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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes pain in the opening of the ear?

Answered by
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Dr. Prahlad Duggal

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1998

Answered : 784 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 2 Sep 2014 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Pain in the opening of my ear and behind my ear. NOT in my ear canal. It feels like a bruise and can come on suddenly and usually fades on its own over the next 30 minutes when I change my head and neck posture position.

It DOES NOT seem to involve movement by my jaw.

Pulling on my ear lobe in one direction can either immediately increase the pain or in another direction immediately release the pain with with a knuckle "crack" sound.

The "crack" does NOT come from inside my ear. It is NOT the kind of "pop" I feel when quickly changing elevations or when I have a cold. It feels like it cracks just behind my ear lobe -- like a bone or cartilage crack. Perhaps face/jaw muscles?

Before I discovered this release, I thought this condition may have resulted from my cervical spine. I have degenerative disc disease. However, my neck does NOT move at all when I pull on my ear and release the pain.

What's going on here?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Prahlad Duggal 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
Descriptive

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thanks for the query.

Your history doesn't fit into any specific diagnosis.

The possibility can be a spasm of muscles around pinna and the pulling and clicking relieving it.

Pinna is made up of cartilage which lies over bony Mastoid and petrous part of temporal bone. Inflammatory disteases of cartilage or joints can cause such symptoms but you have not given any history of any other joint involvement.

Mal positioning of cartilage over bone can produce a click and pulling of pinna can help. But this is usually possible post trauma and you have not given any history.

Please use some muscle relaxants for few days and some relaxation exercises for general body.

Also get your erythrocyte sedimentation rate and Rheumatoid factor checked.

Feel free to ask another query.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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