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Overview of Carotidynia

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

One of the neurologic disorders occupying the carotid artery is carotidynia. These painful pulse sensations in the neck qualify as terribly annoying discomfort which does not provoke fatal consequences for patients. Otherwise, long-term painful reactions make the patient’s life changeable and lead to severe problems over time.

Although the disorder’s nature is pretty understandable, many neurological researchers have still discussed its triggers and forms of appearance. The primary symptoms of this neurological ailment are the dimensions of carotid artery enlargement and pressure-like pain affecting the appropriate neck zone. Other carotidynia signs are facial pain due to deteriorated blood circulation and migraine. They can exhaust health and mental strengths obtrusively.

Every potential patient should be consulted with an experienced specialist and receive all necessary examination procedures, including MRI or CT, to prevent the effects of this disorder. The in-time diagnosis will grant effective treatment to reduce negative consequences which spoil everyday activities.

What is Carotidynia?

Carotidynia refers to neurological disorders in the one-sided facial and neck area. Its significant feature is pain focused primarily on the left side of the face or neck artery. This ailment qualifies as a migraine subtype and drastically spoils normal living conditions.

What is carotidynia

The overall pain could be immediate and severe, complicating the patient’s life. The disease is rare and requires permanent examination to ensure the diagnosis’s reliability. The pain nature defines this disease as an idiopathic syndrome because it could be identified at any time, and the real triggers are still unclear.

The pain intensity grows gradually; however, its nature becomes pulsive. Anyway, such painful perceptions jeopardize the normal functions of the other cells and tissues and affect human behavior. Patients who suspect painful neurological abnormalities need to detect core symptoms interrupting their everyday activities and ask for medical aid for a comprehensive examination.

Carotidynia Symptoms

Carotidynia symptoms

Carotidynia symptoms are characteristic of typical pain reactions accompanied by carotid artery pathologies. They include:

  • Pulse pain periodicity located in the neck zone, especially the left side;
  • Facial migraine;
  • Jaw pain;
  • Toothaches;
  • Earaches;
  • Slightly visible inflation when the carotid artery is deteriorated;
  • Severe migraine, which could provoke the carotidynia syndrome or supplement the painful reactions due to abnormal blood circulation to the central nerve center.

This neurological disorder has a short list of the identified evidence because of the ongoing scientific discussions about its nature and triggers provoking complicated disturbances.

Classification of Symptoms

Painful perceptions concentrated in the left-side facial or neck area will highlight several neurological disorders with similar symptoms. Nevertheless, the cutting-edge clinical test and procedures help classify the carotidynia subtypes due to their pathological nature:

  • Symptomatic pain. This unpleasant sensation depends on the physical abilities of the trifacial nerve. This nerve visually divides the side face into three parts according to anatomical features. Any external or internal factor could provoke painful reactions in the eye, cheek, or neck area, resulting in carotidynia. These pathological pains could occur and spoil the normal living conditions. The symptomatic carotidynia qualifies as a mild stage of the disease development and could be eliminated through the well-prescribed recovery program.
  • Neurogenic pain. This subtype allows split theories about the genetic origin of the sudden or permanent painful reactions affecting facial or neck carotid arteries. As this neurological disorder is indicated among a few persons per 100 000 people worldwide, some specialists point out gene modifications that lead to low strengths of artery walls. Otherwise, any inherited neurological pathology could become the direct reason for carotidynia development.
  • Psychogenetic pain. The facial or neck painful pathology could be grounded on psychological factors. Depression, impulsive obsession or other related disorders complicate the treatment process and lead to intensive pulsing aches. The psychosomatics aspects are the severest reasons to develop this pathological disease.

Carotidynia Causes

All neurological experts have tried to find carotidynia causes and its painful reactions in the neck provoked by abnormal carotid artery modifications. 

  • The vast majority of the medical society agrees that the core trigger which induces pain reactions is inflammatory processes inside the carotid artery.
  • Clinical tests like biopsy show inflammation in the lymphocyte cells, which deteriorate extremely pulse pain in the neck, face, or jaw. 
  • The chronic inflammatory processes modify the carotid artery structures and make its walls inflexible or indurated. However, these modifications do not affect the anatomical structure of the head, neck, or jaw. Therefore, carotidynia differs from the analogous neurological disorders which restrict normal living conditions.
  • Some experts highlight the psychological impact on carotid deterioration development.
  • Emotional or mental disbalances and constant stressful situations also initiate the inflammatory changes in the neck arteries.

Carotidynia Diagnosis 

The Carotidynia diagnosis consists of:

  • Physical examination
  • MRI, CT, or X-ray diagnosis
  • Specific blood test

The neurologist’s most effective approach is to examine the patient thoroughly and exclude all possible disorders and ailments related to pulse pain in the neck area. The recommended tests like blood tests show the general health history and focus on detecting fatal diseases or pathological states.

