How to Check Your Neck for Early Detection of Thyroid Disease

Why You Should Check Your Neck?

Young woman with sore throat
Art-4-art/E+/Getty Images

Millions of Americans have undiagnosed thyroid problems. To help with early detection, you can perform a simple self-exam, known as the "Neck Check." Checking your neck can -- in some cases -- help you find lumps or enlargements in the neck that may point to thyroid conditions, including nodules, goiter and thyroid cancer. Here is how to do a thyroid neck check.

Stand in front of a mirror

woman mirror

Stand in front of a mirror, so that you can see your neck without any obstruction. Take off scarves, neckties, turtlenecks, so your view of your neck area is clear.

Stretch your neck back

thyroid neck check

Stretch your neck back, chin toward the ceiling.

Swallow water

perchlorate in water danger to thyroid

With your neck still stretched back, drink a glass of water.

Look for enlargement in the neck

woman neck

Check your neck, looking for any enlargement in the thyroid area.

Feel area to confirm enlargement or bump


Feel the area around the thyroid to see if you can detect any enlargement, bumps or lumps.

If a problem is detected, see a doctor

thyroid neck check, how to check your neck for thyroid disease
Mary Shomon

If you can detect any sort of problem, feel any enlargement or lump, you should see a doctor for evaluation right away.

Continue Reading