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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
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Avatar universal
C. Diff colitis can cause the symptom described in this thread. Metronidazole and Vancomycin are the two antibiotics that work against C. Diff. Unfortunately, they're also presently the last line of defense against antibiotic resistant staph and sepsis, so doctors don't want to burn them out on colitis.

Avatar universal
I have similar symptoms also. I think it has been actually been going on for a couple of years.  Kept feeling something was off on my neck but didn't really think it was a lump in my throat, just an uncomfortable feeling, sometimes achey.  Went to a nose throat fellow who looked in and said everything was fine.  However, this year, my ear on the side has started plugging and I have been getting pain under my jaw and an ache down my neck, even to the top of my shoulder. Finally went to a walk in clinic and the doctor felt my neck and said my cartoid artery was swollen.  I am going for an ultra sound tomorrow.   When I asked the GP what they did about a swollen cartoid, he said that they generally just "watched it". One thing I  have noticed is that the symptoms come and go. Does anyone else have this experience.  Sometimes it feels swollen and aches and other times there are no symptoms.  One thing I have noticed, is that hot drinks (or maybe coffee) seem to set it off.  I must say tho, that I haven't experienced the type of pain that some people of described thankfully, and hopefully I won't.  A little nervous about the ultra sound.
Avatar universal
Please, who is your doctor. I just got out of the hospital and they are checking me for a heart attack . I have your same symptoms, very painful in my right jaw, neck and right ear lobe. Thank you  liskay123
Avatar universal
hey fluffgirl73...

saw your thread, just wanted to know what was your results. unlike the
others, i too do not have the 'pain', but a lump om my right side of the
neck artery. had a carotid doppler scan, will get the results on 03/26/12.
this is some scarry stuff.
please reply if you can tell me anything else..

2090958 tn?1332815051
I feel for all of you as I can relate to this pain.  I have been experiencing pains in my right neck near my carotid.  The pain I feel though is similar to contractions or labor pain in my neck.  The lump in my neck keeps growing and sometimes kicks.  We believe this is nothing short of a zombie embroyo.  The carotid artery is extremely vascular, just like the uterus and it is a wonderful place for a little zombie fetus to grow... Stay tunes as we will film the delivery of the zombie child...  
Or it could be that I was lifting weights and the 50 pound barbell fell directly on my carotid. Either way, I believe we are about to have a new member to our family... We will name it "Brain Eater Zomber."
Avatar universal
                           Me too i got exact same, mine started from carrying to heavy things on my back about a month ago i turned my head and my neck on the right side hasent stopped hurting. Im 48 female and worried too. It feels like a artery or vein where the pain is and its sore to touch. And just yesteraday my eyes where totally scratchy and my throat was like closing up Ive never experienced anything like it before. I just thought wow ive never had an allergy attack like that before.
MAIN THING WORRYING ME...My moms mom died at 48 from an aneurysm.I guess I should carry regular asperin?
Avatar universal
I was diagnosed with a disection of my carotid artery five years ago and a week ago today, I woke up with a "pain the neck" on my right side.  It is sore to the touch and it's concerning me.  

Both of my parents had a burst aneurysm in their brain at age 50 and I'm glad to say they both survived it.   With their history, of course, my doctors are quite interested in my head/neck area.  The closer I get to 50, the more anxious I get - I'll be 48 in September.

