Adam’s Apple Pain

Men have a noticeable Adam’s apple – it is the prominent bulge at the front of the neck. This bulge moves up and down when swallowing. Women have it too, but theirs are much smaller, so often not recognizable. Also known as the laryngeal cartilage or the thyroid cartilage, it protects the voice box and larynx. Most of the time, the Adam’s apple is not bothersome at all; but for some, it can become painful, tender to the touch, and even lead to difficulty in swallowing.

What Causes Adam's Apple Pain?

Pain in the Adam’s apple can be caused by several issues, most of which are not serious. The most common cause of painful Adam’s apple is a sore throat. Other sources might include tension or stress on the muscles that surround the area, which might result from a sporting injury. Sometimes the pain can come from a fracture in the cartilage or some other trauma to the area. Since thyroid is near Adam's apple, any inflammation in the gland may feel like pain in the Adam's apple.

Acid reflux has been known to lead to significant pain in Adam’s apple. In acid reflux, the stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. This can lead to swelling in the part of the esophagus that is near the Adam’s apple. Thus, the burning pain can be seen as coming from the Adam’s apple.

More rare problems might include a cyst or small tumor at the site of the Adam’s apple, as well as a cyst on the vocal cords. In even rarer cases, thyroid cancer might lead to pain in the area. Symptoms of thyroid cancer include a lump below Adam’s apple, difficulty in swallowing food, blood when you cough or coughing all the time, a hoarse voice, weight loss, and sometimes pain in the ear or jaw. If you are seeing signs of thyroid cancer, or if the pain in Adam’s apple is accompanied by fever and redness around the area, get to the doctor as soon as possible.

What to Do with Adam's Apple Pain

In most cases, the pain can be treated very well with home remedies. This is especially true if the cause is clear, such as a bad cold that leads to a sore throat or acid reflux that occurs at certain times of the day. Here are a few tips to help deal with painful Adam’s apple:

  • If you have an upper respiratory infection or really bad cold, try gargling with salt water to alleviate the pain.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications or painkillers might help if there has been trauma to the area around the Adam’s apple.
  • Warm compresses applied over the throat can help ease the pain.
  • Those who have acid reflux should avoid eating for at least two hours before lying down for bed. They should also avoid things that trigger acid reflux, such as alcohol or spicy foods. If the reflux continues, the doctor can prescribe medications to keep it under control.
  • If the thyroid gland is inflamed, the doctor will prescribe other treatments that might help alleviate the inflammation and in turn, relieve the pain.

You Are Not Alone

Many individuals have Adam’s apple pain. It is always very helpful to remember that you are not alone with this problem. Here are some of their stories:

"I am having some pain in the area of my Adam’s apple. It’s only on the right side, which is weird. It almost feels as though something is caught in my throat. The doctor says he thinks it might be an ulcer. But how would I get an ulcer on the Adam’s apple if I haven’t eaten anything that would cause it? I’m really concerned that it’s something else, but the doctor wants to wait a few weeks before running any tests."

"My Adam’s apple really hurts when I swallow. The problem has just started, and there isn’t any reason for it at all. No cold, no injuries, not even eating anything that might be too hot or too harsh. To make matters worse, it really hurts when I press my finger against my throat right there, on the Adam’s apple, but it doesn’t hurt anywhere else. This Adam’s apple pain can get so intense that I avoid eating or drinking altogether. I’m not sure what to do."

"This is getting really ridiculous. My throat has been hurting for weeks, but it’s not a typical problem – it’s only on the side of the Adam’s apple. It’s like someone is pinching me, or poking me with a needle. That’s the only way to describe it. No matter how I move, even a yawn or a sneeze makes it hurt even worse. There is no swelling in the throat, and nothing looks weird when I look in the mirror. I’m worried that it might be a thyroid problem, or a lymph node that has gotten swollen, or even throat cancer. Any ideas?"

 
 
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