Throat pain right side only, sore right ear, nose sores 4 months

Posted by abbyk @abbyk, Dec 23, 2018

Hi, has anyone else had these symptoms? In September i had the sensation of a lump at the very bottom right side of my throat, just between my collar bones. Over the past 4 months the sensation has turned to somewhat severe pain that steadily progressed up my throat. The pain now extends up the entire right side of my windpipe and into my right ear canal. It burns to breathe in, but my ENT consult scope showed nothing abnormal. I can swallow but there is some pain as the food passes the sore area. Also, My right side carotid artery area gets tender and swollen for about a week then improves. But keeps coming back. My ear pain includes inner ear pain and cartilage pain near the ear canal entrance. My right side sinus has been burning and feeling very dry. My nose has sores in the tip that crack, crust and dont heal. I have also had severe fatigue and hip pain while having the throat symptoms. I have had corneal inflammation over the past 5 years but am otherwise in great health. I've had numerous blood tests, an ent consult scope, and a thyroid ultrasound to try find the cause of this sore throat and nothing has shown up besides slightly elevated c reactive protein. NSAIDs do not help with the pain. Right now I suffer from chronic throat ear, and sinus pain. I am getting so fatigued lately i can barely function. My GP is unsure where to refer me. Just wondering if anyone has had similar symptoms and what specialists they may have seen. Thanks!

@jenniferhunter

@abbyk What I might suggest is an evaluation with a good physical therapist who understands rehabbing spine problems and one who does myofascial release work. When you talk about the carotid area swelling, it might be a muscle spasm causing misalignment of your head, jaw and neck. If you have degenerated spinal discs, they can cause throat pain, and provoke muscle spasms in your neck that can pull up to your ear and jaw. I have that problem myself, and before I found out that I had a bad disc, I thought it was my thyroid as I felt like I was choking and had some unexplained pain. My doctor said the thyroid usually doesn't cause pain. It was a few years later, that my C5C6 disc ruptured, which caused inflammation and bone spurs to grow, and I had surgery at Mayo for that which stopped the throat pain (among others). A spine problem can generate pain anywhere in the body, and it's kind of the last thing someone would suspect. When you get muscle spasms in your neck, it can start moving the vertebrae around and you loose the normal curvature, and with that comes pain from whatever is shifted into a stressful position.

I also have thoracic outlet syndrome which causes my neck to be tighter on one side, and it pulls tightness through my chest and down to my hip, and can even move my hip bone forward or turn it inward. That changes the alignment of the bones in my pelvis which stresses my back. When that was really out, it caused a lot of fatigue and I couldn't walk very far without back and leg pain. For TOS, posture is very important, and I work on releasing the tightness in the fascial layers in therapy. It's like wearing a straight jacket, and I can't move properly or get back into good ergonomic alignment until the fascia is released that is holding the incorrect alignment. MFR therapy really works for me. Having restrictions can affect the esophagus internally as tight fascia can run any direction and it is like a web that binds the body together that recently doctors have called the "interstitium". I get chest tightness and spams from it sometimes. I have to strengthen too so I can maintain a better alignment. You can look at http://www.myofascialrelease.com for information about MFR work and to find a PT who is trained in this treatment. A PT can help advise what type of specialist to see based on what they find physically.

You might want to consult a neurologist and ask if you have thoracic outlet syndrome. It is hard to find places that understand and can treat TOS, but Mayo is a great place for that. It make take a few years of physical therapy to improve TOS, and there is surgery for it, but that can make it worse because of surgical scar tissue. I had neck spine surgery which did make my TOS worse for awhile because of close proximity of the surgical path, but I have improved with PT and am gaining ground again. TOS causes me to breathe improperly because one side of my chest is too tight and doesn't expand correctly, and then I start using neck muscles to breathe and it makes it worse. I also have allergies and asthma that makes it difficult and just recently saw a pulmonologist at Mayo and have better control of breathing. I used to have a lot of sinus issues too, and that is better now too with allergies under control.

What did your ENT say about your sinus issues? Some people have chronic bacterial infections in their sinuses. If no one cultured your mucous, it might be worth asking if that could be a problem for you. It's common to have a staff infection in your nose, and before my spine surgery at Mayo, they had me treat my nose with antibiotic ointment as a precaution.

