Pain behind Ear, Stabbing Pain, Causes, Right Ear, Left Side, Bone & Treatment

Are you having a throbbing pain behind ear? What are the possible causes of this kind of pain? The pain could be felt on your right or left ear or on the bone near the ear and the base of skull. Sometime you may experience headache. This page covers some of the possible causes and other symptoms. We shall also provide you with available treatment and some of the ways to manage the symptoms at home. We hope the article will be of help to you.

Stabbing Pain behind Ear Lobe Meaning

A throbbing pain behind the ear is a possible sign of an underlying ear infection. It could be behind the ear, on jaws or from swollen glands.  The pain could be temporary, this is mostly felt when performing activities such as yawning or chewing hard foods that require a lot of force to grind.

Pain behind Ear Meaning
Pain behind Ear Meaning

If the cause of the pain is an ear infection, most will resolve on their own within some days or a week. However, for serious causes, the pain will be persistent and fail to go away. This is a good sign that you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Another possible symptom that may show it is time to see a doctor will include colored discharge from the ear, persistent and increased pain, the pain that starts to spread to other adjacent areas, swollen lymph nodes, and high fever.

What Causes Pain behind Ear, Jaw and Base of Skull?

Pain behind ear, jaws, and base of the skull is possible and common. The pain could be as a result of physical injuries or underlying medical conditions. Understanding the underlying cause of the pain is the first step in to treat of get rid of the symptoms. Below, we have provided a list of some of the possible causes of the pain.

  • Cervicogenic headache
  • Ear infection and mastoiditis
  • Swollen lymph nodes and ear
  • Whiplash
  • Swimmers ear
  • Too much ear wax known medically as ceruminosis
  • Blocked Eustachian tube
  • Oral problems
  • Occipital neuralgia

Pain behind Ear and Jaw

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, ear pain will in most cases be associated with jaw conditions. The proximity of the jaw to the ear means that both of them can be affected by the same condition, disease or injury. The pain can be caused by simple causes or be a sign of a serious underlying condition. Please have a doctor diagnose the condition to establish the underlying cause. Ranging from mild to severe, some of the possible cause will include the flowing.

  • Temporomandibular joint disorder, this is a collective term that describes the pain and dysfunction of the muscles of mastication or simply the muscles that move the jaws. They are the paired joints located on the side of the head, just in front of the ears. The joints allow a person talks, chew food and yawn.
  • Parotitis, also known as salivary gland infection, is a viral or bacterial infection of the saliva-producing glands, this includes the parotids glands.  The condition is relatively common. The condition will be shown by symptoms such as foul taste in the mouth, difficulties opening the mouth, dry mouth, high temperatures, mouth and facial pain. The other will include uncomfortable swelling of the face near ears, jaws, and floor of the mouth.
  • Swollen lymph nodescan also cause pain behind ear and jaws. Your nodes will swell or enlarge when trying to fight viral or bacterial infection. This is temporary inflammation which clears when the underlying cause of the swelling is resolved.
  • Jaw tumoris the other possible cause of pain behind ear and jaws. The tumor can be malignant or benign. This tumor can be discovered by an x-ray or found during a routine physical examination of the oral cavity.

Pain behind Ear Lobe

A painful or swollen ear lobe can be symptoms of mastoiditis. Mastoiditis is the inflammation of the mastoid process. The mastoid bone occurring behind the ear is made up of air spaces that function as drainage for the middle ear. Mastoiditis will thus happen when a bacterial infection affecting the mastoid bone or the middle ear.  The condition will also happen when a skin cyst at the center of the ear blocks drainage.

Common symptoms that show this condition will include a swollen ear lobe, fever, irritability, redness sand tenderness behind the ear, pain behind ear and bulging of the ear. With mild cases of mastoiditis, your health care provider will prescribe antibiotics and eardrops. He or she will also schedule regular ear clean-up. If the symptoms persist, a surgical procedure may be required.

Apart from infection, other causes of pain behind the ear will include trauma and injuries. This is physical external damages done to your ear lobe. Ear piercing is a common cause of such pain. When not done correctly with the right tools o in the right procedure, an ear piercing procedure may turn problematic. In this cases, the hole may become infected with bacteria or an allergic reaction with the earring.

