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Pain between jaw and neck

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I am a 41 years old woman, for many years I have experienced a sudden pain between my jaw and the neck in the front left. This pain comes suddenly and it is extremely painful! I cannot move my head and cannot swallow. I can feel like an inflammation inside but cannot feel it with my fingers. I take Aleve or Flanax and wait for some minutes and then it goes away, and everything returns to normal. Before, when I was a child this used to happen not so often, maybe once every 2 years, 3 years, 1 year, but 10 years from now, it has incremented on frequency, now it could happen at any time and it lasts longer. Yesterday I had my last episode, and it lasted for 6 hours. The pain starts like a sour pain and at that point I can tell is coming, then it intensifies, it feels like if something got out of place, but it is so hard to explain. Any idea what this might be?

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replied June 28th, 2010
Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Answer A13608
Thank you for your question on

The symptoms you described are more suggestive of temporomandibular joint disorder or it could even be due to trigeminal neuralgia. Trigeminal neuralgia is usually a post manifestation of herpes zoster and can be very chronic leading to burning or shooting pains in the face, jaw regions.

Temporomandibular joint disorder can be due to several causes with innervation changes involving trigeminal nerve or it can also be due to malocclusion and arthritis.

Please consult a rheumatologist for a thorough examination and necessary investigations to diagnose and rule of other causes. Thank you.

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