Call or other emergency services immediately if:
- A person has signs of damage to the spine after an injury (such as a car accident, a fall, or a direct blow to the spine). Signs may include:
- Being unable to move part of the body.
- Severe back or neck pain.
- Weakness, tingling, or numbness in the arms or legs.
- Loss of bladder or bowel control.
- You suddenly lose bowel or bladder control or your ability to stand, even if you were not injured.
- You have neck pain that occurs with chest pain and other symptoms of a .
Call your doctor if you have:
- Severe pain that does not improve after a few days of home treatment.
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness in your chest, belly, buttocks, arms, or legs.
- Neck pain with severe arm pain.
- Other pain that isn't better after 2 weeks of home treatment.
Most neck pain doesn't require a visit to a doctor.
If the pain doesn't get better after 1 or 2 days and you can't do your normal daily activities, call your doctor.
If you still have mild to moderate pain after at least 2 weeks of home treatment, talk with your doctor. He or she may want to check for problems that may be causing your neck pain.
Who to See
Health professionals who can evaluate and treat neck pain include:
- Primary care providers. This includes:
If your neck pain is severe or long-lasting, health professionals who can treat you include:
You can also get care from:
- Certified massage therapists.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.