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Have throbbing veins in side of neck. What could it be?

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Practicing since : 2003
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My vein in right side of neck is visibly throbbing about 10 times a day for a few seconds. Very scary. What is this?
Posted Wed, 26 Dec 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 24 minutes later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

The throbbing / pulsating sensation over your neck could be due to two possibilities - a vascular (i.e. associated with blood vessels) cause or a non-vascular cause.

- Often such pulsating / throbbing sensations may not be due to a vascular cause, especially, if you say that it is there only for a few seconds. It could reather be due to "muscle fasciculations", which may seem to be like pulsations. Muscle fasciculations can in turn be due to salt imbalance, fatique or muscle strain.

- The other possibility is a vascular cause - here again there are two possibilities: could be due to an arterial pulsation (the most prominent artery in the side of the neck is the carotid artery), or due to a venous pulsation (the most prominent vein in the side of the neck is the jugular vein). Vascular causes are often due to underlying heart problems, for example, heart valve abnormalities, rythm abnormalities, etc.

If you are having any associated symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, or swelling of the ankles, then it indicates a vascular cause / heart problem. If otherwise, you can just follow a wait and watch for a few days, to see if it subsides on its own. If you have any of the above mentioned associated symptoms or if this problem keeps persisting, then you will need a detailed medical evaluation.

I hope this has been informative and useful to you.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
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