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Old 02-26-2010, 10:22 AM   #1
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sternocleidomastoid muscle in neck is swollen

I HAVE BEEN HAVING PROBLEMS FOR 2 WEEKS NOW WITH SEVERE DIZZINESS,HEADACHES AND PAIN IN FACE..HEAD HURTS TO EVEN LAY DOWN AT NIGHT.. I HAVE BEEN TWO 2 DOCTORS. THE ENT SAID IT WAS JUST VERTIGO AND MY REGULAR PHYSICIAN THINKS ITS JUST SINUS ISSUES.. I HAVE WENT THRU ANTIBIOTICS AND STILL HAVING PROBLEMS.. I HAVE BEEN TOLD IT COULD BE MY stemocleidomastoid muscle IN THE NECK CAUSING THE PROBLEMS...IT STAYS SWOLLEN ON MY RIGHT SIDE OF NECK...I HAVE HAD A CAT SCAN OF MY HEAD AND IT WAS NORMAL..I HAVE HAD BLOOD WORK DONE AND IT WAS ALL NORMAL.. HAS ANYONE HAD THESE PROBLEMS ...PLEASE HELP.. I'M SCARED ITS SOMETHING SERIOUS AND I DONT HAVE INSURENCE TO KEEP GOING TO DOCTORS FOR NOTHING.. PLEASE DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE stemocleidomastoid muscle??? I NEED HELP...

 
Old 03-01-2010, 05:40 AM   #2
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Re: stemocleidomastoid muscle in neck is swollen

How long has the SCM been swollen?

 
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:05 AM   #3
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Re: stemocleidomastoid muscle in neck is swollen

Hi Repsolguy!

I'm sorry you have headaches and dizziness. Where exactly is the pain in your face and your head - is it on your cheek area, behind your eyes? Have you recently had a sinus infection? And, when they did the CT scan, I know you mentioned it was clear, but did they make any mention of seeing anything in your sinuses? And, do you have fever, which would be a symptom of infection?

I have TMD, and my symptoms are dizziness (off balance feeling) and tension in my face caused by my muscles going into spasm. Does your jaw click or pop when you eat or talk? I have dealt with this for 6 years now, visiting MANY doctors, and all the while they had no idea what was causing this - it was TMD!!!

I recommend visiting a website, I can't post the website address - but if you can Google "Round Earth Publishing: Introduction to Head Pain" there are diagrams there that show you the different muscles in your head and neck, and put your mind at ease a bit.

I hope this helps.

Aloha,
Rose

 
Old 03-01-2010, 09:38 AM   #4
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Re: stemocleidomastoid muscle in neck is swollen

Hello onmom,thanks for the reply..its been swollen for about 4 or 5 months now..and when i say swollen its not like its a big difference from my left side but yet i still can tell a difference..when i tilt my head up is when you can see the difference in size.. But 2 doctors have seen it and dont seem to be concerned about it..they tell me the stemocleidomastoid muscle can swell from time to time... So i dont know...

 
Old 03-01-2010, 09:50 AM   #5
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Re: stemocleidomastoid muscle in neck is swollen

Hey hapachik.. Thanks for the reply.. Yes i have had pain in my upper cheek area like under my eyes.. And then also pain or pressure feeling behind the eyes..and i have had aweful headaches with this..headaches have been in the front of head,temples and the back..and they didnt tell me anything about any sinus issues on my cat scan.. So i'm not sure if it showed anything or not..they just said they seen nothing..and that you mentioned it my chiropracter has to put my jaw into place every so often..and i do hear a clicking sound in my throat sometimes when i talk..its not all the time but every now and then... Did you have bad headaches with what you have? And the dizziness was crazy..i could not get rid of it.. I'm better now but still if i move to fast i get swimmy headed... I have also noticed that my right pupil in my eye gets larger than my other at times.. I just went to eye doctor last week though and everything was fine.. So i dont know.. I just want to get to feeling normal again..

 
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:19 AM   #6
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Re: stemocleidomastoid muscle in neck is swollen

Hi Rep! My symptoms are more of tension, like I can feel the pressure, but it's not like a "typical" headache. And yes, my right pupil also is more enlarged in comparison to the left, on occasion though - and ironically, it's the same side that my TMJD is on.

Take a look at the TMJ board - there is a "sticky note" of symptoms of TMJD, which is the 7th sticky note down from the top, posted by Marlene. I think you may find some useful info there.

BTW, the TMJ can be felt if you stick your index fingers in your ears, and opening and closing your mouth - what I feel is on the problematic side is the popping and grinding - kinda like something is rubbing together that shouldn't be, the other side feels normal.

