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What is the cause for firm muscles in neck?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 594 Questions
When i feel both sides of my neck, i feel the muscles are firmer and a bit more pronounced on my right side in comparison to my left. I am worried something is wrong in terms of cancer. Please can you help? Thanks
Posted Tue, 31 Dec 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Yogesh D 15 days later
Brief Answer: Nothing to worry. Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome to WWW.WWWW.WW I can understand your concern. Let me at the outset reassure you that this issue you have noticed is nothing to be worried about. I say this because, if you are a right handed person, then the right half of your body gets used more than your left half. Since majority of individuals on earth are right handed, I presume you also to be right handed. As the right half of our body gets used more often, the muscle in the right half our body tend to be slightly more bigger, firmer and stronger than the left side ones. You can easily find that out for yourself by measuring the circumference of your both arms, right in the middle keeping your forearm flexed. This will show about half an inch to 1 inch difference in the girth of your arms. This also happens in the neck muscles, so relax. If however, you have noticed this very recently, and if you have any pain, or redness, or if the muscle is bony hard to feel, then you should consult your primary care physician to find the exact nature of the problem. Hope this answers your question, however, if you happen to have further concerns or questions, you are most welcome to get back to me. Wishing you all the very best. Warm regards.
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Follow-up: What is the cause for firm muscles in neck? 17 minutes later
Thank you. Yes i am right handed and i have noticed my right forearm feels slightly stronger and toned than my left. I have continuously been poking an prodding the muscles on the right side of the neck and now they feel tight and tender. Is this normal? I suffer from terrible health anxiety and i cant stop checking for lumps etc. My gp says i am causing soft tissue injury is she correct? What do muscle knots feel like? I feel bumps and i am worried they are lymph noses but my gp and ENT say they are not. Osteopath said they are capsules?? Thank Thankss
Answered by Dr. Yogesh D 15 minutes later
Brief Answer: You should stop poking your muscles. Detailed Answer: Hello again dear, Thanks for writing back, Stop poking yourself repeatedly, you will only hurt yourself and worry yourself by doing that. Repeated poking and prodding in any single area will cause soft tissue injury and that will invariably lead to pain and tenderness, so if you have been doing that for while, I am not surprised that you are having pain. Please refrain from doing that, I have clearly given you the reason for why your right side muscles are a little firmer than left side, so get over it, it is for your own good. Your GP is absolutely correct. Muscle knots feel like firm muscle all along the length of the muscle and it happens if you strain your muscle, and not because of any cancer. And normally, we all do have lymph nodes, that can be felt when you try hard enough to feel them, and they are very much normal, just being able to feel some small lymph nodes does not mean they are abnormal. They will be considered abnormal if there are quite a few of them grossly enlarged, and either very tender or swollen and very hard to touch (By very hard, I mean, hard as a rock). And going by your description, I suspect, you are just feeling the fibers of the muscles, muscles are all not arranged in one direction, and when they form criss-crossing bundles, you may feel them like notchy and nodular, so quit worrying about non-issues and live a happy life. I agree with your ENT doctor and your GP, so relax and enjoy your life, you only get one chance to live, don't spoil that by worrying excessively. Hope this will help put your fears to rest. Regards.
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Follow-up: What is the cause for firm muscles in neck? 5 minutes later
Thank you so much for your reply. I just associate any sensations of slight asymmetry as being XXXXXXX and sinister. My gp says same about nodes. i will literally sits for hours pressing deep into my neck and find nodule feeling things. As ive said the ENT has told me there are absolutely no swollen nodes so i just need to accept this and realise that the miscles are toght because i have anxiety and wot stop prodding. One other thing, i told my ENT i feel as if somethog stuck in my throat more on right side. He scoped it and said all is perfectly normal and healthy looking. I take it he would have seen anything sinister? Thanks again
Answered by Dr. Yogesh D 9 minutes later
Brief Answer: Yes, scoping is gold standard for diagnosis. Detailed Answer: Hi again, Read out loud to yourself, what you written above, again and again. I can tell you for sure that you are on the right path to get rid of your anxiety, your above response is the testimony for that, you now are able to identify the real issue and are able to articulate about it, which is a very bold thing to do, I would encourage you to just ask yourself, how rational it is to believe that you might be having something sinister going on when all the evidence is against it. And as for feeling something stuck in the throat can happen if you are stressed and are unusually worried, and as I said, laryngoscopy/bronchoscopy is the gold standard investigation to diagnose the cancerous conditions of the larynx and throat, so stop worrying yourself. Your ENT would have picked it up if there was anything at all. Stop hurting yourself, and take a deep breath and just think how reasonable is your anxiety. All the very best.
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Follow-up: What is the cause for firm muscles in neck? 8 hours later
Thanks If a lymph node is swollen (where it is something to be concerned about), it is easy to feel, particularly to a gp and especially and ENT Specialist? I just dont understand why they say they cant feel what i am feeling? The osteo is saying they are trigger points/knots. But they feel like nodes to me. But surely if they are they would have been felt during both ENT exams? They are very small but I get a burnig feeling around the area when i move my neck in a certain direction. Hence why the osteo is saying my muscles are very tight. He says in am holding all of my stress and anxiety in my neck and shoulder. I am jus terrified they are nodes and no doctors are picking them up. (which i know is unlikely.). I keep checking constantly to see if they have grown which they have not. Its the 'what if' theat worries me. 'what if something is being missed', 'what if they are growing' I just wish i could be happy and enjoy my life without worrying. Its breaking my heart. I cant eat or sleep with the worry.
Answered by Dr. Yogesh D 19 hours later
Brief Answer: Yes, lymph nodes, if swollen will be easily picked Detailed Answer: Hello again, Yes, if the lymph nodes are swollen, I am sure your ENT or GP would pick them up very easily, we doctors are trained to look for such things, and when we examine, we make sure we look for any abnormality, be assured that your ENT would have picked up if there was anything amiss. What you are feeling is not a swollen lymph node, that is why your doctors are saying they are not feeling what you are feeling. During the examination, they are finding normal muscle, which you are confusing for a swollen node. Forget about the jargon used by osteopaths and chiropracters, they don't have the understanding of the real doctors, and they don't even study anything about lymph nodes. I do not for a moment feel that your GP or ENT has missed anything my dear, please relax, and stop worrying. As for the muscle tender points and trigger points, stop poking yourself, you will be alright. This is all I can offer you at this time, since it is not a direct consultation, there is no way I can explain things any better, I sincerely hope you will understand whatever I have discussed with you and will stop worrying yourself. I wish you a happy and stress free life. Talk to a psychologist/psychiatrist to deal with your stress and fear, it will most certainly help. Warm regards.
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