Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is wrong with my neck/throat?"
I've had a neck pain, that I thought was a pulled muscle, for four months now. It has only gotten worse. I went to get a massage yesterday and today it feels as though my throat has swollen and it's painful to swallow. Any ideas?
I am sorry to hear that you have had neck pain for about 4 months, and that it seems to be getting worse. Also that you had a massage, and you feel like your throat is swollen and painful when swallowing and that you are worried about what might be going on. I would be happy to give you some ideas about what I think might be going on, but ultimately I am going to recommend that you make an appointment to be evaluated by an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) physician. That is because they will be able to take more of a history, and examine you, which is what you need to get an accurate diagnosis. While it is possible that you just have musculoskeletal pain in your neck (from something like a pulled muscle) the fact that you have pain when swallowing for 4 months makes me worried that there may be something else going on. The ENT will want to find out if you have had any change in your voice, or breathing difficulties, as these can sometimes be associated with pain when swallowing. They will also want to perform a flexible laryngoscopy (which is an in office scope exam that looks at your throat and voice box). This will give them a better idea about what might be going on. It could be anything from laryngopharyngeal reflux, to something more sinister (like a cancer).
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