My neurosurgeon said as long as the artery walls maintain their integrity, I didn't have to come back in unless I experienced any "symptoms."   I'm not sure if this is considered a symptom or if I'm just freaking myself out.  
Avatar universal
Dear Kineva and to all of you, my heart is breaking for all the pain and suffering that you are going through.  And to top it off, it seems like most of you are still waiting for a diagnosis.  To me, it sounds like almost all of you are suffering from Internal Carotid Dissections. .  . and really the best way to diagnose that is with and MRA (which is an MRI and they just use a special contrast so they can see your arterial system). Also, sometimes they use a CTA( which a CT machine is used with a special contrast to  see your arterial system)- the results look similar to what you would see if you had an angiogram.  The reason I know this is because two years ago, I started suffering severe neck pain than a horrific headache after a chiropractor manipulated my neck.  I advise and beg anyone reading this to NEVER EVER let a chiropractor manipulate your neck!!! People have died on the table, stroked on the table, or people like me. . .  knew something was wrong after it happened but it took a few days to reach its critical point.  I didn't stroke but had SO many neurological deficits.  My left internal carotid artery dissected and has an aneurysm on it and my right internal vertebral artery dissected and has an aneurysm on it - ALL BECAUSE OF A CHIROPRACTOR MANIPULATING MY NECK.  I suffered TERRIBLY from the pain in my neck and head.  I was in the hospital for almost 2 months.  This happened 2 years ago and I am still not healed.  My brain is still foggy, I suffer from horrific headaches and physically and mentally I am just not the same as I used to be.  I know that i am blessed that I am still here and am able to do so many things.  Just type in CHIROPRACTOR and carotid dissection into YouTube and you will watch some horrible and sad stories - I know that it could have much worse for me.  But for all of those of you suffering pain 1.  Don't go to a chiropractor to try and fix it: our neck holds 4 of our main arteries that sustains our life (one goes directly to the heart).  2. research Internal Carotid Artery Dissection or Internal Vertebral Dissection and if you feel that you have the symptoms, ask your doctor for an MRA or CTA.  If dissections are left untreated, there are great risks.  I am sorry for such a long post, but I just wanted to pass this information along-even if it helps just one person.
Avatar universal
And I forgot to mention in my post above that I was in great physical shape when this occurred and was female and 37 years old.
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Having the same pain, thought it was a swollen lymphnod or gland, but NET Dr. said it was a swollen artery. Will try anti-inflammatory, and left you know. Never heard of this before.
Avatar universal
I was just diagnosed with it as well. My pain was in my jaw, my ear and the whole left side of my head. I also have pain in my neck and my shoulder on the same side. No one really listens and you never hear from them again if your blood tests come back within range. I finally went to an ENT, he was thorough and found it at last...he put me on prednisone and it helped immediately. I just started it yesterday, so I hope when I get off of it that it doesn't come back. I know it sounds silly, but the one thing that makes my head hurt worse is my cell phone. I can not talk on it for more than 5 minutes without my head aching for days. Getting a land line!!! Anyway, I wish the doctors would treat the cause of the problem instead of the result. My ENT said that it could be caused by a virus???
Avatar universal
Sorry...but doctors are just there to get money ....thats all....ah...and prescribe medicine...cause its easy to do....hardley they give exams...you have got to beg for them...they look at you if you are stupid...they feel on top all the time....i have not found one doctor yet in Britain taken me serious...waist of time...
Avatar universal
get checked for eagles syndrome. I have all the same symptoms and was lucky enough to have an amazing ENT who knew about the condition.  Before him I ran around for 2 years trying to find answers.  Good luck all.

