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Neck pain, back pain, pain below ear lobe, muscle spasms, lymph nodes. What causes these symptoms?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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I am experiencing a dull ache in both sides of neck and back of head. Almost as when someone describes having a cold in the chest or between the shoulder blades type of ache. All started about 2 months ago below the right ear lobe. Almost a fullness, numbing sensation. Felt and sounded different as if hallow. Now on left side and I get electric shocking pain at base of skull like a skeletal muscle spasms. Sometimes when I turn my head a certain direction , It almost feels like something is pressing on something and the ache begins again. I have a limp node on my left side when I push on it , it copies the ache up to my ear and base shoulder and neck. What could this be? I know its not TMJ , I work for a Dental/Endodontist Specialist.
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 5 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.

1)     Since you are having a swollen lymph node along with the pain, it can be due to an infection of the area. Even an ear infection or mastoid infection should be ruled out. Lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Other causes include allergic reactions or some malignancy.

2)     Second possibility is of cervical spondolysis. The other possibility is of muscle strain leading to spasm and compression of nerves.

3)     Third possibility is of any benign tumor.

Diagnosis can be confirmed by x-ray neck and mastoid or MRI spine.

Apply warm compresses on the area and take some over the counter anti-inflammatory pain killer. Application of topical muscle relaxants will also help. Cervical spondolysis also responds to anti-inflammatory drugs and cervical collars.

It is important to correct any posture imbalances that you may have, whether in a sitting posture or in a standing posture. It is also very important to make sure that the pillow you use under your head is the correct size and thickness for your body. Avoid stretching of shoulders, lifting any heavy weights and add diets XXXXXXX in calcium, vitamins especially vitamin B 12 to daily routine.

If the symptoms persist then you should get an ENT examination and a MRI of the lump done along with an x-ray of the area to rule out any mastoid infection. If diagnosis is not reached then diagnosis can be confirmed by a FNAB (fine needle aspiration biopsy) of the lump which should be got done after consulting a physician. FNAB is aspiration of the material of the glands which is done by a fine gauge needle (22 or 25 gauge) and a syringe. Then the material is looked under the microscope to confirm the diagnosis.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us.

Please accept my answer in case you have no follow up query.

Wishing you good health.

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