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Right side neck pain: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Through the neck, they cross critical structures of the body, those that have to do with respiration, digestion and defenses, bones, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and glands. Therefore, it is understandable that the causes of pain in this area are very varied: infections, contractures, migraines, and even tumors.

If you are interested in knowing in detail what right side neck pain means and how to treat it, both medically and naturally, we invite you to read this article by FastlyHeal.

Causes of pain in the neck right side

The neck is an important area of ​​the body since many essential systems converge: digestive, respiratory, nervous, musculoskeletal, and endocrine (of the glands). That is why there are so many possible causes of pain on the right side of the neck, including:

Muscle pain

contracture in the muscles of the neck region is one of the most common causes of pain in the neck on the right side, especially in those who are right-handed or who use more force with the arm on that side. Lack of exercise, stress, poor sleep, poor posture, and jaw joint problems are frequent reasons.

Turning to a physiotherapist is a great option to improve movement (doing some exercise), and stretching is significant since it can teach you many activities. To get to know that it is only a muscle problem, the idea is to turn to your trusted doctor to rule out other possible issues.

TMJ malfunction

The TMJ or temporomandibular joint allows the opening and lateral movement of the mouth. If it works poorly (dental problems, bruxism, alterations in its structure, etc.), different symptoms may appear, such as neck and throat pain, ear or headache, itchy ears, noises when opening the mouth, and muscle contractures.

TMJ dentists usually give the most effective solution; you can help by stopping eating hard things, gum, and physical exercise.


Wear or malfunction of the neck joints can give cervical pain that can even radiate to the arms if there is nerve compression.

Burning or scraping pharyngitis

Sometimes ingestion of hot or scratchy foods (potato chips, bones, breadcrumbs), or endotracheal intubation in surgery under general anesthesia, can damage the throat and cause one-sided neck pain.

The most important thing is to avoid the mucosa becoming irritated by consuming soft and warm foods, leaving aside cigarettes, alcohol, citrus, spicy, etc.


Reflux is the rise of food and acid from the stomach into the esophagus and throat, which generate only pain on the right side; it is rare but can occur if the person tends to lie on that side sleeping. It is accompanied by hoarseness, a hoarseness sensation of having something in the throat.

It is common for people who eat a lot at dinner and go to bed immediately to consume irritants and poorly digested foods (meats, dairy, processed, gluten, sodas and sugary drinks, coffee, etc.).


The migraine can manifest as unilateral pain in the neck, a rare presentation of this problem. It is usually discomfort with light, noise, and throbbing pain.

Deep pharyngeal infection

The abscesses or pharyngeal flemones cause unilateral pain in the neck. It is a severe infection of the soft tissues surrounding the pharynx; the person cannot open his mouth wide, it is difficult for him to swallow, and he has a high fever and a poor general condition. It is an emergency since, without treatment, the picture can be even more complicated.

Foreign body in the throat

A fishbone or a small splinter from a chicken bone can cause a sore throat only on one side.

Sometimes, this discomfort is because the foreign body is still there, but sometimes even after it has been removed or swallowed, it continues to hurt, and it is because of the injury left by the object. The only way to know is with immediate medical consultation, and it is also an emergency due to the possibility of the foreign body passing into the lungs.

Painful glands

If you feel the presence of lymph nodes on the right side of the neck, which hurt to touch, most likely they correspond to an infection on that side of the head (lesions on the scalp, ear, throat, mouth, teeth, etc.).

The lymph nodes usually remain inflamed after the disease that gave rise to them has already resolved; the important thing is not to touch them so as not to generate more inflammation in them. You can consult your trusted doctor if they do not return to their place after a while, but usually, serious node problems (leukemias, lymphomas, tumors) are not painful.

Pharyngoesophageal diverticulum

It is a sachet that forms in the mucosa of the esophagus (a hernia), which makes the person have difficulty swallowing, pain on the side where the diverticulum is (it can be the right side), they must chew the same bite over and over again and sensation of having something in the throat. It is not frequent.

Thyroid tumor

It is scarce for it to present with pain, and if it does, it is usually in the middle of the neck. Still, there is a possibility that a type of thyroid tumor presents as a rapidly growing swelling that causes loss of voice, shortness of breath, and discomfort to swallow, with pain on one side of the neck.

Congenital fistulas

From birth, it is a problem, a small canal that should not be there, related to the structures that give rise to the ear, the thyroid, or the tongue. Sometimes, it becomes infected and inflamed, causing pain; it is usually located on only one side of the face or neck, which may be the right side. It is an infrequent cause of unilateral neck pain but possible.

Neck pain: medical treatment

The most important thing to be able to treat neck pain on the right side is to have a good diagnosis since it has been seen that the causes can be many and varied. Before the medical consultation, you can expect that:

  • They ask you about your pain and the other symptoms that accompany it, their characteristics, duration, and the frequency with which they appear.
  • They check you: it is essential to see, feel and hear both the area that hurts and the nearby areas.
  • Sometimes, it is necessary to resort to complementary studies: microscopy (see the throat with a tiny camera), x-rays, tomography, resonance, and myography. All this is according to what the professional believes that can help know what is happening.

When the cause of the pain is known, treatment will address the problem directly, which may include:

  • Physiotherapy.
  • Daily practice of exercise and stretching.
  • Improvement of postures.
  • Changes in diet
  • Specific medication (antibiotics if there is an infection, corticosteroids, analgesics, etc.).
  • In some cases, surgery is possible.

What to take for neck pain

While a diagnosis is being made, your doctor may prescribe analgesics to improve neck pain, but this should be done for a limited time and always looking for the cause of the pain to solve it and avoid the possible adverse effects of the pain. Drugs. Among the medications they may suggest are ibuprofen, diclofenac, ketorolac, or paracetamol.

The decision about which is the best in your case will also be the professional’s responsibility since some drugs are more effective depending on the origin of the pain.

Home remedies for neck pain

Another possibility to relieve neck pain is to resort to natural remedies. They will be more effective if the cause of the pain is known, but in general, these are the ones you can use:

  • Apply local heat in case of muscle contracture: this added to the subsequent movement of the area, and stretching can be beneficial to mild muscle pain on the right side. It also serves in case of poor function of the jaw joint.
  • Massage: also indicated in muscle aches, you can use almond, coconut, or olive oil. It is excellent for improving circulation in the contractured area.
  • Carqueja ( Baccharis trimera ): a warm bath with its infusion is excellent for treating muscle problems and soft tissue injuries, as it has anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It is also helpful to drink 2 cups a day of this infusion: 20 grams of the plant in 1 liter of water.
  • Avoid irritating foods and drinks: if the injury is at the level of the pharynx or esophagus, eating a healthy, soft, and toxin-free diet will make the wounds heal more quickly.

If the pain does not improve after a couple of days, you have a fever, poor general condition, the pain worsens or goes to another area of ​​the body (head, arms, legs), do not forget to go quickly to the nearest health center.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Neck pain on the right side: causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our category of Bones, Joints and Muscles .

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