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Miscellaneous Medical Causes Of Neck Pain That Might Mean You Can Stop Worrying About Something Worse

This section presents a comprehensive list of somewhat common medical problems that can cause neck pain . I’ll give you a quick idea of what they are and what distinguishes them. If you find anything on this list that seems awfully similar to your case, please bring the idea to your doctor like a dog with an interesting bone; and get a referral to a specialist if necessary.

Important! None of these are dangerous! Although some are quite unpleasant. Reading about medical problems on the Internet can easily freak us out,17 so the goal here is to identify possible causes of neck pain that are not so scary. If you can get a positive ID on one of these conditions, then you get to stop worrying about the threat of something worse.

Some skin problems on the neck can cause neck pain, but are usually obvious — most people will identify them as “skin problems on the neck” and not “a neck problem affecting the skin.” Herpes zoster is extremely painful but superficial, and a carbuncle … well, it’s just a super zit, basically. If you can’t diagnose that one on your own, I can’t help you!

Bornholm disease is a crazy viral disease with several other intimidating names.18 It feels like a vice-grip on the chest and lungs, is intensely painful, and sometimes also causes neck pain. If you feel like you can’t breathe, you should look into this. The infection is temporary. It’s an extremely unlikely diagnosis.

Temporal arteritis can cause neck pain as well as fierce headaches.

See Your Doctor As Soon As Possible If You Experience Any Of These Troubling Symptoms

We all get headaches from time to time. They can be brought on by annoying but manageable reasons such as stress, dehydration or your menstrual cycle, or they could be the result of an ongoing medical issue, such as migraines.

But how can you tell when a headache is a symptom of an even more serious or life-threatening problem? Here are some signs to look for.

Is My Sore Throat And Headache Due To A Viral Or A Bacterial Infection

If you have both a headache and sore throat, it could be a viral or bacterial infection. They have similar symptoms.

If you have a runny nose, cough and hoarse voice, you most likely have a viral rather than bacterial infection. There are no medications to treat viral infections. The virus will go away on its own. You usually feel better in about a week.

If it’s bacterial, your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics, such as penicillin.

Sharp Stabbing And Shooting Neck Pains Are Usually False Alarms

Sharp neck pain is not in itself a red flag. Believe it or not there is no common worrisome cause of neck pain that is indicated by a sharp quality. In fact, oddly, sharp pains are actually a bit reassuring, despite how they feel. In isolation — with no other obvious problem — they usually indicate that you just have a temporary, minor source of irritation in the cervical spine. Serious causes of neck pain like infections, tumours, and spinal cord problems tend to grind you down with throbbing pains, not “stab” you.

Sharp, shooting pains are mostly neurological false alarms about relatively trivial musculoskeletal troubles: your brain reacting over-protectively to real-but-trivial irritations in and around the spine. The brain takes these much more seriously than it really needs to, but evolution has honed us to be oversensitive in this way. That’s not to say that the brain is always over-reacting, but it usually is. Most of the time, a sharp pain is a warning you can ignore.

Ear And Neck Pain: Causes And Treatments For Pain Behind Ear

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Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer Health

Ear and neck pain can cause a lot of frustration and affect your daily activities. Neck pain behind your ear can be associated with a throbbing headache, a painful ear infection, or problem with your jaw. Pain behind the ear may feel like a constant dull throb at the back of your head or you could experience sharp, shooting pains from your neck to your temples. Ear and neck pain can also cause swelling, tenderness, and stiffness behind your ear and down your neck.

Treating the symptoms of ear and neck pain on the right side or left side usually requires addressing the underlying cause.

Sometimes, natural remedies like warm olive oil can help to loosen ear wax and reduce ear pain. Or, a warm compress can help to relieve tension and tightness from the neck area behind your ear. You could also try various massage techniques to ease headache pain that is making your ears and neck hurt.

In this article, I will look at the many reasons for pain behind the ear and down your neck. At the end of the article, you will find many ways to treat pain behind the ear.

