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Neck symptoms Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Neck symptoms. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you had the neck symptoms?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic.

  2. What neck symptoms do you have?

    Why: e.g. neck lump, neck swelling, neck pain, neck stiffness, bulging neck veins.

  3. Past medical history?

    Why: e.g heart attack, disease of heart muscle, severe lung disease may suggest right heart failure which may cause bulging neck veins; Rheumatic heart disease - may suggest tricuspid heart valve stenosis or regurgitation which may cause bulging neck veins; Rheumatoid arthritis, chronic renal failure, tuberculosis, chest radiotherapy, heart operation, heart trauma - may suggest causes of Constrictive pericarditis which may cause bulging neck veins.

  4. Past cancer history?

    Why: e.g. cancer of the nasal cavity, pharynx, tongue, lips, mucous membrane (lining of the mouth), larynx and thyroid spread to neck lymph nodes; The cervical spine accounts for about 15% of spinal metastases. The commonest primary tumors are the breast, prostate, lung, kidney, thyroid and melanoma.

  5. Medications?

    Why: e.g. lithium and amiodarone may cause an enlarged goitre and hypothyroidism; most medications may cause enlarged lymph nodes. The most notable is dilantin, but the antibiotics, aspirin, iodides and certain antihypertensive drugs can cause enlarged lymph nodes also.

  6. Illicit drug use?

    Why: e.g. neck swellings may result from intravenous neck vein drug abuse.

  7. Contact with animals?

    Why: e.g. cat scratch disease occurs between 7-14 days after a cat scratch or bite and features a small red papule at the site associated with localized lymph node enlargement; toxoplasmosis results from ingestion of foodstuffs contaminated by infected cat faeces.

  8. Family history?

    Why: e.g. osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, heart attack, angina, heart bypass surgery, thyroid disease.

  9. Sexual history?

    Why: may help in determining the risk of syphilis and HIV if generalized lymph nodes enlargement.

  10. Immunisations?

    Why: e.g. measles, rubella.

  11. Cigarette smoking?

    Why: is a major risk factor for lung cancer which may cause superior vena caval obstruction and thus bulging neck veins. Lung cancer in the apex of the lung may cause enlarged supraclavicular lymph nodes (just above the collar bone).

  12. Pain?

    Why: e.g. neck, throat, ears, teeth, sinus - may suggest tender enlarged cervical lymph nodes as the cause of neck pain. See neck pain.

  13. Neck lump or swelling, if so is it single or multiple and where exactly is the lump or swelling?

    Why: see neck lump; See neck swelling.

  14. Headaches?

    Why: often suggests pain referred to head from neck . Must always consider the possibility of meningitis or subarachnoid hemorrhage.

  15. Tremor?

    Why: should consider Grave's disease and subacute thyroiditis.

  16. Shortness of breath?

    Why: may suggest congestive heart failure, tuberculosis, lung cancer. A thyroid swelling may also cause difficulty in breathing due to compression of the trachea.

  17. Lumps or ulcers on the skin of the head or face that have changed in size or begun to bleed?

    Why: may suggest skin cancer with metastasis to the cervical lymph nodes.

  18. Radiation of pain to one or both arms?

    Why: would suggest a space-occupying lesion such as a herniated cervical disk, spinal cord tumor, fracture of the cervical spine or cervical spondylosis (degeneration of the cervical neck bones).

  19. Neck stiffness?

    Why: if severe, prolonged and worse in the morning indicates inflammation e.g. Rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis; Osteoarthritis causes stiffness at rest. Must also consider the possibility of meningitis and subarachnoid hemorrhage.

  20. Pain, swelling or stiffness in any other joints in the body?

    Why: consider Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis or enteropathic arthritis (such as due to Ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease).

  21. Arm paresthesia?

    Why: may indicate compression of spinal cord or nerve roots from a disc prolapse, narrowed intervertebral foramina or bone tumor.

  22. Arm weakness or clumsiness?

    Why: may indicate compression of spinal cord or nerve roots from a disc prolapse, narrowed intervertebral foramina or bone tumor.

  23. Fever?

    Why: may occur in acute vertebral osteomyelitis, spinal cord infection, tuberculosis (more commonly occurs in middle back), meningitis or de Quervain's thyroiditis.

  24. Skin rash?

    Why: may suggest psoriatic arthritis.

  25. Eye pain?

    Why: may suggest Ankylosing spondylitis.

  26. Recent diarrhea?

    Why: may suggest enteropathic arthritis (such as due to Ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease).

  27. Difficulty with swallowing?

    Why: suggests de Quervain's thyroiditis or pharyngeal pouch.

  28. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

    Why: e.g. palpitations, increased heart rate, preference for cooler weather, intolerance of heat, increased appetite, weight loss, increased sweating, tremor, nervousness, irritability, diarrhea, lack of menstrual periods, frequent urination. May suggest Grave's disease, subacute thyroiditis (de Quervain's thyroiditis), toxic multinodular goitre or early Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

  29. Symptoms of Grave's disease?

    Why: e.g. symptoms of hyperthyroidism with a diffuse goitre (enlarged thyroid gland) and with protruding eyeballs.

