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Neck muscle enlarged and plugged ears (Page 1)

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The other day I noticed an enlargement in the muscle that runs from the front of the base of the neck, around the side and to the back of the skull. It's only on the left side and it's at the base of the clavical. I don't feel any hard lumps or anything, it just feels like soft tissue. The other side isn't like this at all.

Not sure if this is related, but my ears have been plugged for a few weeks now. I feel like I need to keep popping them to get rid of the ringing sound. Some flem in my throat for a few weeks too.

I originally thought I pulled the muscle in my neck, but it doesn't hurt.

Any ideas?
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First Helper PeoplePleaser
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replied July 31st, 2009
I have this same thing!...unbelievable...I've been trying to figure it out for weeks now..I'm 15, male, and about to go back to school..I began having panic attacks a few weeks ago, since I have anxiety...but then I got over it...then my neck had burning pain for a few nights making it hard for me to sleep...It is now no pain and it definitely feels like the muscle in it when I feel of it...its the same side and everything...as is my other side isn't like that either..it feels completely normal..my ears have the same feeling sometimes as you described...I have also been having some chest pain..but it seems to be easing down...wondering if you had this too?..I feel completely normal, I just know that the muscle on one side is larger than the other...its nice to know someone has the same thing as I would've described...If anyone knows what this is..all answers would be appreciated thanks.
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replied August 8th, 2009
i have had the same thing for 3 months!!!! read the posts on ear virus!!! it's been making me crazy!
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replied August 9th, 2009
Hi, my 9 year old son is experiencing the same issues. Did you guys ever see the dr about this, if so, what did they tell you it was. Thanks
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replied August 10th, 2009
my dr sent me to ENT and not one dr has told me anything other than they cant find anything wrong with me....i have been reading everything online and it seems other peoples drs have told them what they have....what did his dr say???
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replied August 27th, 2009
Reply to neck muscle
To reply on this...i went to the doctor about it..and he felt of both sides of my neck and prescribed me with an antibiotic..amoxcyllin to be exact..I haven't took them since my mom thinks its nothing...as far as everything else..he did a full check up on me and said my heart, lungs, everything was fine...I still think it is an enlarged muscle since thats what it definitely feels like..i just haven't figured it out..all other replies on this would be nice thanks
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replied September 4th, 2009
it sounds like the muscle you are talking about is called the SCM, or 'sternocleidomastoid' muscle. many massage therapists will stress its importance in headaches, and sometimes even sinus problems. it's definitely linked to TMJ symptoms. the eustachian tube is affected by this muscle and there are alot of lymphatic nodes in and around it, so if they were swollen, the muscle might seem larger.

usually there is tenderness when glands swell. antibiotics will only help if there is a bacterial infection... it amazes me how many times i have read (just today) that "my doctor gave me antibiotics" without reading about symptoms that indicate a bacterial infection. it almost looks like some doctors do it to get people out of their offices...
no offense intended to those responsible MDs out there!

i've had tinnitus, clicking, popping, roaring and hearing loss in my right ear. mechanicall speaking, it always seems worse when my neck muscles are tight.