Conventional Treatments Of Neck Pain And Associated Symptoms

Treating neck pain often begins with simply taking over-the-counter painkillers and temporarily eliminating painful activities. Applying heat or cold to the area can help with pain management as well. It may also be recommended that a patient take anti-nausea or anti-dizziness medication. Like NSAIDs, these over the counter nausea treatments can be found in most drug and big box stores.

If the initial steps of treatment fail to reduce pain, there are other treatment options that doctors may recommend to alleviate symptoms. These include:

Many treatment options exist and can be used in combination based on a patient’s individual needs. There is one more important treatment option that should be considered, Regenerative Medicine.

Neck Pain Symptoms That Require Immediate Medical Attention

Benjamin Bjerke, MD

Neck pain is not typically a cause for panic, as you can treat many symptoms with simple measures such as rest, stretching, ice/heat therapy, over-the-counter medications, and ergonomics. However, there are some instances of neck pain when you should seek medical attention immediately. Here are two:

Having a stiff neck and flu-like symptoms could be a sign of meningitis, a serious condition that occurs when the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord become infected and inflamed.

If your neck is stiff, and you also have a fever and/or an especially painful headache, you could have meningitis.

See When Neck Stiffness May Mean Meningitis

Meningitis, in its most dangerous form, is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. Early warning signs of meningitis may include a fever , an intense headache, and an inability to flex the neck forward. A stiff neck doesn’t always occur when meningitis is present, so look for other possible symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to sound or light.

See How Meningitis Causes Neck Pain and Stiffness

Meningitis symptoms usually develop within a few days of exposure. Getting meningitis treated early is critical; delaying treatment poses a severe risk for hearing loss, brain damage, and even death.

See What Is Cervical Radiculopathy?

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The NHS say the disorder is a painful swelling of the thyroid gland thought to be triggered by a viral infection, such as mumps or the flu.

And subacute thyroiditis usually causes fever and pain in the neck, jaw or ear.

Doctors at the University Hospital of Pisa in Pisa, Italy, made the discovery while treating an 18-year-old woman who was infected with Covid-19 after catching the virus from her father.

She completely recovered from Covid-19, testing negative a few days later, but started experiencing some additional symptoms.

Regenerative Medicine For Neck Pain And Associated Symptoms

The up-and-coming practice of Regenerative Medicine is using a patient’s own cells to amplify their body’s healing abilities. These forms of therapy work with cells that already exist in the body to help an injury or damage heal. There are two forms of Regenerative Medicine offered at CELLAXYS:

  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy: this form of therapy begins with a sample of a patient’s mesenchymal stem cells. These most often come from fat tissue, or bone marrow. Once the stem cells are extracted, they are processed to become more concentrated. They are then reinjected into the site of pain. These cells contain properties that make them ideal for helping to heal an injury or degeneration. A scientific journal about MSC therapy can be found here.
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy: this form of therapy begins with a simple blood draw, which is then processed using centrifugal force. The purpose of the centrifuge is to separate platelets from other properties found in the blood. Platelets contain proteins and healing factors that occur in the body’s natural healing process. They are injected into the injury site with the premise that an increased number of healing properties could speed up the body’s natural processes. A scientific journal of PRP can be found here.

When making the decision on how to manage pain, it is important to be aware of all the options on the market. Regenerative Medicine could be a solution to chronic neck pain.

Several More Specific Red Flags For Neck Pain: A Checklist

Check all that apply. Most people will not be able to check many of these, let alone all of them. But the more you can check, the more worthwhile it is to ask your doctor for some input. Most people who check off an item or two will turn out not to have an ominous health issue. But red flags are reasons to check… not reasons to worry.

Whats The Outlook For People With Sore Throat And Headache

A sore throat and headache can usually go away within a week. Most of the time, you won’t need medical treatment. There are usually no long-term complications.

