When to see a Doctor

While 80% of neck pain will resolve on its own, there are some red flag indicators that it is time to see a doctor.

When anti-inflammatory medications are not working to resolve your on-going neck pain, you should consider making an appointment to see a doctor.  Especially if you are experiencing pain extending down your arm, it is time to see a doctor.  If you are experiencing numbness or weakness in your arm, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. 

Before you make your appointment, use ice, heat and anti-inflammatory medications. Pay attention to what activities causes pain and be wary of them.  If your neck pain does not resolve itself after these measures are taken, or you have any of the “red flag” symptoms listed above, it is time to see a physician.

Significant arm or leg pain associated with any numbness and or weakness warrants evaluation.  Neck or low back pain alone rarely needs evaluation by a neurosurgeon unless associated with fever, trauma or cancer.


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