Discussions By Condition: Ears, Nose, Mouth & Throat conditions

Extreme pain swallowing and severe stiff neck

  • Posted By: Jintexas
  • December 30, 2009
  • 09:36 AM

I went to the ER yesterday and came up with no diagnosis but something feels very wrong. CT scans were clear and blood test were ok. Severe pain while swallowing. The anti inflammatory they gave me seemed to help a bit. No fever, strep was negative. When I swallow, it doesn't feel like a sore throat pain, it seems to radiate through the back of my neck. It's so painful that I try to spit my saliva rather than swallow. It's simply the swallowing motion that's painful, doesn't matter if I'm actually swallowing anything or not. The neck is so stiff that I cannot move it up or down, can't touch chon to chest or look up at the ceiling. I am an otherwise healthy 31 year old woman with no medical history of any significance. Any help would be appreciated.

Reply Flag this Discussion

12 Replies:

  • What did it turn out to be? I have these symptoms right now. Doctor's visit was inconclusive for me.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • It wasn't anything. I think it was from some strenuous activity I had done the day before it all started. I still can't figure it out to this day. However, the doctor gave me muscle relaxant and pain reliever and it started to feel better right away. Within the next day, it was all gone.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I went to the ER yesterday and came up with no diagnosis but something feels very wrong. CT scans were clear and blood test were ok. Severe pain while swallowing. The anti inflammatory they gave me seemed to help a bit. No fever, strep was negative. When I swallow, it doesn't feel like a sore throat pain, it seems to radiate through the back of my neck. It's so painful that I try to spit my saliva rather than swallow. It's simply the swallowing motion that's painful, doesn't matter if I'm actually swallowing anything or not. The neck is so stiff that I cannot move it up or down, can't touch chon to chest or look up at the ceiling. I am an otherwise healthy 31 year old woman with no medical history of any significance. Any help would be appreciated.I've had similar for more than one year. Since the healthcare providers have no understanding or sollution to the problem, I had to find it out myself. I need to say that the pain in my throat got so severe I couldn't stay at work, I thought I was going crazy and I didn't manage myself at home. At worst I didn't want to live...No examinations of the throat or swallow will reveal any cause of the pain. (I did CT, MR, Videofluoroscopy, bariumswallow, roentgen, ENT). The only thing making severe pain and not visible on "pictures" is air-pressure!!!I found out that the swallowing pain, was due to eustachian tubes that didn't open up and elevate "excessive air" from the mouth while swallowing. (That's why it hurts more swallowing saliva and pills than mouthfulls of food and drink). I guess the muscles in the swallow locks the air in and starts fighting to get it down, while the air doesn't act in that wayDo you have squeezing sound from your throat after swallowing saliva as well? If this is your condition, it's nothing wrong with your throat that makes it hurts. It's the air trapped in your throat and swallowing muscles struggelig, that makes the terrible pain.Approach for treatmentI've read that eustachian tubes may function properly if neck-muscles are tensed, as with TMJ-disorder.I can't understand why the eustachian tubes totally stopped opening, but I opened my tubes by using neti-pot and Vasalvas manoevre (pressing air to the ears, to make them pop).WARNING: be careful if considering to combine having water in your noseswallow and press water into the eustachian tubes. I hurt my self and got a terrible tinnitus.In additiion to "wettening" the opening of the eustachian tubes, that's in your noseswallow, I guess you should get treatment for your neck as well.Before this swallowing issue struck me, I used to go to an naprapat. I have my first visit at physiotherapeut this week. I hope loosing up tensed muscles will make my eustachian tube function properly again.If the neti-pot works and you get treatment for your neck, please write a comment for my feedback.
    stigmatisert 2 Replies
    • August 20, 2012
    • 08:39 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I have the same thing happening. Have you been able to get a diagnosis or reply?
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • October 4, 2014
    • 07:53 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • In July 2011 I was hospitalized for 3 days after I finally could not take the pain any longer. It had started about a week prior. I was just sitting on the couch on my neck started hurting. I didn’t think much of it. Just thought I had strained a muscle or something earlier in the day. Over the next few days the pain got considerably worse. I could not turn my head or lift my head and I had EXTREME pain when attempting to swallow. I was not even able to swallow my own saliva. Instead, I would spit it in a cup. When I got to the ER they admitted me, did a CAT scan, then an MRI. I had multiple blood tests and several different specialists in and out as they were trying to figure out what was going on. I was extremely dehydrated from not being able to swallow so they ran IV fluids. They started me on IV antibiotics. Within about 2 days I was much better and I went home. They never figured out the cause or the problem. Fast forward 5 years. Now, May 11th, 2016.