If you do have strep throat, make sure to take the full course of antibiotics. These drugs treat the infection and prevent complications, including rheumatic fever.

Best Natural Remedies For Neck Inflammation And Stiffness

Neck stiffness and inflammation is always a major concern for most working people. It can be easily triggered and cause more problems in daily activities. There are various kinds of natural remedies available that you can use and apply at home. Some of the best natural remedies for neck inflammation and stiffness include

What Are The Most Common Causes Of A Fever And Neck Pain

Headache Fever Sore Neck In Child

A neck abscess can cause difficulty with swallowing.

One of the most common symptoms of meningitis is fever and neck pain. Other conditions with these symptoms include a neck abscess, a rhinovirus infection or a very rare virus known as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. Experts advise that fever accompanied by neck pain may be the sign of a very serious illness, particularly when observed in children, and immediate medical attention should be sought.

Because fever and neck pain may indicate a life-threatening illness, it’s essential to seek prompt medical attention.

When the membranes that cover the brain and the become inflamed due to infection, this is a condition known as meningitis, and it is a very serious and potentially life-threatening illness. Symptoms include fever, neck stiffness and pain, confusion, headache, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and a skin rash. In some cases, individuals suffering from this illness may also experience seizures, brain damage or death if the infection is not treated in time. Fever and neck pain are most often found in pediatric cases, and many adults do not present symptoms beyond fatigue and mental confusion.

Surgery may be required to treat a neck abscess. Fever and neck pain may be due to the onset of a rhinovirus, which causes the common cold. Fever, and neck stiffness and pain, may be caused by meningitis.

When To See A Doctor For Neck Pain Along The Lymph Nodes

Treatment for neck pain along the lymph nodes will depend on the specific cause. Your healthcare provider may make the following suggestions/treatments in the setting of neck swelling.

  • Antibiotics: If your symptoms are due to a bacterial cause, your physician will prescribe the appropriate antibiotics.
  • Supportive care: Many causes of enlarged lymph nodes may be viral in nature. Viral causes will not resolve with antibiotics, and your physician will most likely suggest supportive remedies, such as resting or pain relief if that is the case.
  • Cancer treatment: Lymphoma treatment may involve chemotherapy, immunotherapy medications, radiation therapy, a bone marrow transplant or some combination of these. Other cancer treatments involve similar treatment modalities as well.

How To Treat Neck Pain That Causes Nausea And Dizziness

Dr. Victor Marchione, MD

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

You may be surprised to know that most headaches, despite what you feel when experiencing them, do not originate from your skull or brain.

The cause is often rooted in areas like your neck muscles, and the nerves along the scalp may make it feel like the pain is inside your head.

This connection between your neck and your nerves means that certain cervical ailments can manifest with dizziness, headaches, or nausea as well as neck pain.

In This Article:

Sinus Infection And Neck Pain: Is There A Correlation

Olga Adereyko, MD — Primary Care Physician, General Practitioner, Medical Consultant at Flo

People with allergies or chronic colds understand that sinus infections can be a real pain in the neck. Most cases of acute sinusitis get better on their own. Your doctor may recommend treatments to help relieve sinusitis symptoms, but acute sinusitis can cause potentially dangerous complications. Read on if you’re wondering if sinus infections can cause neck pain.

Can Sinus Infections Cause Neck Pain And Stiffness

A sinus infection may not affect all the sinus chambers. Some sinus infections create pain around the eye sockets, while infections in other chambers can cause sinus neck pain. Sinus pain from a sinus infection is typically worse in the morning, making it difficult for people to begin their day.

Most neck pain from a sinus infection is caused by inflammation or an infection of the sinus cavities behind the eyes. It’s important to monitor these illnesses, as an infection in this particular area is more likely to spread to the brain. 

What Is The Treatment For Sore Throat And Headache

Usually, you can treat sore throat and headache with at-home remedies. If you have strep throat, your provider will prescribe antibiotics to get rid of it. Take all the medicine, even though you’ll start to feel better within a day or two.

