When Should You Go to the Doctor for a Neck Problem?

When Should You Go to the Doctor for a Neck Problem?
Dr. Dan Albright, an orthopedic spine surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina, discusses neck pain. When should you treat it at home and when should you see your doctor. He points out the difference between muscular pain and nerve pain. He …

Dr. Dan Albright, an orthopedic spine surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina, discusses neck pain. When should you treat it at home and when should you see your doctor. He points out the difference between muscular pain and nerve pain. He also discusses which types of specialists may be able to help with more serious pain.

For more information or to contact Dr. Albright call 919-863-6808.

So when should you go to the doctor? Your neck is hurting and you’re worried and you’re wondering should you do something. One, most neck problems get better within a few days to a week. So if you just have a simple little ache in your neck my quick thought is don’t worry about it too much. Give it some time. Stretch, go for a walk. Take some ibuprofen, if you can, or some similar anti-inflammatory. And it will usually go away on its own. And don’t worry.

But if you are having a lot of pain for a week or two. Particularly if that pain shoots through your shoulder blade or to your shoulder from your neck or down your arm, that can be nerve pain.

I’d start with doctor. Your general medical doctor. He can or she can guide you from there. So the real answer is if you are having persistent neck pain particularly if it is shooting somewhere to the shoulder blade or arm. Go see your general medical doctor. He or she can guide you to an orthopedic spine surgeon, which is what I am, or a neurosurgeon. If you have a mild muscular problem in your neck perhaps a chiropractic can help on a limited basis.

The real concept I wanted to get through here is if you have intense pain that is persisting for a week or two and it’s shooting from your neck elsewhere. That puts it into a more serious category, more of a nerve pain problem. You need to see your general medical doctor and she or he can triage or guide you to the right specialist from there. The right specialist being an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon or a physical medicine doctor who specializes in the spine.

If you would like to know more, I’d be happy to talk to you. I have a website danalbrightmd.com and also our appointments line is 919-863-6808.