This can be very painful. At times it will cause the hole to block causing the earring to stick in. it might also cause the earlobe to swell or enlarge causing to become very painful. Seek medical attention if this last for more than two days.

Pain behind Ear Base of Skull

Pain behind ear and base of the skull will in most cases be as a result of stress in the neck joint or due to a vascular headache. The neck is one of the most common sites in the body where the effects of stress can be felt. From the base of the skull to the top of your shoulders, your neck can become a center of pain and tension as stress and worries build.

Pain behind Ear and Base of Skull
Pain behind Ear and Base of Skull

The duration of time the pain last can be used to determine whether the pain should be a reason to worry or not. Is stress in the neck joint or a vascular headache are diagnosed to be the underlying cause of the pain, your doctor will prescribe some antibiotics and painkiller to relieve the pain.

For stress in the neck joints, neck massages, cold or warm gently compress can also offer relief for the pain and discomfort. You need to book regular visits to a chiropractor. A detailed health examination will be required if after doing all this, the pain keeps coming back or fails to go away completely. If adequate steps are not taken to try a remedy this, it could lead to you developing a serious complication like brain cancer or meningitis.

Pain behind Ear and Neck

Most of the patients that suffer from pain behind ear and neck, describe it as a deep ache or sometimes as a pain that starts in the ear and runs down the back of the neck. Some will also describe it as a sharp pain when the jaws open and cannot generally ease the pain by positioning and movements.

Pain behind Ear and Neck
Pain behind Ear and Neck

There are different causes for this kind of pain. It is, however, in most cases associated with neck pain, as tendons of many neck muscles are connected to the base of the skull just behind the ear. Below are some of the cause of neck pain behind ear:

  • Jaw pain arising from temporomandibular joint disorder.
  • Muscular pain from the neck muscles that lie behind the ear
  • Joint muscles coming from the vertebrae in your neck.
  • Throat problems can also refer pain into these areas
  • The pain can also be caused by an ear infection.

To treat neck pain behind the ear, you have to first establish what the underlying cause of the pain is. When that is done, you can now easily treat and get rid of the pain. If the cause of the pain is temporomandibular joint, then treating the TMJ is the first step in managing the pain.

Regular excesses can help relieve neck pain occurring behind the ear. Most physicians will advise that heat treatment be followed by resting your head on an average height neck pillow. To ease out the area, your will have to roll your head and neck from side to side.

If the underlying cause of the pain is an infection, then you will need to be diagnosed to establish the extent of spread of the infection.

Pain behind Ear Bone

Pain behind ear arising from the bone can be very annoying. From our discussion above we have seen that ear pain can be as a result of both infection and external traumas and injuries. Pain arising from the bones are more likely to be caused by carotid artery dissection, the carotid arteries are the main blood vessels that supply the head and neck.

When left untreated, a narrowed carotid artery may cause interruptions of the normal blood flow to the brain. A blood clot may form and a piece may break off and go to the brain, this can result in a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA)

The other cause of the pain can be mastoiditis or due to dental problems. Mastoiditis as said is the inflammation of the mastoid process whereas dental problems will include things such as teeth or jaws complication. Sore throats can at times cause this kind of pain. Before rushing to use over-the-counter medication, have a health care provider diagnose the problem to establish what the underlying cause of the pain is.

Pain behind Ears and Headache

A headache behind the ear is possible but very rare. This kind of headaches can be managed with alternative treatment such as stretching, massage therapy or acupuncture. An acupuncture is a system of complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin with needles. This method is used to alleviate pain and to treat various physical, mental and emotional conditions. The method originated in ancient china but it is now widely practiced in the west.

At least by now, you have experienced a headache at some point. You agree with us when we say not all headaches are the same. In fact, research shows that there are close to three hundred different types of a headache. As mentioned, a headache accompanied by a sharp pain behind the ear is very rare yet very possible. To find relief or best treatment for this kind of condition, you’ll want to find what the underlying cause is.

It is impossible to pinpoint to a given cause as the possible reason for a headache accompanying the pain behind the ear. The potential causes of a persistent headache will include occipital neuralgia, this is a type of a headache caused by an injury or as a result of a pinched nerve in your neck. This can be caused by keeping your neck bent for long hours. The same could also be caused by arthritis in the neck or shoulder. The pain will in most cases start in the neck moving upwards.

