Pain On Right Side Of Adam’s Apple (What Does It Mean?)

Pain in the Adam’s apple can be due to many non-severe reasons such as acid reflux, swollen lymph nodes, and laryngitis. Pain in either side of the Adam’s apple could be cause for concern as it has some more severe possible causes in its list. Conditions such as Epiglottitis or even throat cancer are somewhat rare but possible. The safest method to get rid of the pain is to visit a professional if the pain does not subside within a day or two at most.

If you’ve noticed some pain in your throat, you might be worried, especially since this is a rather fragile body part where you don’t really get much pain. You’d probably be more worried if this pain were isolated to only a side of your throat.

The pain might be sharp or dull, isolated, or throughout your throat, but there are a few possible causes for such pain.

A few of the questions you may have are, what are the possible reasons for this pain? Does it mean something when it hurts only in my right side of the Adam’s apple? Could it just be a simple sore throat? Or could it be a sign of something worse? Can it be related to my thyroid conditions?

The key causes of Adam’s Apple pain

A young man is clenching his throat after feeling sharp pain by his Adam's Apple.

If the pain you feel in the side of your Adam’s apple is only when swallowing, or feels worse when swallowing, then the below causes can be the reason for this pain.

  1. Acid Reflux – If you’re feeling a burning sensation near your Adam’s apple, it could be acid reflux. This can be remedied by changing your diet to be a bit healthier. Ear pain accompanied by pain in the Adam’s apple is a good sign of acid reflux.
  2. Swollen Lymph Nodes – If the pain in your Adam’s apple is duller and feels more like its coming from your throat, then it could be a swollen lymph node due to a virus or a bacterial infection.
  3. Laryngitis – If the Adam’s apple pain is accompanied with a change in voice and some discomfort, it could be laryngitis. This could again be due to a bacterial infection or a virus but the good news is that it should cure itself within a week or so.
  4. EpiglottitisEpiglottitis is more severe cause when compared to the other causes listed above. It can cause a sharp pain towards the right, left, and center of the throat and Adam’s apple. It happens when your throat flap is damaged and is often accompanied with a fever and noises when breathing. This required immediate attention from a professional so visiting your doctor should be your number one priority.
  5. Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia – If the pain is only on the right or left side of your Adam’s apple, and after swallowing, it could be due to glossopharyngeal neuralgia. This is a somewhat rare condition which causes sharp nerve pain for weeks on end. 
  6. Throat Cancer – The worst of all the above, this curse is often accompanied by a lump in the neck, to the side of your Adam’s apple at times, causing one sided pain. 

The below table should help you get a better understanding of what ails you.

Probable CausesOther SymptomsBest course of action
Acid RefluxEar pain, indigestion, and a burning sensation in your throatA change in diet can do wonders in the long term. But a quick fix would be getting some over-the-counter medication to decrease the acidity of your stomach.
Swollen Lymph NodesDiscomfort swallowing, dull achePrescribed medications are always an option but applying a warm compress can help reduce the pain if you want to wait it out and let your body fight off the virus by itself.
LaryngitisChanges to voice, dull acheThis can go away on its own, but why take the risk. Antibiotics can go a long way in helping you recover faster. Make sure you drink lots of water to keep your throat warm.
EpiglottitisSharp pain, fever, changes to voiceYour doctor will prescribe the treatment for this, but usually, it involves opening your airway to treat the infection.
Glossopharyngeal NeuralgiaSevere pain when swallowing.Depending on the severity, the cure can be prescription medications or surgery. So it’s best to let your doctor decide.
Throat Cancerearache, lump in your neckThe treatment can vary from surgery, chemotherapy, and medications.

Can pain in my Adam’s Apple be related to Thyroid Issues?

If you’ve previously had thyroid-related health issues, you might be wondering if the pain radiating from the side of your Adam’s apple could be a symptom. In some instances, this can be the case, especially if you’ve noticed a goiter in the area.

Goiter is a condition that causes your thyroid gland to grow. It also produces thyroxine and other hormones that play important roles in your bodily functions.

Goiters can occur when your thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormones due to a lack of iodine and can sometimes be hereditary.

If the pain on the side of your Adam’s apple is accompanied by a swelling in the area, a tightness in your throat, dizziness when your arms are raised above the head, changes in your voice, and difficulty breathing, you might want to get your thyroid checked.

Here are some steps you can follow to find your thyroid gland.

  1. Slide your fingers downwards from your chin.
  2. The first solid spot you feel should be your thyroid cartilage, which leads to your Adam’s apple. It should be very noticeable in men.
  3. The next area should be more cartilage and then your thyroid isthmus,

Using these steps, you can clearly identify if the pain is actually coming from your thyroid or Adam’s apple.

It can also help if you do the following while checking for the area of pain:

  1. Stand in front of a mirror when feeling your throat
  2. Look upwards
  3. Relax your neck

The best course of action

Now that we’ve gone through a vast majority of the reasons that could be causing your Adam’s apple pain, it’s clear that some causes can be quite serious while others could cure themselves.

Looking at the list, though, it’s always best to take this pain seriously and get it checked out. If the pain reduces within a day or two, or if the symptoms correspond with a less severe diagnosis, you could, of course, try a home remedy or two till the problem solves itself.

But if even a hint of doubt remains that the problem could be more than a simple case of laryngitis or acid reflux, it is best to consult a professional.

FAQs

What is on either side of the Adam’s apple?

With your thyroid gland right below your Adam’s apple, there is only muscle on either side of your Adam’s apple. As you know now, swelling here can mean many things.

Can thyroid nodules cause pain in your throat and ears?

Thyroid nodules can cause neck, jaw, and ear pain but quite rarely. It is more likely that this pain is caused by acid reflux or a similar problem.

How long does Adam’s apple pain last?

If the pain is in your Adam’s apple and not to the side, that’s actually a good sign. The pain is mostly non-serious and due to Laryngitis.

Conclusion

Let’s be honest. Pain in your throat is quite scary. Especially if you’re finding it hard to breathe. But when it comes to pain related to your throat, the pain to the side of the throat can be much worse. If you’re feeling pain to the side of your Adam, the reasons can vary from laryngitis to much more severe conditions.

The right side of the Adam’s apple is muscle. So it could be a simple sprain but if the pain does not subside, or if you notice a lump, it’s best to get it checked out as soon as possible. Looking at the probable reasons, you’d feel much better after ruling out some of the worse diagnoses.