at age dr said it is "common not normal but many have it"  I guess that means many don't?
Avatar universal
What does it mean when your shoulders hurt, your chest muscles and shoulder muscles throb without pain necessarily,  you get right eye popped blood vessel two times a month, Your head cracks the pain from shoulder starts going down your arm? My whole body pulses like beats in my sleeps. All the muscles but it doesn't hurt and my heart pounds in my chest. The only pain I experience is in my shoulders my neck is just tight. I am 59 and I was doing kick boxing and TRX. I like to exercise but it is this cracking every time I move my neck, just noisy.  This popping blood vessel thing is a little too common and embarassing besides at work..i must mean something they just don't know about it yet.... I went once to an opthamologist he said common...Neck they say drink water...I have some arthritis around my neck at age dr said it is "common not normal but many have it"  I guess that means many don't?
The popping blood vessel in eye people, Do you drink ,do you take medicines, do you have high blood pressure, do you exercise?  
Avatar universal
Hi, i had this problem as well, and diagnosis of carotid artery inflammation has been made. Pain like hell when you touch your pulse!
Ibuprofen didn't help and had to go on steroids.
Symptoms relieved.
You schould have an ultrasound scan of your carotids to exclude otter pathology before carotidynia may be THE one and only diagnosis!
MRI can confirmate THE diagnosis.
Avatar universal
My pain in my neck started two days ago. I turned 18 in december. I'm going to the doctor today. Everything y'all have wrote applies to me. My left side of my neck is throbbing, if I touch my pulse the pain worsens. And my eyes feel like their throbbing! I can't turn my neck at all. And it's hard to sleep because any way I lay, the pain just inclines! Should I ask my doctor about an Inflamed Corotid Artery..?
Sherri
1252958 tn?1269163145
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_syndrome
Avatar universal
Hi! On my first experience of this long threaded discussion of neck pain. Chanced upon your info on homocysteine. Thanks a million, sent me on the road to possibly solving another entirely different underlying health problem. May you be blessed!
Avatar universal
i have the same thing.. i am a 32 yr old male..started a couple weeks ago.. i had the symtoms of what i thought was tmj or something .. intense pressure up the back of my neck and jaw.. and i would yawn and my jaw would pop and give me some temp relief.. then came the headaces in my eyes and temples.. would completly put me out of commision.. this went on for about a week... then on the last day of headaches.. the pain went from my head straight down my neck where my artery.. i told my wife i had never had a headache in my neck like this!.. then the headaches stoped.. but now i have just the pain in the left artery.. been going on for about a week now and freaking me out a little.. i also wanted to add that here in the last 6 months or so i have been exsperiencing virtigo like symptoms.. where in sitting there ... and all of a sudden it feels like i have been tipped back or something.. and im falling backwards.. havent had it recently tho... also a couple weeks ago i had this constant whomping sound in my head that lasted a couple days.
Avatar universal
Hi all.  Carotidynia is nothing to worry about.  It is basically a type of migraine that affects the "bulb" or "sheath" that surrounds the carotid artery and causes inflammation in that area.  I have had this for years and it comes and goes but occurs mostly in the winter months.  I take ibuprofen for pain and it eventually just goes away.  Some people do have it for longer periods and it can be an annoyance but it's not life threatening.  Good luck to all!
Avatar universal
My 13 teen year old daughter keeps getting sore vains in here left arm. Some times she has to hold her arm tight untill the someness goes away. What could be the cause of this?
Avatar universal
Yes I got that as well, including the vertigo. Interesting thing on the vertigo is that it happens just as I manage to fall asleep, jerking me back awake.

