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

When To See A Doctor For Upper Back And Neck Pain

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.

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 go to the doctor? Maybe a Chiropractor?

Maybe even the emergency room?

Or do we need a little more patience?

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 probably worth checking out.

If it's keeping you up at night and you have a fever, please don't hesitate to see your doctor.

The fever could be a sign of infection like meningitis.

That's something you do not want to play around with, and it should be treated immediately.

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

You've Had Cancer

If you have a history of cancer, or there's a strong history of cancer in your family, back 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.

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

It's always better to go to the doctor and have him tell you don't have cancer than it is not to go and have it keep growing in your body.

You're Over 50

We don't want to admit it, but as we get older, it becomes harder and harder for our bodies to heal themselves.

As we get older, we also tend to become more sedentary, leading to weight gain, which leads to back pain.

The last thing you want as you get older 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 your 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, you need to get checked out.

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 go to your doctor so they can perform the necessary tests to determine the best type of treatment.

You Have Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

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

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

It's in your best interest to get these symptoms checked out right away.

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

Your Pain Has Lasted Longer Than 3 Weeks

If your pain has lasted longer than three weeks, it's more than likely 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.

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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 circumstances though that will 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 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 could 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.

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See a Chiropractor

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

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

Proper alignment will alleviate your pain, and lessen the chances you'll need extra treatment for your back pain, like surgery or painkillers.

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

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Get the Help You Deserve!

Don't wait around waiting for the pain to go away.

Back and neck pain is usually temporary and will go away in a few days.

If it doesn't go away, or you have other symptoms like high fever or weak legs, you need to see a doctor.

To take a more proactive approach to back and neck pain, going to see a chiropractor is a good choice. 

If you think chiropractic treatment is right for you, the team at Arrowhead Clinic are 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

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

Original article can be found here.

Topics: Back Pain Doctor


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