Carotidynia diagnosis

Let’s look at the methods of diagnosis in more detail: 

  • Physical examination of the painful area and efforts to find the epicenter of the pulsing artery. Most patients consider this procedure more complicated than other applicable clinical tests. Its purpose is to localize the pathological pain trigger and compare both neck sides to find the visually bigger one. However, the neurological conclusion requires a detailed medical assessment;
  • MRI, CT, or X-ray diagnosis of the head and neck. The received images visualize the neck tissues and detect the absence or existence of the inflammatory factors. The previous medical testing results prove that people with carotidynia syndrome have an inflamed carotid artery, which the experienced neurologists could notice on the neck scanning images;
  • Specific blood tests to detect inflammation sources and exclude the versions about bacteriological or infection triggers. For carotidynia-positive people, such tests are normal and have no abnormality.

How to Treat Carotidynia?

The carotidynia treatment program is drafted by the treating neurologist authorized to amend it or cancel some recommendations.

The general concept for curing people with disordered carotid arteries involves several blocks:

  • Medicine products
  • Physical exercises 
  • Nutritional diets

How to treat carotidynia

Let’s take a closer look at the types of treatment:

  • Medicine products. The pharmaceutical prescriptions are sophisticated and contain chemical substances capable of reducing painful perceptions. As many neuralgia states, carotidynia symptoms are removed by steroids. As such, neurologists regulate the acceptable dosages and decline them once the patients perceive significant health improvements. However, applying steroids in a peroral or injection method requires the proper medical monitoring and control to avoid addictive habits among the targeted patients.
  • Physical exercises. The patients suffering from pulsing pain in the neck zone can conduct easy physical exercises to maintain the treatment achievements. Slight yoga or pilates movements foreseen in anti-migraine programs benefit the comprehensive therapy strategy to strengthen the overall neurological state of the patients with carotidynia syndromes. Aroma therapy also provides treatment and relaxing effects. However, massage sessions could be prohibited due to the high risks of the ailment progress. Any physical activity should be adjusted with the treating neurologist and the patient’s clinical diagnosis results.
  • Nutritional diets. To prevent carotidynia signs after the patient’s recovery, the neurologists suggest balancing nutrition stimulating cardiovascular functions and nerve rehabilitation. Foods enriched in vitamin K, B, and E strengthen the immune system and improve blood circulation.

History and Etiology of Carotidynia

The term carotidynia refers to the intense painful reactions in the left side of the neck where the carotid artery is detected. The inflammatory processes inside the artery provoke unpleasant, annoying ache effects. Therefore, the name of the artery is identified as one of the most discussed neurological disorders in the medical community.

The first mention of the carotidynia syndrome is dated 1927 and belongs to Fay – a neurologist who diagnosed a tenderness of the carotid artery characteristic of throbbing pain. However, the neurology of the XX century classified neck-located pain as a migraine symptom or associated it with other disorders.

In 1994, Biousse and Bousser offered a separate term that specified the particularities of the inflamed carotid artery. The cutting-edge neurological studies and techniques describe symptoms and treatment plans for this ailment. Nevertheless, some scientific gaps about the carotidynia triggers could help prevent the disease.

Lone Star Neurology Deals with Numerous Painful Reactions in Your Neck

Carotidynia could not be treated with a neglected attitude and tons of pain-reducing capsules. Indeed, this neurological abnormality could become a consequence or trigger of a more severe disorder, complicating the overall recovery strategy. Our professional neurologists offer you a range of services and clinical assessment mechanisms to discover the genuine nature of your neck pain in different cities of Texas, including Dallas, Fort Worth, and others.


  • What causes carotidynia?

The neurological sciences could not name the factors that provoke the carotid artery’s pulsing pain. The main reason is inflammatory processes in the neck artery localized on the left side. However, identifying the ties between inflammation and severe painful effects is unclear and requires the proper medical diagnosis.

  • How do you treat carotidynia?

The neurologists prescribe pain elimination pharmaceutical products or steroids. The dosage depends on the pain’s nature and its intensity. The patients are not allowed to correct the treatment plan alone and without medical control. However, physical activities and dietary nutritional formulas full of vitamins and minerals are welcome for the recovery process.

  • How long does it take for carotidynia to go away?

Each treatment effect depends on the diagnosed consequences of the existing ailment. Usually, carotidynia symptoms disappear in a week if the patients follow the neurologist’s recommendations. However, the severe pain cases could last for a few weeks and are always finalized successfully.

  • Does carotidynia cause ear pain?

The intense pain covering the neck could spread to the ear or forehead zones. Also, you might face migraine caused by deteriorated carotid artery syndrome.

  • Which side of the neck is the carotid artery?

The left side of the neck is diagnosed as the carotidynia-affected zone. The reason is that the carotid artery inflamed by pathological triggers goes on the neck’s left side.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
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Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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  1. July 19, 2023

    Informative and helpful information in this clear and detailed article.

  2. October 2, 2023

    That was very informative but I’d like to know if it comes back after it goes. Once it’s over does it come back again after a few months and if so then how long do these relapses last for?

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