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Painful neck along with headache, swollen lymph nodes. How to cure it?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 3041 Questions
my daughter has had very painful neck for about 5 weeks now and a headache with it. the pain is constant and sometimes sharp both in her head and neck. the area in her neck is under her jaw bone where there are lymph nodes, which are swollen.
Posted Wed, 22 May 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 2 hours later
Hi and thanks for the query,
It s very important to get a few clarifications in order to better appreciate her clinical condition.
Is she complaining of fever?
Has she complained of any visual problems?/
Any nausea or vomiting?
Anyweakness of any part of the body?
Is the neck painful or stiff?
Notion of recent travel?
Its absolutely important to get these answers. Painful neck and headache must raise suspicion of meningitis. This is further supported in case the neck is stiff. A clinical evaluation, considering certain aspects of the past medical history could be very relevant. The presence of enlarged lymph nodes now is very important.
Blood tests need to be carried especially a complete blood count, an HIV serology and for other common viruses. A chest X XXXXXXX might be useful as well as a CT scan. This would be important to detect any intracranial lesions like abcesses, tumours or nodules,signs of intracranial hypertension.
Depending on the clinical evaluation, if the neck is persistently stiff and painful, meningitis must be formerly excluded. This might therefore warrant a spinal tap with analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid.
It is an absolute necessity that she gets consulted by an internist for a complete clinical appraisal and appropriate laboratory and radiologic tests.

Thanks and hope this helps. Do not hesitate asking further questions if need be.
Best regards,
Luchuo, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Painful neck along with headache, swollen lymph nodes. How to cure it? 8 hours later
She had a fever a couple of days ago. She has not been abroad in the past twelve months. Her neck is painfull more than stiff and she has no visual problems. Would pain for this length of time be muscular, although she has not had an injury.
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 12 minutes later
Hi and thanks for the query,

It is a possibility to have muscular contractions or spasms causing pain. The association however, with headache and this notion of fever you just signaled could compel us to exclude more serious conditions as earlier mentioned. Spasms for real could cause pain. Proper evaluation of particular primary headaches called tension headaches usually combines headaches and neck pain and spasms.
I would therefore recommend a complete evaluation to avoid missing a more serious condition and being on the safe side. In case it is nothing serious, management of spasms in the neck might be simple, we shall be on the safe side, and more clam.

Thanks and hope this helps and best regards. In case of any further clarifications, I will be honored making contributions.

Luchuo, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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