Avatar universal
When I read about your problem, I responded b/c of the similarity to my symptoms. I, also, have pain in my Lt Carotid artery right below my ear. It is sore to touch, but interestly, the pain has been relieved by sleeping in a tobagan hat. I guess the warmth of the hat helps me. I thought maybe I had a sinus infection, but, after hearing some of the other testimonies, I don't think so. My systolic BP (top #) has been extremely high & I am a small person. Also, I have a dry cough at times & I've been hoarse over 6 mths. I have Juvenile Diabetes, take insulin, however, & have acid reflux. I take a BP & acid reflux med, daily, already. I am a Nurse, therefore, I blew it off b/c of my medical knowledge, I thought  that I may have become a bit of a hypochondriac? I am dizzy when I climb the stairs at home or in the movie theater, my feet are very cold at night in bed & it's been difficult to swallow certain foods: breads, broccoli (raw), etc. I am concerned that my carotid artery may be occluded since I, also, have a elevated BP along with the pain in my LEFT side of my neck, the same side as my heart. Hearing some of the other stories, however, now wonder if could be cysts on my thyroid? I have already had an UGI of my throat & OK.  I am going to seek an opinion of an Endocrinologist. I feel that you should do the sam if your BP is high, also.  I hope you find the relief you deserve.
Avatar universal
Monday morning i went to work fine. By 9 a.m. my body begin to ache and i couldnt stop sweating. by 915 my mouth was dry and i was weak. I started work at 8 am. By 930 i had extreme pressure in my head and shortness of breath. i managed to make it through the day out of sheer neccessity. The next day was spent in bed fighting the chills and sweats along with a fever and my other symptoms. So Wednesday i go to the clinic and they diagnose me with severe strep and put me on advil and penicillin. By friday everything is gone except now i have a marble size lump in my neck that radiates pain through my neck teeth and right ear. it seems to be easing the more that i take my penicillin and doses of advil though. but it is my right carotid. i will let you guys know if it goes down.
Avatar universal
It started in 2009, lump in throat feeling did barium swallow test whihc was notmal, and had blood test which was normal except ESR slightly high, aske d to take Valprim 2mg and symptoms disappeared after a week or so,
Again Sept 2011 felt like I had something in throat, went to doctors, gave me did an gastrocscopy, came clear, also did ultrasound for thyroid right side was in the upper limit s of normal, left was normal, also had some pain in stomach around that time did bariumtest and contrast for MRI to which I was anaphalactic, and had to give a cortizone, also sent me to ENT, during that time I had this white pimple,( have had them previously which ws not often but since 2011 they were there quite often), looking things on right side of tonsil no pain just botherend me making me feel like I need to gag, and sometimes when I coughed it came out other times I had to press on it to get the darn thing out, they were like white heads only two in the same spot all the time, ENT and doctor said food particles believe me they were not I thingk they were tonsil stones, found out through, med help. ENT Dec 2011 ,sent camera through nose said have a drip, I have alleries to hayfever and  asthma asked to do a scan , did not do it immediately, until end of March when I woke up and felt that my vison was double digits, was worried as there is glucoma in family, and my previous eye pressure in FEb 2011,check was 19, Since March before I got the blurry vion hadnt been sleeping well, also noted  for getting a lot, putting things in wrong place, sometimes forget what I was looking for as well, had a  stammer at one time, which I never had but now not often only sometimes, if I am stressed trying to think of words maybe due to lack of slee.
Ayway went to emergency did normal test to make sure not a stroke due to double vion and was asked to go to  emergency ENT next day, Had terrible headache and went eye pressure was done igt was in 20 and 21, as I was also vomiting, did not have headace when I had the blurry vision, just . They asked if I get sius problems said yes, so they checked it with camera and said may have polyps and do a scan to  make sure hospital put me on antibiotics which had some acid in it made breathing a bit hard felt like something was stuck in chest and itchiness here and there, did scan said have polyps.Went back to GP put me on doxy for 3 weeks while on doxy got me to do a scan of the thyroid and said that it came out normal also did another blood test that came out normal.
While on doxy noted the pimples in right side cleared up, but there is a flesh coloured slighly raised  lump on that side, so put finger in there to check it was a small lump size of pea does  not hurt, but noticed after the doxy was over that it had enlarged , was worried showed it to doctor who said dont worry, been in an oout of doctors, who says my glands are swollen, everytime mentioned it to him but not worried, checked mouth with popsicle stick and light, mentioned to him that it has grown but docotor is not concerned, went back to ent  with the report of scan mentioned to him he too said may be due to nasal drip, nasal drip, is back of throat this is in front of the arch where the pimples were,  Tthe throat scan for thyroids  did not show or mention, anything about this lump, as I was on antibiotics at the time,
Feel neck is heavy, tightness, so went to chiro who took Xrays of the back top to bottom while on antibiotics, chiro said had a small bend but nothing to worry about, feel a lot of tension in neck area and sometimes a uncomfortable feeling,
On the weekend was on bed on the computer, felt the pressure on both side of the neck as if I was going to get choked, have had this dry cough  cough too that has started, for some times now but havent taken notice of it as I do have asthma, but it not asthmatic, had breakfast in bed and then got up was in the kitchen felt vision going blurry , as my neck felt tightening on both sides, went and put my feet up for some time took some time for the feeling to leave 20 -30 mts or more. Went back to Dr and mentioned about this, also noted that I had a slight  loss of bladder control and did not know until I felt something wet, but was too shy to tell the doctor I am forgetting alot  not sure because of the stress of the lump, my sinus feels fine sometimes get the drip and stuffed nose but not all the time, could it be the lump inside throat that is causing but it is only on the right not left but the compression was on both sides,  took a nurofen, yesterday, I am stressed oiut about the lump pressure was fine but my hear rate was 81 and should have been 66 or below, I checkd my poulse when I felt this  tightening and it was 99, but when I went to the doctor  it was normal,
All I want is to get this lump out of my throat so I dont stress anymore, I want to do the polyps but they said they will have to straighten the  middle  of nose too, and read that polyps can come  back if you dont know what is causing it so want to get allergy test done, as well as want the doctor to take this lump out at the same time how can I make him do it he is only concentraing on the sinus., will I need my doctor to ask him to remove it too, as it is causing me to stress, sinus not too bad but the vison thing together with the back of neck discomfort, and the side s of throat tightness, is frightening me. when I move the neck around I can hear this funny sound like a crunch noise.  do you thing if I go to the dentist will she might be able to help me with this lump on the inside of the neck,
I am not sure what to do if anyone can let me know if they have the same problem, I too thought it might be the arteries on the side of neck that is causing this, the doctor said if I get the blur vion next time she will get a scan done, note not sinus when I had the second blured vision.
ENT asked me to take prednosoloan, and an antibiotic, not sure for what is if it is for the drip or the lump, as I was sneezing a lot the day I went for the second ENT
Please help
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Great info
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what were your results on the March test?
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You described my symptoms perfectly and exactly. I've been to an ENT and have had a CT and a CT ANGIOGRAM and everything is good. The Doctor is baffled about my symptoms, which I've been experiencing for 3 - 4 years. He now wants me to see a Neurologist for further examination and hopefully a diagnosis that will lead to successful treatment. From what I've been reading in this thread, there really isn't any treatment for this. It doesn't appear to be life threatening, but it is extremely irritating, annoying, and the constant ache/pain is often very draining.
Avatar universal
Ok...so I'm feeling the same thing on the right of my neck. When i take a deep breath my carodic artery pinches. I also feel it in my muscle of my right shoulder blade, tense. Hurts...no but if feels like pressure. Feels wrong. It concererns me so i looked it up nd ran into this posting. I think it's stress and need to maybe get a deep tissue massage & some rest and meditaion. Issue is i hv noooo time for that. I should go see my doctor and take it from there????
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