Published on July 31, 2013
Neck pain can be very debilitating and painful. It can severely impact your quality of life as your neck is used for almost every movement throughout the day. Neck pain will affect approximately 80% of the population and is one of the most common reasons for work days lost. It is often a repetitive strain injury that occurs from sitting at your computer too long.
Neck pain and headaches are also common symptoms of other painful conditions that should not be over looked and can often be a medical emergency requiring immediate attention. There are various signs that can determine whether your neck pain is more serious then you might initially think, the list below outlines situations in which medical attention is required.
See a Doctor If Your Neck Pain Is Associated With Any Of The Following:
1. An excruciating headache. If your head is pulsating and pounding with pressure you have not experienced before visit a doctor a.s.a.p.
2. If your neck pain wakes you up at night and does not get better over time, as well as if it is associated with weight loss. If the pain that is constantly there and is progressively getting worse not allowing you to have a proper sleep, seek medical attention.
3. Neck pain associated with trauma such as a car accident, fall or blow to the head. Medical imaging should be a priority to determine if there are any fractures to the spine as a result of the trauma.
4. Numbness and tingling going down one or both of your arms. Any neurological sign or symptom needs immediate attention to determine the root cause. This can be coming from your spine or possibly your brain.
5. Coughing and or sneezing makes pain worse. Coughing and sneezing increases the pressure of your spine and can indicate that there may be a disc bulge that is causing your shooting pain.
6. Neck pain is constant and not improving. Any painful condition that is not improving or is progressively getting worse should be assessed to determine the root cause and assist with a proper treatment plan as simple mechanical neck pain will typically get better over time.
7. Pain is associated with headaches, migraines and or ringing in the ear(s). Neurological assessment should be conducted by a medical professional.
8. Neck pain and stiffness with associated fever and headache. Possible infection is always a concern when someone has pain with associated fever.
9. Any type of numbness, tingling, strength loss and or lack of sensation in the head, face, neck and or arm region either on one or both sides of the body. Possible upper motor neuron lesion or lower motor neuron lesion needs to be ruled out.
10. Inability to move neck and as it is stuck in one position. This is often called Torticollis and can get worse if it goes untreated. It is extremely important to have children seen by their pediatrician if this is noticed in an infant or child.