Seek immediate care if severe neck pain results from an injury, such as a car accident, diving accident, or fall, is severe, persists for several days without relief, spreads to the arms or legs, is accompanied by headache, numbness, weakness, or tingling. If you have neck pain that continues for more than a week, is severe, or is accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical attention right away. See your doctor right away if your neck hurts after a fall or accident, or if the pain is severe, doesn't respond to treatment, worsens over time, or if it includes numbness, weakness or tingling, and pain in your arms and legs. While neck pain usually goes away on its own, sometimes an underlying cause must be treated to relieve symptoms.
Neck pain can also interfere with other daily activities, such as dressing or going to work, or any activity that involves turning your head, such as driving. Believe it or not, there is no common worrying cause of neck pain that is indicated by acute quality. If the pain is due to muscle spasm or a pinched nerve, your provider may prescribe a stronger muscle relaxant or pain reliever. The neck is particularly vulnerable to injury, especially in falls, car accidents, and sports, where the muscles and ligaments of the neck are forced to move outside of their normal range.
Neck pain may be mild and may not interfere much with your activities or daily life, or it can be severe and cause disability. Talk to your doctor If the pain persists, you don't want to go through life with real pain in your neck. Neck pain that lasts longer than several weeks will generally continue to respond to exercise, stretching, physical therapy, massage, and watchful waiting, but steroid injections or even surgery are occasionally indicated. When neck pain continues to interfere with routine activities or persists for days without improvement, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Neck pain caused by muscle tension or strain usually goes away on its own within a few days and only needs conservative treatment at most. Although rare, occasional neck pain can be a warning sign of cancer, infection, autoimmune disease, or some type of structural problem, such as a spinal cord injury or a threat to a major blood vessel. Learn about the 4 types of neck pain and the differences between acute short-term pain and long-term chronic pain. If neck pain involves nerve compression, you may feel numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm or hand.
Neck pain symptoms can be constant, go away quickly, come and go regularly, or come back intermittently.
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