anyone with tightness in this muscle and plugged ears, consider having a massage with a licensed therapist, with focus on your head, neck and shoulders. let me know if you find any relief... and good luck.
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replied March 12th, 2010
I know this is an old post, but let me put in my 2 cents. Some of the symptoms described can be indicative of thyroid issues. If symptoms don't go away through massage or on their own, request a thyroid blood work up, along with a physical examination for a goiter. The symptoms of TGMan are especially indicative of a thyroid problem---either hypothyroid or hyperthyroid can present with symptoms of anxiety and chest pain. Good luck to everyone!
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replied October 10th, 2012
Thyroid
Hi, I have same prob, diagnosned with subacute thyroiditis. I wanna talk with u. Thanks
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replied September 23rd, 2010
Doubtful of TMJ
I was told by a neurologist today that my cheek muscles are large (?) and that the muscle on the right side of my neck is larger than the left. He said this was due to TMJ. I'm questioning this, because I don't have pain in my jaw, or clicking, problems chewing, anything like that. I went to him because I'm having a slew of other symptoms, like muscle twitches, sharp shooting pain throughout my body, tingling, numbness, weakness...just to name a few.
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replied January 1st, 2011
left side neck enlarged and other problems
Wow this sounds like exactly what I am going through. I have been researching my symptoms online for almost 2 years now and have been in constant misery. Every doctor and specialist I go to run the same old run of the mill blood work and says everything is just fine and perhaps its psychologoical. I went to the dentist a week ago and got a routine cleaning and the first thing the hygenist said "you know your neck is enlarged on the left side right??" So Im going to see a new ent doctor next week. I don't know about the rest of you but my thyroid has been checked and re-checked multiple times. I do not suffer from TMJ and have been noticing that I've been having difficulty swallowing, pain on the left side of my neck, head pressure, ringing in left ear, pressure in and around the left side of my nose, a ton of upper GI problems also on just the left side. I also get muscle cramping really bad in my calves and upper left arm weakness and tingling. Just to name a few of my symptoms that Im going through on a daily basis.
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replied December 16th, 2011
sounds like torticollis. Ever get dizzy with the head pressure. I have it on the right side. low dose calcium and magnesium help me with the leg cramps. I have a lot of pain and pressure in and under my right ear, Stylode area, a lot of nerves and vasc. stuff in that area .
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replied January 3rd, 2012
of course most of the replies were from a long time ago and they must not get on here anymore but i noticed yours was recent. ive had many of the same symptoms going on as these people and for awhile was going to a massage therapist and she said my entire scm muscle is larger and tighter on the left side and i never noticed it until she pointed it out but my shoulder is raised on that side and she said my chin points to the other side a bit. when i researched i came up with torticollis but i have no head movements like it says and even though my neck is really tight on the left i can still turn my head in that direction. this is going on now for 9 months and ive had major anxiety theres something wrong though my dr says she feels no lumps anywhere just a enlarged muscle
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replied December 16th, 2011
sounds like torticollis. Ever get dizzy with the head pressure. I have it on the right side. low dose calcium and magnesium help me with the leg cramps. I have a lot of pain and pressure in and under my right ear, Stylode area, a lot of nerves and vasc. stuff in that area .
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replied January 16th, 2011
nice to see others are having the same issues! does anyone have intense stabbing ear pain as well? i just got over a sinus infection (that was actually on the right side of my face, if that makes sense) and since i got over it my left ear has been full feeling and extremely painful. all the docs say no infection and that its stress related/tmj, etc. it is certainly a muscle though, not a lymph node (which puts me a little more at ease) never knew tmj caused such awful ear pain Sad

by the way i do not have clicking of the jaw, just an odd noise when i chew ... not the crunching, popping, etc... hard to describe!
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replied January 17th, 2011
Plugged ears, facial numbness, neck pain, ringing ears, etc...
This is sad, I too have several of the symptoms that some of you are talking about and I feel for you all, this just sucks. I have a right plugged ear, usually plugged right nostral, right neck pain up into the occipital area. My head feels like it could explode at times, ringing in my ears and a pain above my right ear. I have been diagnosed by MRI with cochlea hydrops, I just have a hard time accepting that since they tell me that too much salt could flare this up. I never salt my food, I have low blood pressure and they put me on a water pill to help get rid of sodium in my body. I am currently on prednisone for 6 more days and I am afraid to go off of them for fear all this pressure and plugging up of ears will return full force. I did just see a chiropractor this week to work on my neck and circulation to the head. I also recently seen an alergist and I am allergic to some things that are possibly in my home, such as dust mites, dogs, alfalpha, cows and ragweed. My husband is a farmer so I have contact with some of the above. So not sure if this is a combination of things or what. I also have a large neck muscle on one side than the other, but I have never had my thyroid tested. I just hope that someone can can help us all with these miserable symptomns.
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replied January 19th, 2011
Nsearch212
replied January 1st, 2011left side neck enlarged and other problems
Wow this sounds like exactly what I am going through. I have been researching my symptoms online for almost 2 years now and have been in constant misery. Every doctor and specialist I go to run the same old run of the mill blood work and says everything is just fine and perhaps its psychologoical. I went to the dentist a week ago and got a routine cleaning and the first thing the hygenist said "you know your neck is enlarged on the left side right??" So Im going to see a new ent doctor next week. I don't know about the rest of you but my thyroid has been checked and re-checked multiple times. I do not suffer from TMJ and have been noticing that I've been having difficulty swallowing, pain on the left side of my neck, head pressure, ringing in left ear, pressure in and around the left side of my nose, a ton of upper GI problems also on just the left side. I also get muscle cramping really bad in my calves and upper left arm weakness and tingling. Just to name a few of my symptoms that Im going through on a daily basis.

