Pain in the Front of the Neck Symptom, Causes & Questions
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Understand your pain in the front of the neck symptoms, including 8 causes & common questions.
8 causes of pain in the front of the neck
This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.
Acute thyroiditis is a rare inflammation of the thyroid gland caused by an infection, radiation, medication, or trauma.
Rarity: Ultra rare
Top Symptoms: sore throat, fever, being severely ill, hoarse voice, pain in the front of the neck
Symptoms that always occur with acute thyroiditis: pain in the front of the neck
Urgency: Hospital emergency room
Retropharyngeal abscess (adult)
Retropharyngeal abscess is a collection of pus in the tissues in the back of the throat. It is a potentially life-threatening medical condition.
Rarity: Ultra rare
Top Symptoms: sore throat, loss of appetite, fever, shortness of breath, being severely ill
Urgency: Hospital emergency room
Ludwig's angina is a rare but serious infection of the space below the jaw and the floor of the mouth, under the tongue. This illness is not to be confused with "angina" which refers to cardiac pain due to coronary artery disease. The infection usually starts in the floor of the mouth th..
A heart attack happens when the heart does not receive enough oxygenated blood to meet its demand, resulting in the death of heart tissue. This can be caused by a decreased supply of oxygenated blood or too high of a demand.
Symptoms include chest pain or pressure th..
Inflammation of the epiglottis
Epiglottitis is inflammation of the epiglottis, tissue that covers the trachea (windpipe), which helps prevent coughing or choking after swallowing. It is usually caused by the bacteria H. Influenzae but can also be caused by other bacteria or viruses that cause upper respiratory infections.
Top Symptoms: being severely ill, shortness of breath, fever, sore throat, pain with swallowing
Symptoms that never occur with inflammation of the epiglottis: cough
Urgency: Emergency medical service
Head and neck cancer
There are five main types of head and neck cancer, which are all named according to the part of the body where they develop: laryngeal (voice box), nasal cavity and sinus, nasopharyngeal (air passage way behind the nose), oral (mouth), and salivary gland cancers. Most of these cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), meaning they begin in the flat (squamous) cells that make up the thin surface layer of the structures in the head and neck.
Top Symptoms: loss of appetite, unintentional weight loss, hoarse voice, neck bump, ear canal pain
Urgency: Primary care doctor
Viral infection of the larynx (voice box)
Laryngitis an inflammation of the larynx, or voice box. This causes the vocal cords to swell and leads to a hoarse, raspy voice.
A viral infection, such as the common cold or influenza, is nearly always the cause of laryngitis. These infections are spread through casual contact, as when someone sneezes and the droplets are inhaled from the air.
Most at risk are people whose immune systems are already weakened by illness, medication, or chemotherapy.
Symptoms include hoarseness; sore, irritated throat; difficulty speaking; coughing; and sometimes fever.
Forcing speech during laryngitis can cause permanent damage to the vocal cords. Hoarseness that never really clears up should be seen by a medical provider, as it can be a symptom of a more serious condition.
Diagnosis is made through throat swab and sometimes blood tests.
Treatment involves rest and drinking plenty of fluids until the virus has run its course, and resting the voice so the swelling can subside on its own. Antibiotics are not effective against a viral illness.
Top Symptoms: sore throat, runny nose, fever, dry cough, hoarse voice
Whiplash, or neck strain, occurs when the ligaments tough, fibrous bands that connect bones in the neck have are overstretched or torn. Whiplash is caused by a sudden impact that causes the head to whip back and forth very suddenly, such as during an automobile accident, a fast amusement park ride, or a sport..
Questions your doctor may ask about pain in the front of the neck
- Do you notice your heart beating hard, rapidly, or irregularly (also called palpitations)?
- Have you ever been told you have a heart valve problem?
- Have you ever had a heart attack?
- Have there been changes in your voice?
Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions.
Pain in the front of the neck symptom checker statistics
People who have experienced pain in the front of the neck have also experienced:
- 11% Pain In The Back Of The Neck
- 4% Pain In One Shoulder
- 4% Headache
People who have experienced pain in the front of the neck were most often matched with:
- 33% Acute Thyroiditis
- 33% Retropharyngeal Abscess (Adult)
- 33% Ludwig'S Angina
People who have experienced pain in the front of the neck had symptoms persist for:
- 37% Less than a week
- 26% Less than a day
- 18% Over a month
Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant.