What Are Common Causes of Frontal Neck Pain?

Thyroid conditions and swollen lymph nodes can cause frontal neck pain.
Car accident injuries are the most common cause of whiplash, which leads to head, neck and back pain.
Swollen lymph nodes may cause front neck pain in some people.
Symptoms of frontal neck pain can be difficult to diagnose, as there are many conditions that could lead to neck, jaw or spine pain.
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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2014
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There are many causes of frontal neck pain, including thyroid conditions and bone spurs in the neck. Front neck pain may also be caused by a goiter, which occurs when the thyroid gland becomes enlarged and painful, either from infection or other health issues. Other causes of neck pain may be stress related. Some cases may be caused by slouching or unsatisfactory posture.

Symptoms of frontal neck pain may be difficult to accurately diagnose. This is because many conditions and illnesses may cause neck, jaw, or spine pain. Therefore, when a person complains of front neck pain, a physician will try to determine what other medical issues exist.

A condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) may cause joint pain in the jawbone and neck pain. In cases of TMJ, the temporomandibular joint becomes sore and tender. This joint connects the upper jaw to the base of the cranium. There may be underlying causes for this condition, including misalignment of the teeth or jaw, or dental problems. Arthritis may also cause this affliction.

Swollen lymph nodes may cause front neck pain in some people. This may be caused by a viral infection, or, in some cases, a form of cancer. An abscessed tooth may also cause swollen lymph nodes, leading to pain in the front of the neck.

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Whiplash may cause pain in the front of the neck. Whiplash refers to an injury to the neck, typically incurred from a quick or jerky movement with increased force. Automobile accidents may cause whiplash in some individuals, resulting in severe neck pain. A cervical collar or brace is typically worn by the patient to stabilize the neck.

Lupus may cause neck pain in some individuals. Occurring more commonly in women, this disease is a chronic condition. Lupus patients may suffer a host of symptoms, all with inflammatory side effects. With a patient suffering from lupus, the immune system misfires and mistakenly assaults organs and other structures within the body.

Patients who are afflicted with lupus may also suffer from swelling in various areas of the body. Joints are often affected and become rigid and inflamed. Joints in the neck may also become painful and tender, and frontal neck pain is one symptom of the disease.

Other miscellaneous causes of front neck pain include sinusitis and throat infections, such as tonsillitis. Muscle strain and herniated discs may also produce localized neck pain. These injuries to the neck may be an acute condition or occur gradually over time. Bone spurs in the neck, although not common, may be another cause of frontal neck pain.

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wavy58
Post 4

@seag47 – Yes, it is fairly common to have neck pain with TMJ. Many people who have it experience neck muscle pain caused by clenching their teeth at night.

I used to have issues with this. I would wake up with sore neck muscles and wonder what had happened to me during the night.

My dentist told me that I might need a mouth guard to prevent me from clenching my teeth while asleep. I got one, and it has helped me so much.

seag47
Post 3

I have TMJ, but I've only experienced pain in my jaws and in my cheeks. Does it normally cause upper neck pain?

With me, the pain creates a throbbing sensation. My muscles get stiff and it is painful to chew. The pain has never moved out of the direct area of my jaw, though.

healthy4life
Post 2

There's really no way to relieve neck pain caused by swollen lymph nodes if the infection is viral. If it is bacterial, you can get antibiotics, but with viral conditions, you just have to wait for the infection to go away on its own.

I had swollen lymph nodes in the front of my neck when I was sick, and they were tender to the touch. They made my face feel fat.

The swelling went down after about a week, and the pain disappeared, too. The pain was directly related to the infection.

JackWhack
Post 1

My sister had pain in the front of her neck when she was a teenager. She had a lump that was thyroid related, and her doctor had decided to remove it.

She hated this, because prom was approaching quickly, and her dress would not cover her surgical scar. She wound up buying a black lace scarf that matched her dress perfectly, and all was well on the prom front.

Her neck pain went away as soon as the pain from the surgery subsided. She hasn't had any more issues with neck pain since.

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