Neck pain is a common problem in life, so it can be hard to know when you need to get professional help or when you just need some simple home treatment to feel better. For example, if you wake up in the morning with a stiff neck, you probably just slept on it wrong and the pain should go away on its own after a little time, rest and over-the-counter medication.
However, neck pain that lingers, grows worse or is accompanied by other symptoms should receive medical attention. Do not try to be tough and ignore this kind of pain because it can grow worse or lead to more severe problems, like permanent disability if left untreated.
To help you have a better grasp on when you need to contact a healthcare professional for treatment, we’ve listed some signs of serious neck pain below.
Five signs of serious neck pain
- Pain is severe — Most cases of minor neck pain can be described as uncomfortable or sore, but serious neck pain hurts worse. It can be sharp and burning, often worsened by certain motions or positions.
- Pain is long-lasting — Pain that lasts longer than a few days or grows worse is never a good sign. Make a note of when you first start having neck pain and keep track of its progression if there is any.
- Pain spreads throughout your body — Your neck pain may be related to a serious condition if the pain spreads from your neck through your shoulders and into your arms, back or legs. This pain is often described as burning or stinging.
- Numbness and weakness — Tingling, numbness or weakness in the neck might mean you have a serious condition. This typically affects one of your shoulders and arms as well.
- Headaches — The muscles in your neck can cause headaches and migraines by putting pressure on the nerves run throughout your neck and head. This kind of pain is unlikely to go away without some form of professional treatment.
Contact Armor Physical Therapy for neck pain treatment
Treatments for neck pain vary depending on the cause of the pain. Your neck pain may be from strained muscles or sprained ligaments, or it could be from something more severe like a burst or slipped disc. No matter the cause, physical therapy can help reduce your neck pain and help improve your strength, mobility and quality of life. Contact us today if you would like to schedule an appointment and find out how physical therapy can help treat your neck pain.