Trying to determine if I have GPN

Hi everyone,

My name is Emma and I'm glad that I have found this site. At the moment I'm trying to determine if I have GPN, but after reading a lot about it and the symptoms involved I am quite sure that I might.

A little bit of background - I was diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy about 4 months ago, at the C5/C6 level and also parts of my thoracic spine. After 6 weeks of physio, the symptoms of this have greatly improved. However, prior to this diagnosis, this past summer I experienced an episode of very intense, stabbing pain on the left side of my throat right next to my tonsil area. This was like nothing I had experienced before. After it went on for few days, I had a thyroid ultrasound because I thought I could have had a cyst in there. However, this came back completely normal. The symptoms soon went away.

In the past month, these throat pains have come back on 3 separate occasions. It is still in the same spot on the left side of my throat. In one instance, it seemed to be triggered by me laughing while laying down. It also seems to be triggered by eating cold foods, particularly ice cream and smoothies. After I consume these, I get intense throat pain when I breathe in and out, and this also happens in the cold weather. I have had those particular symptoms for a number of years, but before I discovered this site I never connected the two. I have noticed in the past week that I have also been getting intense ear pain on and off in both ears, which is a quick stabbing pain that lasts a few seconds.

Just wondering what your impression is of my you guys think I should go back to my physio, or just be referred to a neurologist?

Thanks for your help,


If I were in your shoes I’d try the neurologist. There are other problems that can cause similar pain. Your Doctors can differentiate the problems. They may find you may require testing, like an MRI. Good luck!

Hi Emma. Your symptoms sound like mine did in the very beginning (4 years ago)....sporadic bouts of intense stabbing, scratching pain in the right side of my throat and ear. Over the first year they came and went occasionally, but after 12 months the pain came and has never gone since. If my experience is anything to go by, skip the middle men and get referred straight to a neurologist. And do NOT be fobbed off with "you're imagining it/it's in your head/it's stress related" type excuses. I was too willing to accept these excuses in the beginning, and left the neuro office "hoping" the pain would go away. It didn't and got worse and recently they have found an arterial loop of the 9th cranial nerve which is what GPN is. I want to go back to the neuro with my results and make him eat them. Stress, bah!!!!!

If your pain is being triggered by things on the "trigger" discussion then in my unqualified medically but qualified as a GPN sufferer, I would say the chance of you suffering with GPN is high. In which case it would be better to get it addressed sooner rather than later.

Where in the world are you?

I wish you the best of luck and make sure you stay in contact on here as this website is a lifeline for us sufferers.

Thanks for your responses you two :slight_smile: I think I’m going to ask to be referred to a neurologist once the holidays are over. I live in Canada so luckily tests and things like that are covered by our government. Have any of you experienced pain right at the base of your skull? It seems to make my whole neck feel like it’s bruised.

Hi guys,

Just a quick update - I went to my physio today to tell him about the different symptoms I've been having and he suspects something going on with the nerves in the c1 and c2 segments of my neck. He is going to see me for the next 3 weeks and if nothing changes he wants to get some imaging done. For now I guess I'll see how things go and keep you all updated.

Hi Emma,

Thanks for the update - let us know how you go moving forward.