ZocdocAnswersI am a 57 year old transcriptionist and experience grabbing, painful stabbing sensations on either side of my neck. It doesn't happen a lot, but when it does it is breathtaking and only lasts for a couple of seconds. Sometimes the area is sore and tender afterwards. What could this be a symptom of?

Question

I am a 57 year old transcriptionist and experience grabbing, painful stabbing sensations on either side of my neck. It doesn't happen a lot, but when it does it is breathtaking and only lasts for a couple of seconds. Sometimes the area is sore and tender afterwards. What could this be a symptom of?

I am a 57 year old female transcriptionist and sit for long hours in the same position. I do experience muscle aches and pains and have minor arthritis. I have been experiencing painful fleeting sudden onset of stabbing pain on either side of my neck. I do now have any warning when this happens. It has happened when I'm driving. The area affected is sometimes tender. I massage the area with an analgesic which does help. The only medication I am on is synthroid for a thyroid condition. What type of doctor should I see for these symtoms?

Answer

Neck pain is a common condition. It is also a fairly worrisome condition. I would recommend that you see your primary care doctor at once to have this evaluated. The neck contains many vital structures. As such, any problem in the neck (even a minor one) can cause significant problems. The airpipe (trachea), blood vessels to the brain (carotid arteries), spinal cord, food pipe (esophagus) are all structures that can be harmed. Therefore any neck pain should be evaluated. Fortunately, it sounds (although full examination is required) that you are suffering from musculoskeletal pain. The neck actually contains many muscles that must move in many directions. Inflammation of these muscles can cause this type of pain. Thyroid problems can also cause this. The thyroid, when inflamed, can cause this pain -- known as thyroiditis. This again requires evaluation. In addition, there are many lymph nodes in the neck. Any inflammation of these (from infection or from cancer) can cause neck pain. Note the lymph nodes of the neck drain the neck, face and mouth. Therefore dental problems can also cause this. I would recommend seeing your primary care doctor first. If further assistance is needed, your primary care doctor may refer you to an ENT (ear nose throat) doctor who specialize in neck problems. Good luck!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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