It may only be one small section of your overall musculoskeletal system, but your neck probably sees more movement in a single day than most of your other body parts. For this reason, strain, pain, and aches are actually pretty common in the neck area. While most neck pain will just subside with rest, a warm compress, or even just an over-the-counter pain reliever, in some cases, pain in your neck can point to big problems. If you have a pain in your neck that seems a little different than usual, there are a few indications that should tell you to call the doctor.
The pain in your neck sticks around for several days.
It is easy to get a bad case of what is often referred to as wry neck, which is often the result of sleeping in an awkward position or holding your neck at an awkward angle for too long. However, even a wry neck should pass within a few days, even though this can be incredibly painful. If your neck pain sticks around for longer than a few days, it is a good indication that the strain in the muscular tissue in your neck is not healing as it should. It is best to get the advice of your doctor, who can take a closer look with an X-ray or MRI.
The pain you are experiencing is accompanied by numbness or tingling.
Pain that is associated with numbness and tingling can point to nerve damage, which is normally the result of some type of sudden injury. If the pain in your neck is accompanied by numbness or tingling in your arms or even your lower extremities, it is crucial that you get to the doctor right away to find out what is causing the problem. In some cases, tingling and numbness associated with neck pain can be caused by spinal cord pressure or injury.
The pain is causing you to feel nauseous or you have a severe headache.
If the pain in your neck is so intense that it is making you feel otherwise horrible, with symptoms like nausea or a headache, it is definitely time to call a doctor for advice. These symptoms along with neck pain are more often associated with an injury that goes far beyond just muscular strain. You could be dealing with a bulging disc between your vertebrae or other spinal column issues. Contact a business, such as Southwest Florida Neurosurgical Associates, for more information.