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. Â Especially if you are experiencing pain extending down your arm, it is time to see a doctor. Â If you are experiencing numbness or weakness in your arm, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.Â
Before you make your appointment, use ice, heat and anti-inflammatory medications. Pay attention to what activities causes pain and be wary of them. Â 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. Â Neck or low back pain alone rarely needs evaluation by a neurosurgeon unless associated with fever, trauma or cancer.