That said people I do have a sense of the cause. Its working on computers, especially laptops. I know because I have only been back on computers three months and my regular job is intensely physical w/ few computers. I had this problem years ago when working on comps and holding my head in a particular position. Thoughts?
Avatar universal
I have had the same problems for almost 10 yrs, and I am only 28. I have been to Dr. after Dr. and hospital after hospital. Been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, tension headaches, cluster headaches, etc. But have never found treatment that helps. I have 3 kids and always wake up with pain and headaches. This is ruining my life! After reading all of these blogs I am thinking that while sleeping on my stomach, I must be pinching the carotid artery and not getting enough blood/ oxygen to my brain, thus causing these problems. I do not believe I have a permanent problem with the artery, because none of my tests, MRI, CAT scan, etc. have shown any problems. Anybody else a stomach sleeper? Wake up with headaches and eye pressure?
Avatar universal
I have had the same problems for almost 10 yrs, and I am only 28. I have been to Dr. after Dr. and hospital after hospital. Been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, tension headaches, cluster headaches, etc. But have never found treatment that helps. I have 3 kids and always wake up with pain and headaches. This is ruining my life! After reading all of these blogs I am thinking that while sleeping on my stomach, I must be pinching the carotid artery and not getting enough blood/ oxygen to my brain, thus causing these problems. I do not believe I have a permanent problem with the artery, because none of my tests, MRI, CAT scan, etc. have shown any problems. Anybody else a stomach sleeper? Wake up with headaches and eye pressure?
Avatar universal
It sounds like Sjoren's Syndrome, autoimmune.  I diagnosed myself,
have struggled with fatigue most of my life.  It is often related to
lupus autoimmune and endocrinologists are the specialty.   The
treatment is steroids, but those can make you feel great, then you
crash when you have to periodically have to go off them.   Of course,
we learn that doctors don't want  you to tell THEM what you know
about your physical condition and many specialists are dismissive of
the awful fatigue with this.  I have never been offered  treatment or
anything like steroids.
Susan
Avatar universal
I'm 34 y/o healthy female 5'8" and 150lbs. I took Phentermine on and off for the last 4 years and wonder if that has anything to do with this. I take Nasonex daily (8 years now) for seasonal allergies...allergic to all 4 of them :) My left side is definately worse than my right - "diagnosed" with inflammation 8 months ago but it has never gone back down. I know when it's getting worse because I start to tingle. More so when people tick me off or raise my blood pressure if you will. It started as tingling on the left side of my head around the ear but progressed and now when I get really mad my entire face tingles almost like a numbing sensation. On my really bad days I have tingling in my hands and feet. I take my anti-inflamatories and muscle relaxors as needed on the bad days.

I've dealt with it just fine till now - I've got new additions. One month ago I started attending a weekend hard-core fitness boot-camp. It's intense and the heart-rate gets really high. Usually my face and hands go numb in a matter of minutes and I've noticed my hands and arms turn BRIGHT red when this happens. Not to mention I sweat like crazy, I mean I'm wipping my brow just in warm ups. Well today I actually experienced my first (i guess it was this) exercise induced asthma attack. Scared the crap out of of me - my throat litterally closed up for about 3 minutes.  Then again 20 minutes later. Both times I ended up laying on the ground in the snow trying to gasp in the -1 degree cold air. I remember when my son croup - always took him out into the cold air and it would open his throat right up.

Not sure what's going on.  Honestly beginning to think my heart or carotid artery are litterly going to explode one of these days. It's a very scarey thought but can't seem to get the doc to be concerned. Told my trainer it would be a really bad oxymoron to have me die in his gym of a heart attack or stroke while I'm there trying to improve my health. Just not sure where to go from here.
Avatar universal
Try physio therapy. I too had right neck pain, as if something is poking below my right ear. Got the physio to realign the neck gently , done by lying down on back while she support my neck and slowly pull neck forward and letting it sit back on its own. I got instant relieve, no unbalance while walking or further pain while moving my neck to the right.
Avatar universal
That's me.  No sweating, headaches, vomiting, or even ear aches.  I've only been dealing with it for 2 weeks though.  Extreme artery pain just below my jaw, and oftentimes it feels like its in my lower jaw, also on my left side.  Been to four doctors - two being ENTs.  The second ENT was today and told me it was an inflamed artery and I needed 800mg of Motrin 3 times a day and to put a heat pack on it.
Good luck.
Avatar universal
Wow, I have read every post and learned so much from so many.  What I found I have in common - autoimmune disease - I have a thyroid goiter, have tested for the antibody for RA and Lupus but do not actively have either, have been under prolonged period of stress (I believe a BIG factor here), suffered with a virus a few weeks previous to this, started having reflux (do to the stress I was under), experienced itchy, watering eyes, with blurring in my right eye, pain in my right under arm and topped off with pain in my right carotid artery area.  Perhaps this took so long to come on due to the fact that I regularly take an anti-inflammatory for a joint replacement I had a year ago.  Stress does amazing things to our bodies and the last time I was under a prolonged period of stress was when I was dianosged with the RH and Lumpus antibodies because all my joints were inflammed and hurting.  Got to learn to handle stress somehow but the meantime I am having this checked out to be certain because I don't want to be a stroke victim just because I didn't.  Good luck to everyone and thanks for all your posts.
Avatar universal
This may help - maybe try going to the chiropractor. tendons and muscles in the neck get misaligned after years of stress and can cause horrible migraines, tension headaches, shooting pain in the neck and arms, and the burning sensation the artery because everything is being pulled and strained so bad.

Everytime I go to the chiropractor and he adjusts my neck, I feel blood shoot back into these areas and I get release from migraines and the burning sensation in the cartoid artery. My muscles relax and it's just amazing. It's amazing how much tension we get used to. Whenever i feel a headache or migraine coming on, I go the the chiropractor and it is fixed.

It only costs about $50 to go and could help with a host of issues. I also think a good acupuncturist can work miracles too. They just have a sense of the body's nervous system.
Avatar universal
have you ever tried going to the chiropractor? i had tension headaches and really bad dizzyness that went away after I had my neck and back adjusted. It really works for me - I work a back brace in High School due to scoliosis so my neck needs to be adjusted at least once a month or more... just an idea...
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