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You discovered a tender, painful spot on the front of your neck, where the thyroid is located. You didn’t know the thyroid could feel painful. What might be the cause, and what can you do about it?

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is one of the endocrine glands that helps regulate bodily functions like metabolism. It is in the middle of the lower neck, below the larynx, and wraps around the front half of the trachea.

What might cause thyroid pain?

Subacute thyroiditis can cause pain or tenderness in the thyroid. Acute thyroiditis is rare, affecting primarily middle-aged women. It is thought to be related to viral and bacterial infections, such as the flu, colds, or sinus infections. Chronic thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where white blood cells attack thyroid cells. In addition to thyroid pain, symptoms may include tenderness, difficulty swallowing, fatigue, and fever.

In some cases, thyroid pain is caused by cancer. Symptoms can also include a lump or swelling in the neck, trouble swallowing, trouble breathing, and hoarseness. Fortunately, most thyroid lumps, or nodules, are not cancerous. In fact, they are benign in 85-90 percent of cases. Still, it’s important to get a doctor’s examination right away, especially if these lumps are painful or causing difficulty swallowing or breathing.

How is thyroid pain treated?

Michael Sicard, MD

To treat thyroid pain, you’ll need to treat the thyroid condition. Thyroid cancers are usually very treatable and can usually be taken care of with surgery alone. In fact, this surgery is regularly done on an outpatient basis.

If you have acute thyroiditis, it can be treated with antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory medicine, CEENTA ENT doctor Michael Sicard, MD, said. Surgery is sometimes required to remove the infected part of the thyroid, too. Chronic thyroiditis will need lifelong thyroid treatments.

If you have thyroid pain, don’t hesitate to see a doctor. They’ll work to ensure your thyroid is healthy and help ease your discomfort.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. Dr. Sicard practices in our Matthews office. Do you need to make an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat doctor? Call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


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April 26, 2021

Hypothetically, have you ever had a patient who exhibited with persistent (months) pain in thyroid area, but completely normal ultrasound of thyroid? Said hypothetical patient has slightly abnormal thyroid labs, and accompanying symptoms such as significant hair loss, sensitivity to cold, low energy/fatigue, and weight gain. Gastroenterologist and neurologist have ruled out esophageal or neurological causes for pain, but neither ENT nor endocrinologist think the pain is thyroid related, based solely on a normal thyroid ultrasound!! Hypothetically, if you had a patient with similar situation, what other tests could be run? Patient is 29 yr old female, with significant family history of autoimmune diagnoses.
- Jan Mat

April 26, 2021

Good afternoon. A patient in this situation could request an endocrine evaluation for thyroiditis. Laboratory tests would be preferable over an ultrasound.
Reply From: CEENTA

April 01, 2021

Hi. I was diagnosed with hypothyrodism 2 months ago. Since then i went from 115 lb to 154 lb, mind it, i was a women that never gained weight mo matter how much i ate and now??? Any advise till i see my primary in few weeks on how to lose weight? Also how to manage the other symptoms, like foggy brain, depression, fatigue and so. Furthermore, any supplements i should take? And no am not on any meds yet... thank you
- Shaya

April 02, 2021

Good morning. I'm sorry, but we do not offer medical guidance for individual patient needs without seeing them in person, as each person's needs vary from case to case. Thank you.
Reply From: CEENTA

October 28, 2020

Hi just need expert comment i had ultrasound on my tyroid there were couple focal small nodules inside my thyroid is that dangerous Thank you
- Adam sabi

October 28, 2020

Good morning. You should discuss the results of your ultrasound with the doctor who scheduled you for the test. We cannot diagnose patients without seeing them or their test results in person. Thank you.
Reply From: CEENTA

October 23, 2020

Hi my thyroid gland is sore, just come on 5 hours ago, its hurts when i swallow, and im not sure why
- Natalie Paterson

October 23, 2020

Hello. We cannot diagnose individual patients without seeing them in person. If you live in the Charlotte, NC, region and would like an appointment with a CEENTA doctor, call 704-295-3000. Thank you.
Reply From: CEENTA

October 19, 2020

Started 25mg of thyroid med’s a week ago. For the past 2 days I have had this odd burning sensation in the right side of my thyroid and this morning it’s sore. Just curious why medicine would cause this?
- Stacy Kenny

October 19, 2020

Good morning. If you are having any reactions to your medicine, we strongly urge you to report this to the doctor who originally prescribed it to you. Thank you.
Reply From: CEENTA

July 25, 2020

My left thyroid started to hurt 2-3 days ago. Painful to touch and also, to turn my head a certain way. I right thyroid removed 3 years ago.. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank You
- Dee Rolland

July 27, 2020

Good morning. We can't diagnose patients' individual concerns without seeing them. If you live in the Charlotte region and would like an appointment with a CEENTA provider, please call 704-295-3000. Thank you.
Reply From: CEENTA

May 18, 2020

I'm new in Pennsylvania I need a thyroid doctor and I need one that takes amerihealth insurance if anyone can help me contact me I'm in Clinton County Pennsylvania I need a good thyroid doctor have you bounced around for 7 years I'll see you in 90 days hear some more pills I'll see you in 30 days I hear some more pills are some less bills and some more felt so many would you help me please help me I said iodine radiation I just need some time to really help pain help you can answer me at JacksonJackson420420@gmail.com
- Dan jax

May 19, 2020

Good morning. We are based in Charlotte, NC. We recommend you speak to your primary care physician where you live for a referral to a doctor who can treat you.
Reply From: CEENTA

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