Alamo Neurosurgical Institute

When is it time to see a doctor about my neck pain?

In today’s blog I want to return to my regular blog series and discuss when to see a doctor for cervical pain. As previously discussed in my blog, Neck Pain 101, neck pain is common and can result from a number of different causes including strained muscles, poor posture and degenerative disc disease.

Today, we are going to discuss signs and symptoms that indicate it is time to see your doctor about your neck pain. Although neck pain is common and can often be treated at home, neck pain may be a sign of a more serious problem.

Schedule a doctor’s appointment if your neck pain continues despite a few weeks of conservative treatments or your neck pain is increasing in severity despite at home treatments. In addition, if you are experiencing pain radiating into your shoulders, arms or hands, it is time to see your doctor. This may be an indication of a problem with a disc in your neck, and, in fact, some people with a disc problem may not even experience neck pain and instead may only have arm or shoulder pain! Another sign that indicates it is time to see your doctor is weakness in your arms or hands. Patients with this symptom often describe this as dropping things, such as their coffee mug.

If your neck pain started after a traumatic injury, such as a motor vehicle accident, is accompanied by a high fever or severe muscle weakness you need to seek immediate care.

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