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What is the likely cause and remedy for pain on left side of the neck while swallowing ?

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I am 26 years old Male, 6 foot 4 and about 190 pounds.
I don't have any medical history.
More than a month ago I started to feel some pain somewhere above my collar bone in the left side of my neck, when swallowing. It didn't get any better or worse during this time. I can feel the pain better when I swallow and my head is tilted forward. When I put pressure on that spot, it hearts as well. It goes away for a while if I take an advil every 4 hours. I don't take them any more, as I don't like taking any kind of medication exept for vitamins, I just wanted to see if it makes any difference. I eat ok, and I am exercise a lot. During one of my training sessions, one of my colegue choked me. I totally forgot about that for a while, but, I thought that that may be the reason. Still, the pain is still there unchanged after all this time. I went to see a couple of doctors and I got some regular blood tests done and a strep test. Nobody called me back. Please let me know what do you think this might be and what should it be done.
Many thanks.
Tue, 24 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 1 hour later
Dear Irinefilatov,

Thank you for your query.

1. Your problem seems to be a result of the deliberate choking.
Did you have any change in voice or breathlessness at any time? Is there any lump or swelling felt at the site of the neck pain?

2. Excess force applied during choking may cause XXXXXXX bruising of the neck and throat muscles, larynx, trachea (windpipe) and other soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves. This would cause pain during swallowing as these structures move in the neck in relation to each other while swallowing.

3. Injury to the delicate cartilages that form the framework of the larynx (voicebox) and delicate bones such as the hyoid bone (to which most of the neck muscles are attached) may be in the form of hairline cracks which are difficult to demonstrate even on scans.

4. These injuries take months to heal, as cartilage has very poor blood supply. XXXXXXX and muscle bruises should heal faster.
Advil every 4 hours can cause acid reflux, which may also cause similar pain. It is good that you have discontinued it. Pain while tilting the head forwards may also be due to strain on spinal ligaments secondary to injured muscle spasm.

I think, if you feel that you are slowly improving, you may wait some more time.

However, if there is no relief, do not hesitate to get investigations like a laryngoscopy, neck USG and CT / MRI Neck Scans done. Meanwhile, refrain from training which may involve further episodes of choking.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What is the likely cause and remedy for pain on left side of the neck while swallowing ? 2 hours later
Hello, and thank you so very much for the prompt answer.
How long do you think I should wait if I feel no improvement (there are about two months already) and should I get my thyroid tested?
To answer your questions, I don't feel any lump, and I don't have any problem breathing. My voice didn't change either.
Thank you so much again. Best regards,
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 8 hours later

From your symptoms, it is unlikely that you have any serious injury. However there is no definition as to how long one can wait or how long these types of blunt trauma injuries take to heal.

If you have not had any improvement over two months, please go ahead with the investigations mentioned above, including your thyroid function tests (USG or Scans pick up an inflammation or if you develop signs of thyroid dysfunction.

If these investigations are normal, there is nothing to worry about and you will heal in time.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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