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J Fam Pract. 1994 Jul;39(1):71-5.

Carotidynia: a pain syndrome.

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Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita.


Carotidynia is a common neck pain syndrome first described by Temple Fay in 1927. The pain is typically dull, throbbing, continuous, and localized over the carotid bifurcation, but may radiate to the ipsilateral mandible, cheek, eye, or ear. Symptoms are frequently aggravated by swallowing, chewing, and contralateral head movements. The cardinal physical finding is tenderness on palpation of the carotid bulb, sometimes accompanied by prominence or throbbing of the carotid pulse. Although several serious conditions should be excluded, most cases follow a benign course.

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