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Why is there mild pain on the left side of my neck?

Friday, 16 January 2009
Answered by: Dr. Mathew Varghese
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Director,
St. Stephens Hospital,
New Delhi
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Q. About 10 days back I had a mild pain on the left side of my neck. I did not mind it. However, by the fifth day when I noticed an increase in pain and slight loss of sensation on my left cheek and left ear lobe, I met a doctor who did a cervical x-ray. When nothing wrong was noticed he prescribed Myospan Forte and Ocid for four days and a gel to apply. Now the pain has subsided and I can move my neck in all directions, even though I can feel a pull and mild discomfort when I stretch (tilt) the neck to the right side shoulder. The loss of sensation still persists as it was. I have completed the course of medicine prescribed. I am a little worried about this.

A.  Your symptom of pain in the neck radiating to the ear and cheek can be explained by pain radiating along one of the cervical nerves (the term cervical refers to the neck). This can happen from pinching a nerve in the neck as they come out of your spinal canal. This pinching can result from cervical spondylosis especially in patients over 35 years. In cervical spondylosis there is formation of bone in the spine in response to degeneration from wear and tear. It could also result from protrusion of discs in the cervical spine. These protrusions pinch the nerves and causes symptoms. At the age of 37 you could have either of the two. Now that symptoms are subsided I don't think you need to worry. You just need to be on cervical spine exercises. If however, your sensory symptoms reappear without pain in the neck then do show a neurologist for a detailed neurological evaluation.

A.  Your symptom of pain in the neck radiating to the ear and cheek can be explained by pain radiating along one of the cervical nerves (the term cervical refers to the neck). This can happen from pinching a nerve in the neck as they come out of your spinal canal. This pinching can result from cervical spondylosis especially in patients over 35 years. In cervical spondylosis there is formation of bone in the spine in response to degeneration from wear and tear. It could also result from protrusion of discs in the cervical spine. These protrusions pinch the nerves and causes symptoms. At the age of 37 you could have either of the two. Now that symptoms are subsided I don't think you need to worry. You just need to be on cervical spine exercises. If however, your sensory symptoms reappear without pain in the neck then do show a neurologist for a detailed neurological evaluation.

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