At-home treatments for sore throat and headache include:

  • Fluids, especially water, tea with honey, soup or broth.
  • Throat lozenges or ice cubes.
  • Warm saltwater gargle.
  • Cool compress on your head.
  • Plenty of rest.

If your child has a headache and sore throat, remember:

  • Choose the right medication: Don’t give aspirin to young children. It may cause a life-threatening condition called Reye’s syndrome. Make sure to choose pain relievers made for infants and children.
  • Avoid hard candies: Lozenges or other hard candies can be a choking hazard for young children.
  • Don’t give honey to babies: Avoid giving honey to infants under a year old. Babies don’t have defenses against infant botulism.

Symptoms Of Pain Behind The Ear And Down The Neck

Pain down the neck and behind the ear is not a condition in itself. Ear and neck pain are usually symptomatic of other health issues and will usually be accompanied by other symptoms. For example, an ear infection can cause neck pain behind the ear on one side of your head and could be accompanied by swelling or discharge from your right or left ear.

Associated symptoms of pain behind the ear and neck can include:

  • Throbbing pain in the neck and on one side of your head
  • Shock-like pains at the top of your neck and behind your ear
  • Redness of the ear or behind the ear that is sore to touch
  • Soreness when turning your head from side to side
  • Intense pain from your jaw that extends behind one ear
  • An aching toothache that radiates pain to your ear
  • Increased sensitivity to light along with a thumping headache

What Are The Symptoms Of Sore Throat And Headache

When you have a sore throat, you may have:

  • Pain or scratchiness in your throat.
  • Pain that’s worse when you speak or swallow.
  • Hoarse voice.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck .
  • Red or swollen tonsils with white spots on them.

Your headache symptoms may include pain that:

  • Comes on slowly.
  • Feels dull and aching.
  • Affects both sides of your head.

It’s also not unusual to have fatigue with sore throat and headache. Fatigue, chills and muscle aches are all symptoms of viral and bacterial infections.

Red Flag Symptoms That Can Accompany A Stiff Neck

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If a sore neck is caused by a disorder other than a strain or sprain, there may also be other symptoms as well. In such cases , at least one other symptom will usually develop with or before the painful, tense neck occurs.

Below are “red flag” signs that may suggest that the stiff neck is caused by a possibly severe underlying medical condition:

  • Fever, which likely signals an infection is being fought
  • Headache, especially if it seems different from previous headaches in terms of duration, intensity, or accompanying symptoms
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Change in mental state, which could include confusion or mood swings
  • Coordination issues, such as dizziness or problems walking or writing
  • Weight loss that is not part of a diet change

These symptoms can encourage the person to seek urgent medical treatment, but they do not necessarily indicate that there is a serious illness or medical emergency.

Got A Pain In The Neck When Is Neck Pain Serious


June 16, 2017

We’ve all had the experience of waking up with a “crick” in the neck — an ache and stiffness so severe, you find yourself trying not to turn your head. Most people have also experienced that cracking and grinding sensation when turning your head or a sharp stabbing pain, tingling, numbness, or a headache that seems to start at the base of the neck and radiate up the back of your head.

Most of the time such pains in the neck are from benign sources. Neck pain can be caused by muscle strain or holding your head in an awkward position, like spending long periods in front of a computer or cradling your phone between the neck and shoulder. Other, more serious causes include worn joints, injuries like whiplash, and diseases such as fibromyalgia or meningitis.

Uncommon Causes Of Neck Pain Requiring Treatment

Serious, underlying conditions that cause neck pain and need to be treated immediately include meningitis, other infections, a tumor, or a neurological disorder that causes spasms or contorting the head outside normal alignment. Another problem of concern is degenerative disc disease, which is more common in the lower back, but can sometimes occur in the cervical or upper spine.