With an elevated C reactive protein, that is a marker of inflammation that could have many causes. You could start with something simple like dietary changes and see if you feel better. Food allergies can contribute to pain and inflammation. I see an environmental allergy doctor (functional medicine) who understands the biochemistry of the body. I take allergy shots and he has balanced my hormones, and thyroid function, and I avoid a lot of foods that cause allergies and inflammation. This type of doctor looks to prevent disease rather than treat symptoms. They can also test various detox pathways to see if you have a deficit somewhere. Are you taking any medications that might have side effects that can cause your symptoms?

There could be many reasons for fatigue, but sometimes you just have to start somewhere and do what helps and eliminate part of the issues, and then turn to solving other problems. You may have multiple causes for your symptoms. Has any one done imaging or an MRI of your neck and spine? A physical therapist might need to know about any issues before treating you. You can always call Therapy on the Rocks in Sedona, AZ and ask for names of people they trained if there are no MFR therapists near you listed on the website.

Here are some links that may be useful-

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/thoracic-outlet-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20353988
Info on myofacial release http://www.myofascialrelease.com
https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/shoulder-pain/basics/causes/sym-20050696
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/neck-pain/symptoms-causes/syc-20375581
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/rheumatoid-factor/about/pac-20384800
Academy of Environmental Medicine https://www.aaemonline.org/
Environmental health Center Dalls https://www.ehcd.com/
Papers on Environmental Medicine topics https://www.ehcd.com/books-and-papers-by-doctor-rea/

Jump to this post

Thank you for the detailed reply. I now had a CT scan of my neck and i have moderate degenerative disc disease on my c5 and c6 vertebrae. I hope this is a clue to my throat pain. I will have to look into finding a good PT.

REPLY
@abbyk

Thank you for the detailed reply. I now had a CT scan of my neck and i have moderate degenerative disc disease on my c5 and c6 vertebrae. I hope this is a clue to my throat pain. I will have to look into finding a good PT.

Jump to this post

@abbyk You're welcome. I hope you find someone who can help you. A good PT and realigning your spine can help discs get better if they are not too far gone. I've also read about regenerative medicine at Mayo for spinal discs. Here is the story. https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2018/11/02/an-active-life-restored-thanks-to-regenerative-medicine/

REPLY
@jenniferhunter

@abbyk What I might suggest is an evaluation with a good physical therapist who understands rehabbing spine problems and one who does myofascial release work. When you talk about the carotid area swelling, it might be a muscle spasm causing misalignment of your head, jaw and neck. If you have degenerated spinal discs, they can cause throat pain, and provoke muscle spasms in your neck that can pull up to your ear and jaw. I have that problem myself, and before I found out that I had a bad disc, I thought it was my thyroid as I felt like I was choking and had some unexplained pain. My doctor said the thyroid usually doesn't cause pain. It was a few years later, that my C5C6 disc ruptured, which caused inflammation and bone spurs to grow, and I had surgery at Mayo for that which stopped the throat pain (among others). A spine problem can generate pain anywhere in the body, and it's kind of the last thing someone would suspect. When you get muscle spasms in your neck, it can start moving the vertebrae around and you loose the normal curvature, and with that comes pain from whatever is shifted into a stressful position.

I also have thoracic outlet syndrome which causes my neck to be tighter on one side, and it pulls tightness through my chest and down to my hip, and can even move my hip bone forward or turn it inward. That changes the alignment of the bones in my pelvis which stresses my back. When that was really out, it caused a lot of fatigue and I couldn't walk very far without back and leg pain. For TOS, posture is very important, and I work on releasing the tightness in the fascial layers in therapy. It's like wearing a straight jacket, and I can't move properly or get back into good ergonomic alignment until the fascia is released that is holding the incorrect alignment. MFR therapy really works for me. Having restrictions can affect the esophagus internally as tight fascia can run any direction and it is like a web that binds the body together that recently doctors have called the "interstitium". I get chest tightness and spams from it sometimes. I have to strengthen too so I can maintain a better alignment. You can look at http://www.myofascialrelease.com for information about MFR work and to find a PT who is trained in this treatment. A PT can help advise what type of specialist to see based on what they find physically.

