When Should You See a Doctor for Neck Pain?
Few things can affect your day-to-day life as much as neck pain. Even minor stiffness, aches, or pain in your neck can make working, sleeping, and doing activities you love extremely difficult.
When the pain is so severe that you can hardly do anything, it is obvious that you need to see a doctor. But, many cases are not as clear-cut. Sometimes your neck pain or stiffness might not seem so serious, though it bothers you for days or weeks on end. How do you know when it is time to see a doctor? You should schedule a visit with your physician if your neck pain…
- was caused by a traumatic accident.
- is accompanied by weakness, pain, numbness, or tingling in your limbs.
- gets worse after self-treatment.
- lingers for weeks after self-treatment.
- is accompanied by headaches, most often where your spine meets your skull.
For many minor cases of neck pain, self-treatment is usually the best first step to take. This would include applying ice and heat to the affected area to reduce swelling and loosen up the muscles. Getting a massage specifically for treating neck pain can also provide relief. And, always remember to stretch frequently and maintain good posture so your treatments can have their full effect.
Common Spine Issues Associated with Neck Pain
When these self-treatments don’t provide you with any relief or if you have sustained a significant neck injury, make an appointment with your doctor. There may be a more serious underlying issue that can only be treated by an orthopedic specialist. Common injuries or conditions normally associated with neck pain include:
Spondylosis (Cervical Disk Degeneration)
A Herniated or Ruptured Disk
Depending on your condition and its severity, your treatment could include physical therapy, steroid injections, medications, and in the most serious cases, surgery. Usually surgery is only recommended to patients who haven’t responded to other less drastic treatments for neck pain.
If you notice any of the above symptoms along with your neck pain and would like to schedule a visit with the Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine. To schedule your visit, you can request an appointment online or call us at 904-825-0540.