When to see a doctor for neck pain

Photo of clouds illustrates how using treatments prescribed by Dr. John Sarno can eliminate neck pain.

Neck pain can be a common occurrence and can range from mild discomfort to severe pain.

In most cases, neck pain can be managed with home remedies such as rest, ice or heat therapy, and over-the-counter pain medications. However, there are instances when it is necessary to seek medical attention.

Severe and persistent neck pain

If your neck pain is severe and persistent, it may indicate an underlying condition that requires medical attention.

Neck pain that lasts for several days or weeks may be a sign of a more serious problem that needs to be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

Some causes of neck pain can lead to complications, and early diagnosis and treatment are crucial.

Additional symptoms

In some cases, neck pain may be accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms or legs. These symptoms may indicate nerve damage or compression and require prompt medical attention.

Headaches, fever, and difficulty swallowing or breathing may also be warning signs that warrant medical attention. If your neck pain is the result of an injury, such as a car accident or a fall, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Healthcare provider

Your healthcare provider can perform a physical exam and diagnostic tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans to identify the underlying cause of your neck pain.

They can then recommend appropriate treatment options, which may include medication, physical therapy, or in some cases, surgery.

If you have a history of neck pain or have been diagnosed with a medical condition that affects your neck, such as arthritis or spinal stenosis, it is important to keep your healthcare provider informed of any changes in your symptoms or if you experience new or worsening symptoms.