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Question
Posted by: Lil | 2011/04/19

Artery Pain in Neck into head

Hi there i have been getting these weird pains in my neck (feel as if the pain is in my carotid arteries)..have been getting them for a year or two now. It only occurs when its hot and when i exercise sometimes. Its as if the pain pulses/throbs through my arteries with the blood. Dont know how to explain it. 6months ago i had a Thermography scan and they picked up slight inflammation in both the carotids and said i should come back in three months to have it checked out again...Might this show signs of early stroke? I read something that poor blood circulation is a symptom of artery disease and my hands and feet are always cold...i dont hold heat as well. :) Always struggle to get warm. My dad had a stroke at 48 two years ago. Should i have this checked out and what are the safest ways to have it checked out. What can this be and does my carotid pains have anything to do with some sort of artery disease. I am 28. Female. Please help.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Lil,

This is certainly not the sign of an early stroke. It is difficult to be certain that the pain is actually from the carotid arteries, as there are other structures very close by which the pain may be coming from. To get an accurate diagnosis, you need a comprehensive examination. To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on http://www.headacheclinic.co.za/

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Headache expert | 2011/04/20

Dear Lil,

This is certainly not the sign of an early stroke. It is difficult to be certain that the pain is actually from the carotid arteries, as there are other structures very close by which the pain may be coming from. To get an accurate diagnosis, you need a comprehensive examination. To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on http://www.headacheclinic.co.za/

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

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