question-icon

What causes a sore vein in left-sided neck and severe headache?

default
Posted on Sat, 7 May 2016
Question: hi, i have a seriously sore vein down my left side of my neck. (i think its the vein!)
i have had super bad head aches as well, quite localised ones on the right side of my head, always where it is if i push it i can feel a vein pumping there... any ideas? i am a bit worried, as my Great Aunt on mums side has had a XXXXXXX anyerism and so has my uncle on my dads side...


FYI i have been diagnosed with lower mitral valve prolapse.. not sure if that helps at all??
doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern, especially considering your family history of brain aneurysms.

I would like to reassure you on that regard though. Brain aneurysms, dangerous as they are do not cause symptoms unless they rupture and lead to a bleeding in the brain.That is manifested to very sudden, very intense headache, the most intense the patient has ever felt, called often thunderclap headache, with usually accompanying symptoms such as vomiting, loss of consciousness and other neurological deficits. This doesn't sound to be your case.
Also aneurysms do not cause pulsations on touch, actually feeling such pulsations means the vessel is not in the brain as the brain is confined inside the skull, can't palpate its vessels. So you must simply be feeling a superficial scalp blood artery which pulsates as all arteries do (veins do not pulsate).

As for the vein soreness in your neck it is a little hard to assess without being able to examine it, or you giving some more detail on location, skin changes of color and temperature. However it is not common to have any inflammation of the blood vessels in the neck, usually happen in other locations such as lower limbs. Hopefully may be a muscular issue due to muscle tension or strain, which can be treated with over the counter pain killers like Ibuprofen.

However I wouldn't want to minimize your symptoms. If you have had these persistent headaches I do recommend to be checked by your physician, even better if by a neurologist, to check for presence of neck rigidity or other neurological signs on physical exam which would indicate a brain lesion, or if there are no such signs for the possibility of primary headache (primary meaning no cause is identified) like migraine or tension type headache. But as I said I do not believe an aneurysm to be the issue.

I remain at your disposal for other questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka (50 minutes later)
Thanks for that, much appreciated :)
i have also had pain in my vein in my right wrist, and in my right inner elbow vein, the one where needles go into...
doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (7 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for the additional information.

That is again an unusual location for vessel inflammation, especially the one in the wrist. Are there any visible signs going on with pain such as swelling redness and raise temperature of the skin along the vein trajectory. If yes one may think of phlebitis, inflammation of the vein. Unless there is some kind of trauma to the vessel like from an injection it is really uncommon in the upper limbs. It is usually benign and heals along several weeks but if recurrent with no trauma the cause must be searched conditions like Buerger disease, lupus, some tumors.
If there are no such signs on the skin I would rather consider a rheumatological condition rather than a vein one, such conditions (like rheumatoid arthritis for example) may involve several joints in the limbs and neck producing the pain you describe.

I hope to have been of help,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka (50 minutes later)
no, i cannot think of any of those symptoms with that pain.
could it be a nerve thing then?

Thanks very much - i really like this service! i had never seen it before today. i will def reccomend it!

Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
It could be a compression of a nerve in the neck in the case of a continuing pain from the neck down the arm forearm all along the trajectory of the nerve. It pain in separate points in the joint area then less likely (though possible if symptoms on same side - people experience pain in different ways at times).

I am glad you like our service, you're welcome to use it anytime (hopefully you stay healthy and won't need to).
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka (15 hours later)
a colleague suggested going to an osteopath, I went there this morning he worked on my neck... afterwards he said no - it is not a muscular issue, get yourself straight to a doctor, there is slight swelling there. he said something about thyroid.
I then went to see a doctor, a young guy. he said no i cant see anything wrong, he felt my neck and said it may be a lymph node issue, slight swelling or something.
take panadol and if in a week it is still there come back.
what do you suggest i do?? it is really sore? to be honest, i did not trust the doctor that i saw.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (7 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Read below

Detailed Answer:
Hello again! I am sorry that the visits you have had have created even more confusion.

