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Causes of Pain in the Neck Near the Throat

author image Joe Sharg
Joe Sharg holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. His first published article was in the "Journal of Neuro-Oncology" in 1999. Since then, his work has been featured in numerous medical journals, on CNN and in "The New York Times" and "USA Today."
Causes of Pain in the Neck Near the Throat
Neck pain near the throat can be bothersome. Photo Credit neck image by DXfoto.com from <a href="http://www.fotolia.com">Fotolia.com</a>

Pain in the neck near the throat is a frequent complaint encountered in physicians' offices. Those symptoms are especially common in children. Conditions that cause pain in the throat often cause pain in the neck near the throat. For that reason, a problem in the throat, such as an infection, frequently presents as neck pain near the area of the throat where the pain is really located.


Pharyngitis refers to inflammation of the throat. The condition can be caused by bacterial or viral infections. According to the National Institutes of Health, neck pain in the front of the neck is common in people who have pharyngitis. The cause of the pain is either directly from the throat inflammation or from inflammation in the neck lymph nodes that goes along with the throat infection.

Muscle Strains

According to the Mayo Clinic, muscle strains in the neck are a common cause of neck pain. Although the pain from muscle strains can be anywhere in the neck, it is often found in the front near the throat. A group of muscles, called the strap muscles, surround the windpipe and travel from the upper neck down to the sternum. In addition, muscles for chewing and turning the head can also be found in the upper neck near the throat. When those muscles are overworked, such as with continuous gum chewing, pain can develop.

Infectious Mononucleosis

Mononucleosis is a viral infection that causes fever, sore throats and inflamed lymph nodes in the neck. The symptoms can be severe, with a sore throat that causes pain throughout the neck and lymph nodes that can be so inflamed that patients can barely move their neck. The pain from the inflammation is often in the neck near the throat. According to the National Institutes of Health, the neck pain can last four weeks.

Neck Trauma

Trauma to the front of the neck, especially near the voice box, can cause pain in the neck near the throat. According to the journal Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, motor vehicle accidents are the most frequent cause of blunt trauma to the neck. The injury can range in severity from a bruise to a fracture in the bones of the voice box.

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