The other possible cause of this type of a headache is mastoiditis. This is the infection or inflammation of the mastoid bone located behind the ear. The most common cause of mastoiditis is the result of an untreated infection of the middle ear. Though common in children, anybody can get this infected with this condition.

A headache and pain behind the ear can also be a sign of the temporomandibular joint disorder. Temporomandibular is the joint that helps the jaws open and close. The disorder can be as a result of the joint falling out of alignment, injury, or damage by a condition such as arthritis. With this condition, chewing becomes hard, pain may be felt in the jaw area. If you have this symptom, you need to seek immediate medical attention.

The other possible cause of a headache behind the ear is a complication or problems in your mouth. Problems occurring in your mouth or teeth can cause what is known as referred pain. This can include complication such as an impacted or abscessed tooth, upon examination, your dentist or a professional heath care provider will be in a position to identify the actual underlying problem.

Pain behind Right Ear

A sharp pain behind the right ear or on the sides of the face can be very annoying. Most of this complication will involve a problem with the nerves occurring on the face. A common cause of this kind of pain is Bell’s palsy. Bell’s palsy is weakness of the muscles on one side of your face. Any damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side to droop. [WebMD]. This kind of nerve damage may also affect your sense of taste and how you make tears and saliva.

The actual cause of Bell’s palsy is unknown. The condition is however believed to be caused by the herpes virus that causes cold sores. In most cases, the damage to the facial nerves is caused by inflammation. Though many reasons can cause the damage to the facial nerves, when no particular cause is found, the condition is then referred to as Bell’s palsy.

Apart from pain in or behind the ear, other symptoms of Bell’s palsy will include the following:

  • Paralysis or weakness on one side of your face.
  • Drooling- the uncontrollably drop of saliva from the mouth
  • Increased sensitivity to sound
  • Numbness on right side of ear
  • Eye complication such as excess tearing or dryness
  • In rare cases, some will experience loss in the ability  to taste
  • Headaches
  • Pain around jaws
  • And as mentioned pain in or behind ear

Bell’s palsy or facial palsy can occur at any age. Apart from the swelling and inflammation of the nerve, the condition can also be caused by a viral infection. For most people, the condition is temporary, the above-mentioned symptoms will start to improve within some few weeks. Complete recovery will take around 2 months. The condition will rarely recur.

Throbbing Pain Behind Ear Lobe Left Side

Same to the causes discussed above found to cause pain in the right ear and jaw, the same causes can affect the left side. Bell’s palsy could also affect the left side of facial nerves causing pain behind ear lobe on the left side.

Other causes will include temporomandibular joint disorder, mastoiditis, and occipital neuralgia. All of these causes are discussed above. If the pain on your left side lasts for more than a week, it is a sign of an underlying serious condition, has a doctor cheek it out as soon as possible to prevent complications by prescribing the right medication.

Treatment for Pain behind Ear

The best way to treat and get rid of pain behind the ear is by first establishing the underlying cause of the pain. When this is done, it becomes very easy to treat the pain by treating the underlying cause. For mild cases, however, OTC painkiller can be used to relieve the pain. Oral antibiotic and eardrops will be used in cases bacterial or viral infection causing the pain.

Physical exercises and regular visits to a chiropractor can all help relieve the stiffness in joint and muscles thus reducing pain around ear, neck, and base of the skull. If the pain persists, then as mentioned, a detail health examination will be required to diagnose the underlying cause of the problem.

Home Remedies to Stop, Relief Sharp or Throbbing Pain behind Ear

Home remedies can also be used to offer relief for sharp or throbbing pain behind ear. But you need to understand that, the remedies will not treat the underlying cause, they will only relieve the pain which as said is a symptom of an underlying condition. The best way to make sure the pain won’t recur would be to have a physical medical examination that will help in treating the actual cause of the pain.

At home, the following could help offer relief from the pain:

  • Over the counter pain relievers
  • Cold or warm compress which is a safe remedy for both children and adults
  • Oil drop into the ear canal is also believed to soothe ear pain, this is especially true for the case of swimmer’s ear.  The oil can be from garlic or olive oil
  • Chiropractic treatment can also be soothing for both back, ear and neck pains.
  • Herbal steam inhalation help reduces nasal swelling that can result in pain behind ear.

Sources and references.

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