You might want to consult a neurologist and ask if you have thoracic outlet syndrome. It is hard to find places that understand and can treat TOS, but Mayo is a great place for that. It make take a few years of physical therapy to improve TOS, and there is surgery for it, but that can make it worse because of surgical scar tissue. I had neck spine surgery which did make my TOS worse for awhile because of close proximity of the surgical path, but I have improved with PT and am gaining ground again. TOS causes me to breathe improperly because one side of my chest is too tight and doesn't expand correctly, and then I start using neck muscles to breathe and it makes it worse. I also have allergies and asthma that makes it difficult and just recently saw a pulmonologist at Mayo and have better control of breathing. I used to have a lot of sinus issues too, and that is better now too with allergies under control.

What did your ENT say about your sinus issues? Some people have chronic bacterial infections in their sinuses. If no one cultured your mucous, it might be worth asking if that could be a problem for you. It's common to have a staff infection in your nose, and before my spine surgery at Mayo, they had me treat my nose with antibiotic ointment as a precaution.

With an elevated C reactive protein, that is a marker of inflammation that could have many causes. You could start with something simple like dietary changes and see if you feel better. Food allergies can contribute to pain and inflammation. I see an environmental allergy doctor (functional medicine) who understands the biochemistry of the body. I take allergy shots and he has balanced my hormones, and thyroid function, and I avoid a lot of foods that cause allergies and inflammation. This type of doctor looks to prevent disease rather than treat symptoms. They can also test various detox pathways to see if you have a deficit somewhere. Are you taking any medications that might have side effects that can cause your symptoms?

There could be many reasons for fatigue, but sometimes you just have to start somewhere and do what helps and eliminate part of the issues, and then turn to solving other problems. You may have multiple causes for your symptoms. Has any one done imaging or an MRI of your neck and spine? A physical therapist might need to know about any issues before treating you. You can always call Therapy on the Rocks in Sedona, AZ and ask for names of people they trained if there are no MFR therapists near you listed on the website.

Here are some links that may be useful-

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/thoracic-outlet-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20353988
Info on myofacial release http://www.myofascialrelease.com
https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/shoulder-pain/basics/causes/sym-20050696
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/neck-pain/symptoms-causes/syc-20375581
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/rheumatoid-factor/about/pac-20384800
Academy of Environmental Medicine https://www.aaemonline.org/
Environmental health Center Dalls https://www.ehcd.com/
Papers on Environmental Medicine topics https://www.ehcd.com/books-and-papers-by-doctor-rea/

Jump to this post

Kind of interesting that you mentioned the issue with C5 and C6, I also have an issue with that area. They called mine congenital fusion, meaning it was that way since birth. I don't really buy that, because I had a very nasty car accident in 1981. They only did regular x-ray at that time, really did not should the fusion, so???
I have always keep this in the back of my mind and felt that it has something to do with headaches/dizziness/swallowing issues and etc. After enough pain and complaining, I finally got a Dr to order an MRI (which showed the fusion), Because of the fusion, we still don't know what nerves might be effected, pinched or compressed. Wearing a motor cycle helmet seems to bother the most, adding weight to that area of the neck.
They say there is nothing we can do at this point, just live with it!
I should not complain I guess, can still walk, talk, eat and pretty much do everything I want, so it is what it is!

REPLY

Gosh, I'm no doctor, but I'd seriously consider chiropractic care with someone reputable and who has long-term experience. When my neck was off it took a long time to get the muscles to relax and they're easily agitated, but just getting it aligned properly was an absolute relief. I also had muscle therapy since one side gets tight and the other shortened, but seems like alignment could at least give you more movement and massage along w/that would help the muscular complications. Even if it's a friend doing massage. I don't know what I'd do if I hadn't done those things. At the time, ortho really didn't suggest it, but it changed my whole life. I wish you the best.

REPLY
@livetheday

Kind of interesting that you mentioned the issue with C5 and C6, I also have an issue with that area. They called mine congenital fusion, meaning it was that way since birth. I don't really buy that, because I had a very nasty car accident in 1981. They only did regular x-ray at that time, really did not should the fusion, so???
I have always keep this in the back of my mind and felt that it has something to do with headaches/dizziness/swallowing issues and etc. After enough pain and complaining, I finally got a Dr to order an MRI (which showed the fusion), Because of the fusion, we still don't know what nerves might be effected, pinched or compressed. Wearing a motor cycle helmet seems to bother the most, adding weight to that area of the neck.
They say there is nothing we can do at this point, just live with it!
I should not complain I guess, can still walk, talk, eat and pretty much do everything I want, so it is what it is!

