Whats causing all this neck pain?
June 17, 2011 12:24 AM   Subscribe

Could my enlarged thyroid (goiter) be causing muscle pain in the back of my neck?

I was recently diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid. Nothing visible but I've got some tender points on my throat and a feeling kind of like when you're sick and your lymph nodes swell up, only lower.

My hormone levels are low normal but given my symptoms and extensive family history I've been prescribed a low dose of Armour thyroid for probable hypothyroidism. Its been about four days and already I feel better. I can get out of bed for more than four hours at a time! Its amazing!

Anyway, I'm just wondering if my neck pain is related to the thyroid in the front. I would imagine the enlargement is displacing whatever normally is in the area, and that might cause problems. I have chronic neck tension that is usually managed well with stretching but lately its been less responsive to even the most conscientious stretching routines. Muscle relaxants help mildly but not in the long term.

Is it possible that the pain in the back of my neck is related to the mess going on up front? I'm trying to figure out if I need to go back to the PT for more ideas or just hope that the goiter will shrink with the medication. I plan to follow up with an endocrinologist in a few weeks when I move across country. Anybody else I should be seeing, or should I just suck it up and stop whining?
posted by gilsonal to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I should elaborate that the goiter was diagnosed via ultrasound, not just poking at my neck :)
posted by gilsonal at 12:25 AM on June 17, 2011

I am not a doctor, but I do have an enlarged thyroid (goiter). I've never experienced neck pain due to it. There're so many tubes and things in your neck. The way they described it to me is that the very little swelling in the front would not affect the areas behind your (I never took anatomy) breathing tube and swallowing tube.

FWIW my goiter is slightly visible, so possibly larger than yours.
posted by jillithd at 6:56 AM on June 17, 2011

I have several large goiters and experience a lot of neck pain, chronic ear pain/infections and swallowing difficulties. I've choose not to medicate nor do surgery at this time.

From my experience - I would say yes, the goiters could be related to your neck pain. Will you ever get a medical physician to agree to that?. Likely not. There is some evidence that the proper medication and proper dose can reduce the goiter swelling - but it takes time. Armour is one of the preferred medications (a natural med versus the synthetic meds often used).

Did you have an autopsy? I know I was in pain for a year after they needle tested my goiters - including neck pain. Be cautious of using any cold remedies and muscle relaxants - learn how they might impact the thyroid.

You may find Mary Shomon's blogs on about.com useful. The forums are quite active and very current.
posted by what's her name at 7:05 AM on June 17, 2011

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