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Neck Strain (cont.)

When Should Someone Seek Medical Care for Neck Strain?

If one's symptoms do not go away as expected or if new symptoms appear, seek medical attention without delay.

  • Call a doctor if experiencing the following symptoms:
    • Severe, unremitting neck pain
    • Neck pain unaffected by changes in position or pain that is not controlled or if relief is not provided with appropriate medication
    • Severe night neck pain
    • Severe, persistent neck muscle spasms
    • Inability to perform daily work or activities that one could do prior to the illness
  • In addition, symptoms suggesting possible injury to the vital structures contained in the neck should prompt early contact with a doctor. These may include the following:
  • If unable to reach a doctor, one should go to a hospital's emergency department without delay for evaluation of any of these types of problems.
  • If one gets sick or reinjured while neck pain is present, contact a doctor.

Seek immediate medical attention for any symptom suggesting a problem affecting the nervous system, airway, or spinal cord.

  • Symptoms of spinal cord injury
  • Evaluation by an orthopedist or neurosurgeon may be required to check for a condition requiring urgent surgical treatment.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/3/2016

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