When to see your doctor for neck pain
Posted by: Dr. Bruce Myers |

When To See A Doctor For Upper Back And Neck Pain

When You Should Seek Immediate Medical Attention For Your Back Or Neck Pain

There are an endless amount of ways you can injure your neck or back.

Luckily, in most instances, they heal pretty quickly.

That stiff neck and the sore back is usually back to normal in a few days.

However, sometimes we aren't so fortunate.

Below, we explore nine reasons you need to take a trip to the doctor's office.

Read our blog post, how to fix a crick in your neck, for more information. 


Table of contents:

We've had all some form of back or neck pain in our lives.

Maybe we slept wrong, and we woke up the next morning with a stiff neck and neck pain.

Or maybe you didn't use proper form when you picked up that heavy box at work, and you tweaked your back.

Sometimes, the pain lingers for days and days with no sign of relief.

So, is it time to be real about your health and see a Chiropractor?

See Your Doctor If...

You Can't Sleep

It still might not be that serious, but if your pain is keeping you up at night, it's may be worth checking out.

If you have a fever, please don't hesitate to see a doctor.

If nothing else, they can give you medical advice and peace of mind.

But, your fever could be a sign of infection like meningitis.

Meningitis should be treated immediately.

Getting an infection like that diagnosed early could save your life.

You've Had Cancer

If you have a medical history of cancer, or there's a strong history of cancer in your family, back pain or neck pain may be a sign of cancer.

I know, everything is a sign of cancer these days, but it's best to err on the side of caution.

If there is cancer growing in your body, it could put pressure on your internal organs, leading to back pain or neck pain.

Once it gets to this point, the tumor is probably fairly large already, making it more important to be checked.

It's always better to go to the doctor and receive medical advice than it is not to go and have cancer keep growing in your body.

Your health may be on the line.

You're Over 50

We don't want to admit it, but as we age, it becomes harder and harder for our bodies to heal themselves, and you need to make your health a priority.

When we age, we also tend to become more sedentary, leading to weight gain, which leads to back pain and neck pain.

The last thing you want in your golden years is to have any lingering issues that won't go away.

Talk to a doctor or chiropractor about pain management, weight management, physical therapy, and other relevant treatments.

You're Having Bladder Problems Or Weakening Legs

If you're having bladder problems, or your legs are becoming progressively weaker, you need to see a doctor.

These are symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome, a severe condition.

If it's found, it generally requires emergency back surgery.

Neck Pain After a Car Accident could require medical attnetion

You've Had An Accident

If you've been involved in an accident, even something as minor as a slip and fall, your health may be on the line.

Even if you seemed fine immediately after the injury, the new pain could still be related to the accident.

Get it checked out as soon as possible to prevent it from worsening or leading to other problems.

You Have Radiating Pain Down One Leg Or Arm

If you have any pain, weaknesses, or numbness that go down one leg or arm, you might have sciatica.

You need to see a doctor so they can perform the necessary tests to determine the best type of treatment.

You Have Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

Cramping, weakness, numbness, and tingling or pain in your legs, especially while you walk, are classic symptoms of spinal stenosis.

Never take a tingling feeling lightly.

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the channel occupied by your spinal cord.

The earlier it's diagnosed, the quicker you can start your treatment.

Your Pain Has Lasted Longer Than 3 Weeks

If muscle pain has lasted longer than three weeks, it's may be chronic.

Once the pain becomes chronic, it plays by its own set of rules.

Early diagnosis and treatment are vital to restoring your quality of life.

You've Experienced Whiplash

You don't always feel the effects of whiplash as soon as it happens.

It can sometimes take days to start feeling the pain associated with whiplash.

If you feel pain in your neck, have a decreased range of motion, or your neck feels like it's in a knot, you might have whiplash.

Tenderness and headaches that start at the base of the neck and radiate upwards are also signs of whiplash.

Getting it treated so it doesn't lead to additional problems is crucial to your recovery.

When to Call 911

More often than not, if we actually need medical attention for our back or neck pain, a trip to the doctor's office will suffice.

There are extreme conditions, though, that may require a trip to the emergency room.

These situations can be life-threatening, so please don't hesitate to go in for immediate treatment.

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, please seek immediate help:

  • Traumatic Injury: Injuries that are worse than your typical slip and fall. Car wrecks, severe accidents at work, and falls from a great height, or any damage to your spine all require immediate attention.
  • Muscle Weakness: Muscle weakness, especially sudden, could be symptoms of a more serious problem. They require immediate attention.
  • High Fever: This is worth mentioning again. Neck pain along with high fever may be a sign of a serious infection. Get it checked out as soon as possible. These situations could be life-threatening.

Don't limit yourself to these symptoms. No one knows your body like you do. If anything about your neck or back doesn't feel right, go to the doctor.

It's always better to be safe than sorry.

See a Chiropractor

A chiropractor may also be an excellent choice to help treat your back pain and neck pain.

Chiropractors are experts when it comes to conditions of the spine.

Chiropractors use hands-on spinal manipulation to achieve proper alignment of your spine and your body's musculoskeletal structure.

Proper alignment will alleviate your neck pain as well as help several other conditions, and lessen the chances you'll need extra care for your back pain, like surgery or painkillers.

Sometimes your doctor will use treatment from a chiropractor along with conventional medical care. 


Get the Help You Deserve!

Be proactive with your health and don't wait around waiting for the pain to go away.

Seek immediate care if severe neck pain results from an injury, such as a motor vehicle accident, diving accident or fall.

See a chiropractor if your neck pain is severe or persists for several days without relief.

Luckily, back and neck pain is usually temporary and will go away in a few days, but if it doesn't go away, or you have other symptoms like high fever or weak legs, you need to see a chiropractor.

If you're ready to receive the care you deserve, the team at Arrowhead Clinic is standing by.

They are experienced professionals that can help you prevent or eliminate your back pain.

To talk to them about the issues you're having, click the banner below.

Free Chiropractic Consultation | Arrowhead Clinic


Next Blog:"Text Neck": Shocking Facts you Don't Want to Miss


Original article can be found here.

Topics: Back Pain Doctor