Am I the only one with these strange body quirks?
February 11, 2008 5:14 PM   Subscribe

I'd had two quirks for as long as I can remember: my neck is extremely sensitive to touch, and I get an aching pain in my joints (knees, wrist, finger joints) when it's cold/damp. Does anyone else get the same thing?

My neck is sensitive to things touching it on/near the throat. I can touch the area myself, but it bothers me a lot when someone else tries to touch it. For example, I can only wear a turtleneck for about 20 seconds before having to tear it off. Tight-collared shirts bother me quite a bit, and having a necklace with a short chain start to bother me. It feels kind of uncomfortable at first, but it gradually builds to the point where I have to take whatever it is off (with a turtleneck, it feels like I'm being strangled slowly). I've been like this as long as I can remember.

(I know there's been a similar question about a sensitive neck before, but in my case, it didn't appear suddenly, so it's probably not caused by a change in my health or life.)

The other quirk is that my joints will ache once in a while, but more often when it's raining or cold. It usually goes away if I cover the area with a blanket. I talked to a doctor about this when I was about 16, and she ran a blood test that came up negative for everything (including arthritis).

I'm 22 and female. I'm not really worried about health since they've been around so long, but I'm rather curious about why it happens, and whether it happens to anyone else.

posted by jasminerain to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yup, I (and my sister, mother, and grandmother) all have/had the same issues. We also all have thyroid problems, which is what I attributed the neck & throat sensitivity to, but it could just be a coincidence.
BTW, some kinds of arthritis (ankylosing spondylitis, for one) do not present with rheumatoid factors, so wouldn't show up in a blood test. Not to say that's what you have, of course -- just that a blood test isn't definitive.
posted by katemonster at 5:24 PM on February 11, 2008

I get the joint pain (most frequently in the knees) when cold/damp. Actually, cold alone will do it. (Winter is dry as a bone in these parts, and I still get it.) My mother and her mother get it too. It goes away on its own eventually (particularly if I keep the areas warm) but, like a bad headache, I'm much happier in a few minutes after popping 2 ibuprofen.
posted by iguanapolitico at 5:33 PM on February 11, 2008

My sister's problematic wrists hurt a lot more when it's cold and rainy... I think that's fairly normal. Just be sure to sit out on the front porch and prognosticate about the weather based on your joints.
posted by ORthey at 5:43 PM on February 11, 2008

I would describe my neck issues in exactly the same way, but I have no joint issues. So they may be two separate things.

(When I feel even a little sick, touching my neck makes me feel much sicker -- is that true for you too? I sort of think of my neck as a nausea provoker.)
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:09 PM on February 11, 2008

My mom has always had that neck thing; she can't wrap a scarf around it or wear a turtleneck or tight collar because she feels like she's choking. She's had her thyroid checked many times, and so far nothing has been found to be amiss.
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:21 PM on February 11, 2008

I have the same neck/throat sensitivity and I have an underactive thyroid. I'm not sure about the aching joints, but if you notice that you are frequently cold and/or tend to have dry skin, those can also be symptoms of hypothyrodism. It might be worth asking your doctor to check you for it with a simple blood test. Good luck!
posted by katemcd at 9:56 PM on February 11, 2008

Very sensitive neck here too. My thyroid is slightly - like, subclinically - on the underactive side of normal. I'd be surprised if just a little bit of hypothyroid accounted for my having to yank my shirt collar down when I read this post, though. I suspect I have - in addition to wikipedia-induced hypochondria, of course - some low-grade sensory defensive traits, and being weird about my neck is one of them.
posted by clavicle at 7:01 AM on February 12, 2008

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