You may want to check out BPPV, which is something that can be easily corrected by the Epley-maneuvers, if you are getting the vertigo when in certain positions. But usually BPPV isn't a chronic problem from what I've read. There are crystals that get dislodged in the inner ear that need to be put back into position, hence the epley maneuver, however the crystals do get absorbed eventually, which wouldn't cause a constant vertigo type feeling.

Oh, and if you do have or suspect you have TMJ, find a Neuromuscular dentist / Function Jaw Orthodontist, that has been practicing for many years, and treats TMJ more than 50%. Take a look at the ICCMO website, if you suspect you have TMJ. Treatment is a costly thing, and most insurances don't cover it anyways. Oh, you may want to talk to your chiro about the jaw manipulation too to get a better idea of what he/she found or why they were doing jaw manipulation.

Keep us posted, but you may have to post on the TMJ board, if it's TMJ related.

~ Rose

 
Old 03-02-2010, 06:55 AM   #7
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Re: stemocleidomastoid muscle in neck is swollen

hi HAPACHIK,THANKS AGAIN FOR THE MESSAGE.. YEA YOUR RIGHT IT DOES SEEM THAT I HAVE ALOT OF THE SAME SYMPTOMS OF TMJ ISSUES..I TRIED THE FINGER THING IN MY EARS BUT I ACTUALLY HEAR CRACKING SOUNDS OUT OF BOTH EARS..YOU KNOW I DIDNT MENTION SOMETIMES WHEN I SNEEZE I HAVE A PAIN ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF MY THROAT AND IT STAYS SORE FOR IT SEEMS LIKE A WEEK OR MORE..AND ITS ON THE RIGHT SIDE WHERE THAT SCM MUSCLE STAYS KINDA SWOLLEN..WHEN I ASK THE DOC HE JUST SAID WITH ALL THE PRESSURE OF A SNEEZE JUST GETS THAT MUSCLE IRRITATED AGAIN..BUT THE SORENESS EVENTUALLY GOES AWAY.. ITS A STRANGE THING I KNOW THAT..I'M A WORRY FREAK ANYWAY.. I ALWAYS THINK THE WORSE..EVERYTIME I GET ONLINE AND LOOK UP MY SYMPTOMS IT LEADS ME TO CANCER AND SCARES ME TO DEATH.. LIKE I SAID I'VE HAD A CT SCAN AND BLOOD WORK RAN SO SURELY ITS NOTHING TOO SERIOUS...I'M 30 YRS OLD AND HAVE NEVER SMOKED AND DRINK SO I WOULD HOPE CANCER IS OUT OF THE PICTURE..WITH ALL THE DIZZINESS I HAVE HAD I THINK OF A BRAIN TUMOR OR SOMETHING BUT SURELY THE CT WOULD HAVE FOUND THAT DONT YOU THINK?..BUT AGAIN THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR INFO..I APPRECIATE YOUR TIME AND HELP..

 
Old 03-02-2010, 03:53 PM   #8
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Re: stemocleidomastoid muscle in neck is swollen

Hey Repsolguy!

I do the same thing to, or I should say I did the same thing too. It's just that we want answers for our symptoms and we want to feel better, and you start hearing about all these scary things like cancer and tumors it totally freaks you out. But, yes something would've shown up or been kinda off on both your bloodwork and your CT if there was something significantly wrong.

Since you haven't been diagnosed really with anything yet, are you able to get insurance? I don't know if it would be considered a "pre-existing condition", all insurances have different variations to the meaning of that, but it may be wayyy cheaper to get insurance, than to pay out of pocket.

And, if you suspect it is TMJ, please see an ICCMO trained doctor - just visit their website, I can't post the website, but do a search of ICCMO (International College of Cranio Mandibular Orthopedics). They are neuromuscular trained dentists.

I hope you feel better. BTW, I took extra magnesium pills, you don't want to take too too much, but it helps with muscle relaxation and nervousness, and that might help you with the SCM spasm that you're getting. I take the one that is mixed with Calcium and Zinc that you take 3x's a day, it's relatively cheap, but in addition I also take a separate magnesium pill by itself. Your supposed to be getting 350-500mg of magnesium a day, and most vitamins only have 50mg's, and if you're not eating lots and lots of green leafy veggies than you may be deficient (it's not something that they usually test you for). And, try to look up how to massage the SCM, and face muscles on you tube.

Keep me updated, and take care!

Aloha,
Rose

Last edited by hapachik; 03-02-2010 at 03:54 PM.