Jump to this post

@livetheday C5/C6 is a common injury level in a whiplash. I do know that if a disc collapses completely, the spine can fuse itself as it tries to maintain stability. Maybe that is what happened since you say an old X-ray didn't show it. I've heard about cases like that. I hope it's not too painful.

REPLY
@stowe

Gosh, I'm no doctor, but I'd seriously consider chiropractic care with someone reputable and who has long-term experience. When my neck was off it took a long time to get the muscles to relax and they're easily agitated, but just getting it aligned properly was an absolute relief. I also had muscle therapy since one side gets tight and the other shortened, but seems like alignment could at least give you more movement and massage along w/that would help the muscular complications. Even if it's a friend doing massage. I don't know what I'd do if I hadn't done those things. At the time, ortho really didn't suggest it, but it changed my whole life. I wish you the best.

Jump to this post

Thanks for the advice! I do go to Chiropractor from time to time. But the last time I went for neck pain and dizziness, they would not work on my neck at all, because they seemed to all of a sudden decided if one manipulates the C5 – C6 area, it is possible to injury tiny blood vessels in that area, which in turn causes tiny clots, which might travel and cause a stroke.
Because I had a previous stroke, they were even more nervous to work on me, in that area.
Then for me, using a PT or massage therapist does work out very well for me, just because of my work, travel a fair amount and find it hard to be home when have appointments. Have to cancel most of the time. When can't try it on a consistence basis, it does not seem fair to either of us.

REPLY
@livetheday

Thanks for the advice! I do go to Chiropractor from time to time. But the last time I went for neck pain and dizziness, they would not work on my neck at all, because they seemed to all of a sudden decided if one manipulates the C5 – C6 area, it is possible to injury tiny blood vessels in that area, which in turn causes tiny clots, which might travel and cause a stroke.
Because I had a previous stroke, they were even more nervous to work on me, in that area.
Then for me, using a PT or massage therapist does work out very well for me, just because of my work, travel a fair amount and find it hard to be home when have appointments. Have to cancel most of the time. When can't try it on a consistence basis, it does not seem fair to either of us.

Jump to this post

@livetheday Have you asked your therapist about what she recommends since you travel alot?

REPLY
@texasduchess

My suggestions may help with your sinus and nose issues–Xlear Nasal Spray is a non-burning saline spray that is very soothing and antiseptic (has Xylitol which is a natural disinfectant; be sure to keep away from pets as they can't tolerate Xylitol) and Ponaris Nasal Emollient is a combo of natural oils that helps with dryness and nasal sores. Ponaris helped me so much when my nose became raw while I was going through chemo for breast cancer (if your chemo makes your hair go, you even lose nose hairs and without those, natural moisture doesn't get swept back into the nose and down the throat and everything dries out; the chemo also thins the skin and you end up with a lot of raw spots inside there). Even though chemo was three years ago, these both have a permanent spot in my medicine cabinet. If I think I'm getting a sore throat, I'll give myself a few Xlear sprays down the throat several times a day as well as use it in my nose; often heads it off at the pass. They each run about $13 a bottle; I can find Xlear at Vitamin Sh*ppe and Ponaris at a local, non-chain pharmacy and online.

Jump to this post

@texasduchess I finally started using a backlog and the prepackaged salt,baking soda mix This has cleaned out my sinus but I don't use it everyday I'm going to ENT today for dizziness

REPLY

Can I ask a no-nose question about Sodium Hyaluronate. I have narrow angle glaucoma and have been using Latanoprost for 3 years at night. Unfortunately i also have had dry eyes for any many year. For past year or so I have been using an expensive dry eye drop called Hylo and it has as an ingredient what you mention above Sodium Hyaluronate. So I use it 3 times a day … it says dont use if allergic to… but not bad, a little sore eyes but same with glaucoma drops; however, I just found a site stating Sodium Hyaluronate can INCREASE eye pressure. I almost fell off my chair – can ANYONE please tell me if the Sodium Hyaluronate in Hylo by Candor Vision is raising my eye pressure during day while Glaucoma drops are trying to lower it at night. I am sooo confused with all this its getting on my nerves and causing me additional stress. I am not taking many many prescription drugs and otc meds cos they cause raise in eye pressure – dont tell me I am happily using Hylo and causing same bad effect? THANK YOU!!!

REPLY
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