  30. Symptoms of hypothyroidism?

    Why: e.g. lethargy, weight gain, constipation, puffiness of face and eyes, hair loss, dry skin. Suggests Hashimoto's disease, drug induced hypothyroidism or dietary iodine deficiency.

  31. Symptoms of congestive cardiac failure?

    Why: e.g. palpitations, shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles and lower legs. Congestive cardiac failure may also cause diffuse swelling of the neck due to venous distension.

  32. Symptoms of tonsillitis?

    Why: e.g. fever, sore throat, difficulty with swallowing due to pain, malaise, white pus spots on tonsils, enlarged neck lymph nodes.

  33. Symptoms of infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever)?

    Why: e.g. sore throat, fever, tiredness, poor appetite, aching muscles, skin rash, enlarged tonsils, enlarged neck lymph nodes.

  34. Symptoms of sarcoidosis?

    Why: e.g. shortness of breath, cough, tiredness, joint pain, skin symptoms occur in 10% of cases and may include purple or brown plaques or nodules on face, nose, ears and neck in chronic sarcoidosis. Peripheral lymph node enlargement occurs in 5% of people.

  35. Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?

    Why: e.g. painless localized or widespread enlarged lymph nodes, sweating, generalized itch.

  36. Symptoms of Hodgkin's disease?

    Why: e.g. painless (rubbery) enlarged lymph nodes especially in the neck or axilla, malaise, weakness, weight loss, fever, drenching night sweats, generalized itch, alcohol induced in any enlarged lymph nodes.

  37. Symptoms of branchial cyst?

    Why: e.g. painless ovoid swelling in the upper outer part of the neck. The swelling may become painful associated with an increase in size of the swelling.

  38. Symptoms of a carotid body tumor?

    Why: e.g. painless slow growing hard lump in the upper outer neck which pulsates.

  39. Symptoms of a cystic hygroma?

    Why: e.g. present at birth or within the first few years of life with a lobulated swelling at the base of the neck.

  40. Symptoms of pharyngeal pouch?

    Why: e.g. long history of bad breath and recurrent sore throats before noticing the common presenting symptoms of regurgitation of undigested food. As the pouch grows it presses on the esophagus and causes difficulty with swallowing. The neck lump changes in size and often disappears.

  41. Symptoms of cervical spine joint dysfunction?

    Why: e.g. pain in the back of the neck that may radiate to the back of the head, ear, face or shoulders. Associated with reduced neck movement and various degrees of stiffness. Pain is aggravated by activity and improved by rest. There may or may not be a history of injury. This is the most common cause of neck pain.

  42. Symptoms of whiplash?

    Why: e.g. pain and stiffness of the neck and upper shoulders that may radiate to the back of the head, between the shoulder blades or down the arms. Stiffness is felt initially in the front of the neck muscles and later shifts to the back of the neck. Headache (typically at the back of the head) is a common and disabling symptom that may persist for many months. The injury occurs as a consequence of overextension of the neck followed by a recoil overflexion, typically following a rear-end collision between motor vehicles. Delayed symptoms are common, most experiencing symptoms between 6 hours to 24 hours later.

  43. Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

    Why: e.g. usually symmetrical and can affect many joints. Pain is worse at the end of the day and aggravated by use and cold weather, relieved by rest. Usually associated with pronounced stiffness, especially after activity.

  44. Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis?

    Why: e.g. usually starts with the gradual onset of pain and stiffness of the small joints of the hands and feet. Joint pain is worse on waking; nocturnal pain with disturbed sleep, pain is relieved with activity. Morning and rest stiffness can last for hours. May be associated with weakness, weight loss, malaise and fatigue. Involvement of the cervical spine is usually a late feature of Rheumatoid arthritis.

  45. Symptoms of depression?

    Why: Chronic neck pain can increase risk of causing or aggravating depression; Depression can continue to aggravate or maintain the neck pain even though the provoking problem has disappeared. A period of depression is common after a whiplash injury.

  46. Symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica?

    Why: e.g. symmetrical pain and stiffness in the shoulder, hips and neck. Associated with early morning stiffness and sometimes weight loss, malaise and reduced appetite. There is a painful restriction of movement of the shoulders and hips.

  47. Symptoms of angina or heart attack?

    Why: e.g. central crushing chest pain that may radiate to left side of neck. May be associated with shortness of breath, dizziness and palpitations.

  48. Symptoms of de Quervain's thyroiditis?

    Why: e.g. symptoms of hyperthyroidism along with fever, malaise, pain in the neck. It is usually associated with a systemic viral infection.

  49. Symptoms of right ventricular heart failure?

    Why: e.g. ankle swelling, abdominal swelling, nausea, bulging neck veins.

  50. Symptoms of lung cancer?

    Why: e.g. cough, blood in sputum, shortness of breath, weight loss, chest pain. Lung cancer may cause superior vena caval obstruction and thus bulging neck veins. Lung cancer in the apex of the lung may cause enlarged supraclavicular lymph nodes (just above the collar bone).

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Neck symptoms:

The following list of conditions have 'Neck symptoms' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Neck symptoms or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Neck symptoms:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Neck symptoms' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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