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Part II - Now, May 11th, 2016. It happened again! I couldn’t believe it. I knew within 24 hours of feeling the pain in my neck that it was the same thing. I also knew there was no point in going to the doctor as all those specialists and test found nothing the last time. I decided to treat myself at home. I started taking penicillin and some Sudafed PE. I typically don’t have normal allergies (sneezing, watery eyes, running nose, etc). I’ve never thought of myself as having any allergies but when this happened the 2nd time I went to the internet and read the posts above. I figured taking some allergy meds wouldn’t kill me and I would see if it would work. Within about two days I started feeling better. I thought, wow, this is great but then later that same night the other side of my neck started doing the same thing. I was speaking with a friend about it and he suggested I try Clor-tab (Chlorpheniramine). It’s a little yellow 4 hour allergy med.
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Part III - He also suggested I take Pseudoephedrine. I had trouble getting that one because of the laws in this state that restrict it so I started on the Clor-tab until I could also get the other. By the next day I was 80% better. I decided to go ahead and get the other one also and take it just in case. It’s now 24 hours later and I would say I am 98% better!! It’s wonderful to be able to swallow again and not been in pain. I just can’t imagine how a person with virtually no allergies can have two such severe allergy reactions. Just wanted to let others know of my situation in case someone else is in the same place.
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've had the same issue and I think it's fungal, an overgrowth of candida. I noticed that it happened to coincide twice with a case of thrush from antibiotic use
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have the same pain! It started a year ago and they treating me for TMJ and the pain eventually went away and now it's back I'm so afraid to eat or drink because the pain is so intense.
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wow, I can't believe the similarities with my symptoms: extreme pain in neck when swallowing (esp saliva!); extreme pain in neck turning left/right, up/down, lying back to lay down; no sore throat; no fever; no headaches. I picked up both pseudoephedrine, behind pharmacy counter (120mg for $8.97) and also some Chlorpheniramine (little yellow pills for $2.97) shortly after reading the relatively recent comments from both "stigmatisert" posted on 20 Aug 12 who mentioned the Eustachian tubes as a probable cause and then the 3-part comments from "Anonymous" posted on 17 May 16. I do have a couple points I'd like to add and I also intend to follow up within the next day or two to report my results, good or bad. First, I noticed that "Anonymous" stated that they received an antibiotic via their IV during their 2-day hospital stay. Secondly, I noticed they apparently had some left over penicillin (derivative, I presume like amoxicillin or other?) on their 2nd affliction with this ...
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • (part 2) … apparent Eustachian tube malfunction. I don’t have any penicillin derivative available so my experience will be exclusively using the two decongestants/anti histamines mentioned earlier. I believe there may be times when a bacterial infection does not cause a fever so it's possible that “Anonymous” felt better both times just 2 days after beginning anti-biotics (first time at hospital via IV, second time taking penicillin/derivative) since that was the one, common thing that “Anonymous” took both times. “Anonymous” said they started taking penicillin and some Sudafed PE the second time when the same symptoms returned, but isn’t Sudafed just a brand named product that already contains Pseudoephedrine? Just like “Anonymous” I don’t suffer from common allergies so I’m not familiar with Sudafed PE. I am EXTREMELY grateful to both “Anonymous” and "stigmatisert" for posting their symptoms as well as sharing what they believe was the cause and/or what brought them relief.
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Complications of Crohn’s Disease

    Recognize the risks associated with Crohn’s disease.

    8 Surprising Facts About Cholesterol

    Did you know that one in six US adults has high cholesterol?

  • I had the same thing and been on antibiotics and nothing. But I read your post about clor tabs so I took a non drowsy allergy tablet and 5 minutes later I can feel the relief. It's sad we pay the doctor's to be misdiagnosed or not at all diagnosed. Thanks now I can get up and go to work. I haven't enjoyed eating in about 4 days because of the swallowing pain. I had several swollen glands and since taking the allergy tablet one of the glands has gotten smaller already. How relieved I am!
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.