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What could cause a pain in neck and ear?

Starting yesterday, I got a throbbing pressure that starts where my neck and shoulder meet on the right side. It runs up my neck and behind my ear. By the time it reaches my ear it's painful. This is a throbbing pain that comes on suddenly and then fades out, occurring several times an hour.
I am sorry to hear that you have been dealing with a throbbing pain in your neck that has been present for about a day and that you are worried about what might be going on. I am happy to give you some information about neck pain, and my thoughts about what might be going on, but ultimately I am going to recommend that you make an appointment with an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) physician to be evaluated. They will be able to ask you more questions (i.e. take a medical history) and examine you, which I am unable to do. I would be interested to find out if you were doing anything when the neck pain presented. for instance a history of trauma or a muscle strain could give valuable information about what might be going on. The fact that the pain is throbbing and comes and goes every hour or so, makes me initially think that it may be related to musculoskeletal pain (from something like excessive muscle tension). This can be related to stress, or fatigue. It is not uncommon to have pain that goes to the ear, as the sternocleidomastoid muscle (the main muscle in your neck) attaches to the mastoid process underneath your ear. There are more sinister processes that can give neck pain as well, which is why it is worth being evaluated by a physician.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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