If you’ve got neck pain that just isn’t getting better or the pain is severe, contact us at Healthcare Associates of Texas. We work with you to determine the underlying cause of your pain and find the optimal treatment for you. Call our Appointment Line at 258-7499 or .

When To Worry About Neck Pain And When Not To

Tips, checklists, and non-scary possible explanations for terrible neck pain

We fear spine pain more than we fear other kinds of pain, especially when it’s severe and/or constant. Backs and necks seem vulnerable. And yet most spinal pain does not have a serious cause. The bark of neck pain is usually worse than its bite. This article explains how to tell the difference as well as possible when you’re first starting to wonder just what’s going on in there.

Please do seek care immediately if you’ve been in an accident or you have severe or weird pain or other symptoms — obviously. This article is for non-emergencies. But if you have neck pain that’s been starting to worry you, this is a good place to get some reassurance and decide whether or not to talk to a doctor.

Diagnosing And Treating Neck Pain And Headache

Clinicians use information from the features of headache, physical examination, and diagnostic tests to make an accurate diagnosis of the type of headache. It is also possible for two headaches to occur together. Treatment of primary headaches include medications for both immediate relief and sustained relief . Treatment of secondary headaches focuses on the underlying condition to control symptoms.

Headaches Are Interfering With Your Daily Life

If you have headaches that are landing you in bed all day or otherwise making you unable to perform your normal daily activities, it’s time to see a doctor. You may be experiencing migraines, or the headaches could be a symptom of another underlying issue such as the ones listed above. Only a doctor can assess the cause, so get help as soon as possible.

Make an appointment with one of our headache specialists at Keck Medicine of USC. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, schedule an appointment by calling USC-CARE or by visiting

What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

If you have a sore throat and headache, ask your healthcare provider:

  • Do I need any tests?
  • Could these symptoms be a sign of an infection?
  • What can I do to feel better?
  • What should I do if the symptoms don’t go away in a week?
  • What medications can I take to help?
  • Do I need a strep test?
  • Will antibiotics help?

Sore throat and headache are common symptoms. Often, they’re signs of a viral or bacterial infection. For a viral infection, you most likely won’t need medications. The virus will clear up on its own in about a week. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers to feel better. Your healthcare provider may want to check for signs of strep throat or meningitis, which need treatment. If you have a sudden high fever, neck stiffness or other worrying symptoms, see your healthcare provider.

Most Common Serious Condition With Stiff Neck

Meningitis—The most common serious condition associated with a stiff neck is a bacterial infection in its most dangerous form, which causes the protective membranes of the brain and spinal cord to be inflamed.

A fever, headache, and stiff neck are usually early signs of bacterial meningitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . If two of these signs are present together, a doctor can check them out immediately.

Symptoms of meningitis typically develop within a few days of exposure, and the condition of the person might worsen gradually or rapidly. To have a positive result, early treatment for meningitis is important. Bad effects, such as hearing loss, brain injury, or even death, may result from delayed treatment.

It should be remembered that meningitis is not necessarily present with a stiff neck, and other symptoms can include, among others, nausea, increased sensitivity to light or noisy noises, or confusion.

The Dangers Behind Lower Back Pain And Fever


Dr. Andrew Chung

Lower back pain is the most common reason stated for work-related absences. This type of pain will often have pronounced impact on overall performance and motivation. But because an achy back caused by occupational factors can often be resolved with a little rest, we tend to brush it off as a trivial problem.

But did you know that some cases of backache might require much more than a rest day? Those that come hand in hand with other symptoms of illness can be indicative of something far worse than just a typical case of a bad back. For instance, a fever coupled with back pain can spell a world’s worth of different conditions. Some of these might be easily remedied with medication and rest. Others could lead to potentially life-threatening complications in the long run.

If you’ve been having bouts of lower back pain that comes hand in hand with heightened body temperature, it might be time to act. Read on through to find out just what these symptoms might mean.

Of course, as always note that the information in this article is purely informative and should never be used in place of the advice of your treating physicians.

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