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Common Causes of Front Neck Pain

author image Martin Hughes
Martin Hughes is a chiropractic physician, health writer and the co-owner of a website devoted to natural footgear. He writes about health, fitness, diet and lifestyle. Hughes earned his Bachelor of Science in kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and his doctoral degree from Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore.
Common Causes of Front Neck Pain
There are many causes of pain in the front of the neck. Photo Credit face image by Tomasz Wojnarowicz from Fotolia.com

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, neck pain can arise from issues with the neck muscles, nerves, ligaments, vertebrae and spinal discs. Neck pain can emerge in any part of the neck, including the front of the neck. Front neck pain can be caused by certain medical conditions, throat infections and traumatic injury.


Laryngitis can cause pain in the front of the neck. According to the Merck Manuals website, laryngitis is inflammation of the larynx or voice box. A viral infection of the upper airways is the most common cause of acute or short-lived laryngitis. Possible causes of chronic or persistent laryngitis include excessive amounts of talking, allergic reactions, bronchitis, gastroesophageal reflux and tobacco smoke consumption.

Common signs and symptoms associated with laryngitis include voice changes, loss of voice, fever, difficulty swallowing and a sore throat or neck. The Merck Manuals website states that the severity of laryngitis-related symptoms largely depends on the degree of laryngeal inflammation. Laryngitis treatments typically emphasize resting the voice, consuming extra fluids and inhaling steam. Quitting smoking is another important way to treat and prevent laryngitis.

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Throat Cancer

MayoClinic.com states that throat cancer refers to malignant lesions or cancerous tumors that manifest in a person's throat or pharynx, voice box or tonsils. Certain activities increase the likelihood of throat cancer, including smoking, chewing tobacco and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. Other risk factors for throat cancer include poor dental hygiene, human papillomavirus or HPV, a diet devoid of fruits and vegetables and exposure to asbestos.

Common signs and symptoms associated with throat cancer include a sore throat or neck, cough, hoarseness, problems with swallowing, ear pain and sudden, unexplained weight loss. According to MayoClinic.com, a person can adopt several strategies to reduce his risk of throat cancer, including avoiding tobacco smoke, consuming alcohol in moderation, eating a well-rounded diet and exercising caution around chemicals.


According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, or NINDS, whiplash is characterized by several soft tissue injuries to the neck. Whiplash-related neck pain is caused by rapid neck extension and flexion. The most common cause of whiplash is motor vehicle accidents, although the condition may also occur while playing certain sports.

Neck pain, including pain in the front of the neck, is the most common whiplash-related symptom. Other possible signs and symptoms associated with whiplash include neck stiffness, ligament sprain, muscle strains, headache, dizziness, numbness and tinging in the extremities, memory loss, inability to concentrate, fatigue and depression. The NINDS states that most people recover from whiplash within three months following the injury.

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