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Neck problems, no trouble eating or drinking, choking sensation. Do you think this could be a muscle spasm?

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Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 504 Questions
My wife has been having neck problems for 9 months. She has gone to a spine specialist and ENT doctor and both say her symptoms are not caused by anything in their area of expertise. The ENT doctor suggested a Neurologist would be the next doctor to see. Because my insurance now has a $8000 deductable before anything is paid by the insurance company I thought I would ask for your opinion first. Back in August of 2010 she did a yoga neck move and noticed later that day that she had a choking sensation in her neck. She does not have any trouble eating or drinking and ENT doctor did not find anything wrong after her visit. The choking sensation gets worse when her neck or upper chest is touched and her head is bent down or up. She has to sleep with many pillows adjusted just right can’t read a book unless it is held so that she does not bend her head down or up. Do you think this could be a muscle spasm that never goes away?
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 12 hours later

Thanks for the query

From the information submitted it looks like she is suffering from cervical spondylosis, probably a degenerative spine disease. If spine specialist has not advised any intervention, means to me that spondylosis is not severe at this point of time and can be managed medically.

For mild to moderate neck pain or stiffness, take a long, hot shower every day, use over-the-counter pain relievers, wear a cervical collar off and on during the day and regularly walk or engage in low-impact aerobic activity.

Follow these self-care steps for six to eight weeks as long as your symptoms don't get worse and you don't develop new symptoms, such as bowel or bladder problems or weakness in your arms and legs.

You may not be able to prevent cervical spondylosis. However, you may be able to reduce your risk by doing regular neck and shoulder strengthening exercises. Avoid using too many pillows.

However it is very unusual to have choking problems with cervical spondylosis. So I personally recommend you to consult with your Neurologist for a good clinical examination and to exclude other causes.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wish you good health.


Dr Shiva Kumar R
Neurologist & Epileptologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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