Hi Nsearch212

Did you get any diagnosis for your condition? I am experiencing the same problems. It started with plugged ears. Doctor prescribed Nasonex to me. I developed fever after 5 days taking it, si he gave me antiboitics which I took for 10 days. My ears got unplugged but my throat started to fell swollen and painful especially in front, iwas feeling something inside when I was swallowing and left side of my neck in the back got a bit swollen too. My doctor said that back of the neck is muscle problem, and feeling of swolleness and pain in my neck is viral inflammation of my thyroid. I also had burning sensation in my armpits. I did TSH blood test for thyroid but it showed up normal with normal ESR. My doctor said that I just have to wait and the pain and swollenness wil subdue on its own. I did ultrasound of my thyroid and breast and my thyroid was a bit bulky abd they found 2 1cm and 1.5 cm lymph nodes in my left armpit, which give me burning and pulling sensation. I guess this would be different from your symptoms. I had 2 ENT check my nasal passages and they did not find anything. Now, back of my neck is hurting more, so I did MRI of my neck that did not show anything. I hope somebody had similar symptoms and can give me some advise on what to do.
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replied January 20th, 2011
HI KKK21,

I am going to have a modified barium swallow done next week. Im really not sure what exactly they do but it involves a speech therapist. Meanwhile my throat always feels like it's swollen and Im losing my voice a lot and my throat is extremely dry and scratchy. It doesn't matter how much water I drink or how well hydrated I am my throat is always in pain. I am also dealing with a lot of autonomic problems as well. Basically if I get worked up a little or just a little stressed out I start getting really bad burning in my chest and right at the bottom of ribcage in the center like where the esophagus begins. I also start sweating really bad and get super dizzy. The GI dr says its GERD and I can treat it with antacids. I don't know if that exactly explains the heart palpitations, sweating, dizziness, weakness and everything else. My lymph nodes in my neck and my armpits felt enlarged but I've also had ultrasounds done and they didn't show anything. I did notice on my last lab tests my creatine levels are extremely low and my lymph levels were really low but my % Gran were extremely high. I looked that up and it basically means my immune system is being attacked by a virus, bacteria something. I feel like whatever I have is attacking my central nervous system. I feel jittery all the time. Anyone know a good diagnostician?? Other then that I just keep going through "the mill" with the rest of these doctors and specialists.. I will let you know how the tests turn out next week. Other than that good luck to you and keep us posted if you find out anything or not..
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replied January 21st, 2011
Hi Nsearch 212,

