When Should I Go to The Doctor?
In general, you don’t have to go to the doctor for neck pain. There are, however, scenarios in which neck pain is a reason to visit a doctor. First, you should always go to a doctor if your neck pain is so severe that it prevents you from doing your daily activities. In addition, it is good to seek medical advice if:
- The pain started after an injury or car accident;
- The pain spreads from the neck to your arms and legs;
- You have a weak feeling in your arms, hands or legs;
- You also have a headache in addition to neck pain.
These symptoms may indicate a more serious condition that can’t be cured simply through stretching exercises and massages. Examples of this are hernia, arthritis, a pinched nerve or disc protrusion (a condition that precedes hernia).
Usually a stiff neck with slight pain can easily be treated at home with ice, heat and stretching exercises. However, if the pain is still not gone after a few days or if you suffer from one of the aforementioned symptoms, then it is wise to visit a doctor. The pain is then often just a symptom of a more serious condition that must be treated under professional medical supervision.