 
Old 03-04-2010, 05:19 AM   #9
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Re: sternocleidomastoid muscle in neck is swollen

Hi Repsolguy. I just wanted to give my two cents. I, too, thought I had tmjd, had all the "symptoms", did the spint therapy a try (tons of $), and then was later diagnosed with a neuromuscular disorder (which is why I asked how long your SCM has been swollen). Turns out that the NM disorder was responsible for all my symptoms of tmjd - not the other way around as the dentist kept trying to convince me.

All of the tests, CTs, xrays, etc, came back clean. The NM disorder was only diagnosed by an exam by a neurologist.

So, I guess my point is, not all tmj dysfunction is a dental issue. For me, the splint therapy would never, ever have made my situation better because the root of the "tmj dysfunction" was not being addressed.

 
Old 07-31-2010, 08:07 PM   #10
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Re: sternocleidomastoid muscle in neck is swollen

I too have scm muscle problems, for a couple of years. Left scm locks up when I yawn, UNLESS I clench my teeth tightly. Muscular therapy seemed to help a bit, trying to stretch the muscle. I also have impaired range of head motion that is responding to massage over time. This is important when driving a car.

My pcp sent me to an oral surgeon for the scm, thinking he might prescribe a mouth guard type of device to wear at night. This surgeon did a complete workup and found no problem with my jaw. He referred me to a neurologist for possible botox injections, thinking it's a nerve problem. Haven't seen the neuro yet. The problem is getting worse, and even clenching the jaw sometimes doesn't help. I have to press down hard on the muscle in left side of my neck, and move my jaw around in order to stop the pain and put the muscle at rest.

I realize I'm responding to a message that's six months old...

 
Old 08-01-2010, 10:18 AM   #11
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Re: sternocleidomastoid muscle in neck is swollen

Hi Rob! I just wanted to say that I have been seeing a NM dentist in Los Angeles, CA - Dr. Rojas, since the ending of March, and have had 3 adjustments since then to my orthosis. Also, I have been going to regular PT/MT (phys & manual therapy) appointments since May.

Anyhow, all the muscles in the back of my head, front and back of my neck were in spasm for the past 6 years - I've suffered with a whole bunch of problems, have seen a neurologist, ENT's, GP, and orthodontist for this problem. The 3rd ENT was the one who told me that the problem is with my jaw, not my nose / throat. Also, have had MRI's, an MRA (looking for a stroke or something), and CAT scans.

Anyways, to make a long story short - I saw Dr. Rojas in March, have had 3 adjustments to my orthosis and my muscles have settled down quite a bit. Basically, my orthosis is an acrylic dental piece that realigns my bite and pulls my jaw forward and I wear the appliance 24x7. I still have problems with my c2-c3 on the left side of my neck, which PT & MT helps quite a bit. Before I would try to stretch my muscles and it didn't do a thing, but now, it actually feels good - I can feel the stretch, whereas before, I couldn't.

If you do suspect you have TMJ - whatever you do, see a NM dentist from the ICCMO website.

Best of luck to you!

~ Rose

 
Old 08-01-2010, 02:45 PM   #12
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Re: sternocleidomastoid muscle in neck is swollen

Thanks, Rose! I have to pursue this because it seems to be getting worse. Your info on orthosis makes me wonder how that would work with the lower partial dental plate I already wear.
I'm puzzled, after scans and a pretty good exam by the oral surgeon, to be referred to a neurologist for possible Botox injections. Also, I just noticed a piece in Science News (July 31) that "freezing the frown muscle may hamper emotional sensitivity." etc.

 
Old 08-02-2010, 02:58 PM   #13
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Re: sternocleidomastoid muscle in neck is swollen

Hi Rob. I'm not sure how it would fit on partials...hmm?!? That would be a question for the doc, but Dr. Rosemarie Rojas is great to talk to, if you wanted to call her. She is in Beverly Hills, CA, and works M-Thur. I can't post any additional contact info, because this board will not allow it.

The neurologist asked if I wanted to have Botox injected into my neck muscles a few years ago, and I refused. I'm sure it works for some people, but I just couldn't see myself being injected with poison.

Best of luck.

 
Old 08-02-2010, 03:27 PM   #14
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Re: sternocleidomastoid muscle in neck is swollen

Thank you, Hapachik - I had muscular therapy today (I've been seeing the therapist for months because of loss of range of head motion L-R). She did sacro-cranial therapy today, finding some problems in my mouth. I'm asking my HMO for a few sessions with the chiro who helped me last year. Maybe I'll get some helpful advice from him. And I'll ask my (very good) dentist about orthosis, too. I think botox is not a good idea for me.

 
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