It is hard to say who has been wrong since the limitation with virtual consults is not being able to physically examine the patient.
If I had to go with one of the two people who saw you I would be inclined to go with the doctor as an osteopath is not a medical doctor and while he may know more things than common people on human body he never deals with conditions of thyroid glands or lymph nodes which are outside his field of practice.

The good news that neither of those possibilities represent any immediate threat, they do not have any connection with the elbow or wrist pain either. If we assumed for a moment there is an issue with your thyroid, the one condition to be thought of would be thyroiditis. It can take several forms acute, subacute or chronic. Acute form is to be excluded in your case as it has very high fever and tenderness. Subacute has slower evolution over weeks, may have the swelling and tenderness which you seem to feel, but usually also signs of hyperthyroidism like raised heart rate, warm moist hands, weight loss, nervousness as well as general signs like low grade fever weakness and fatigue.
So if you have such additional manifestations apart from the swelling and soreness I would ask for a second opinion, thyroid hormone levels and thyroid imaging (ultrasound is the most simple test) may be required.
If you have no such additional manifestations I would wait as the doctor suggested.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka (10 hours later)
Thanks, I am interested in what you say:
"Subacute has slower evolution over weeks, may have the swelling and tenderness which you seem to feel, but usually also signs of hyperthyroidism like raised heart rate, warm moist hands, weight loss, nervousness as well as general signs like low grade fever weakness and fatigue."
I am showing ALL of those symptoms...
Thank you for your help :) with the nervousness symptom, i have been super emotional and having big emotional highs & lows.. does that point to anything?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Read below

Detailed Answer:
If you have had all those symptoms then there is a strong possibility of a thyroid condition leading to increased thyroid hormone, hyperthyroidism (which cannbe a cause of anxiety). It can be confirmed through blood tests measuring hormone levels. If they confirm that to be the case some imaging tests are needed for the cause, like thyroid ultrasound or scintigraphy. If you have swelling and tenderness of the thyroid (just to be clear the thyroid is situated in the front lower part of the neck, it has to lobes one right and one left) and all those symptoms thyroiditis is well possible. If a subacute viral thyroiditis which I mention it is usually a benign form with recovery over some months. However let's not run too far ahead of ourselves, diagnosis must be confirmed first.
If on the other hand you meant only the anxiety and nervousness it doesn't have to be relared to thyroiditis then, they are common issues in the general population which may be without a identifiable cause. Still since hyperthyroidism is a possible cause, thyroid hormones measurement is again recommended in the work up of anxiety.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3667 Questions

premium_optimized

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
What causes a sore vein in left-sided neck and severe headache?

Brief Answer: Read below. Detailed Answer: I read your question carefully and I understand your concern, especially considering your family history of brain aneurysms. I would like to reassure you on that regard though. Brain aneurysms, dangerous as they are do not cause symptoms unless they rupture and lead to a bleeding in the brain.That is manifested to very sudden, very intense headache, the most intense the patient has ever felt, called often thunderclap headache, with usually accompanying symptoms such as vomiting, loss of consciousness and other neurological deficits. This doesn't sound to be your case. Also aneurysms do not cause pulsations on touch, actually feeling such pulsations means the vessel is not in the brain as the brain is confined inside the skull, can't palpate its vessels. So you must simply be feeling a superficial scalp blood artery which pulsates as all arteries do (veins do not pulsate). As for the vein soreness in your neck it is a little hard to assess without being able to examine it, or you giving some more detail on location, skin changes of color and temperature. However it is not common to have any inflammation of the blood vessels in the neck, usually happen in other locations such as lower limbs. Hopefully may be a muscular issue due to muscle tension or strain, which can be treated with over the counter pain killers like Ibuprofen. However I wouldn't want to minimize your symptoms. If you have had these persistent headaches I do recommend to be checked by your physician, even better if by a neurologist, to check for presence of neck rigidity or other neurological signs on physical exam which would indicate a brain lesion, or if there are no such signs for the possibility of primary headache (primary meaning no cause is identified) like migraine or tension type headache. But as I said I do not believe an aneurysm to be the issue. I remain at your disposal for other questions.