I went over my MRI with ENT and he said that he sees two tiny lymph nodes in my neck, but it' snothing to owrry about. I did additionla tests on my thyroid: TSH 1.88, Free T3 is 3.7 and free t4 is 11.2, which are within normal range. My family doctor and endocrinologist are convinced that I had thyroditis because my thyroid came out as bulky on ultrasound plus my doctor think that I have anxiety as well. My ENT thinks I might have GERd and he prescribed proton-blocker medicine to me that should block acid production in my stomach. I think, I am going to try it. I am also seeing a surgeon for my armpits lymph nodes next week. I think I am going to ask het for fine needle biopsy. Let me know how your barium swallow test went. I wantde to do that one too, but my ENT said to try the medicine first.
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replied February 11th, 2011
hi people, i have had the right side of my neck swollen up since july 2010, i started getting a strange dizzy off balance feeling like i was walking on an airplane in the beginning which is still with me. I get regular neck pain on either side and my chiro practor can get the left side to relax but not the right! I have seen many different gp's and had an ultrasound on the right side of my neck still no better. I have had 3 different types of anti biotic, no difference. Recently i have been getting a slight electrical feeling down my left hand, double vision , and a strange numbness in my right or left legs. To add to this when i sleep i wake up feeling like i have been on a 3 day drinking session and takes me ages to wake up. It's really getting me down and after my last gp had done a 4th blood test he suggested that i might be thinking about it too much, if i don't get better soon i am in danger of losing my job my house and more than likely my girlfriend, i'm only 27 and have always been really active and fit.
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replied January 3rd, 2012
You may try to get a Doctor to try some Botox in your neck. It helped me one or two times out of the 8 times I had it done.
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replied March 9th, 2011
dude.. you guys need to realize that the body does things to either signal you that you are causing stress or injury, such as with your posture. or it will start trying to adapt to the situation.

i strongly suggest you guys pay attention to your posture and see if your spine has a curve or bend to it. your spinal cord is the place where all signals are handled by the brain to and from your entire body. if there is an unnatural curve or bend with your spine, it will squeeze the nerves and cause LOTS of problems.

the main reason i suggest this is because almost all of you complain of uneven muscles throughout your body and very importantly the neck. your body will begin to twist and one side of your body will bulge and become hyper-tensed while the other will become very weak and then this will further aggravate the issue until you take notice and are conscious and try to correct it with exercise.

we all start with a small bad habit, like crossing one leg under you or leaning all your weight onto one leg or drooping one shoulder slighty, well initially it doesnt cause any problems so you get used to it, then years later your body has adapted and attempted to straighten out where you hold it crooked, then your body starts hurting and you can physically see it.

and perhaps the worst of all, your doctor will try to give you a textbook name for each symptom and a different band-aid to place over each one, instead of looking at the whole package and finding out what needs to be changed in your life. don't be afraid to speak up to your doctor if you disagree with them. you are paying them for a f-ing service! if you feel they are not giving you fair results, speak your mind and tell them why.
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replied June 6th, 2011
people i have to tell you that tmj could be a big part of the problem. do you clench your jaw when doing things, to you grind your teeth while sleeping. people who are anxious usually will be the tmj sufferers. i have tmj and the muscles do not just relate to the jaw. it relates to eye muscles, sinus, neck, head, chest, back, spine and even the legs. go to your dentist to confirm whether you have this. if you don't get to a massage specialist and get a good massage as these are over worked muscles. look up the pain chart reference and it will describe what each muscle is capable of doing to the body. good luck
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replied June 6th, 2011
people i have to tell you that tmj could be a big part of the problem. do you clench your jaw when doing things, to you grind your teeth while sleeping. people who are anxious usually will be the tmj sufferers. i have tmj and the muscles do not just relate to the jaw. it relates to eye muscles, sinus, neck, head, chest, back, spine and even the legs. go to your dentist to confirm whether you have this. if you don't get to a massage specialist and get a good massage as these are over worked muscles. look up the pain chart reference and it will describe what each muscle is capable of doing to the body. good luck
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replied June 6th, 2011
people i have to tell you that tmj could be a big part of the problem. do you clench your jaw when doing things, to you grind your teeth while sleeping. people who are anxious usually will be the tmj sufferers. i have tmj and the muscles do not just relate to the jaw. it relates to eye muscles, sinus, neck, head, chest, back, spine and even the legs. go to your dentist to confirm whether you have this. if you don't get to a massage specialist and get a good massage as these are over worked muscles. look up the pain chart reference and it will describe what each muscle is capable of doing to the body. good luck
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