Neck Strain (cont.)
When to Seek Medical Care
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:
- Tingling or loss of function particularly in the upper extremities
- Difficulty breathing
- Dizziness, headache, nausea, or vomiting
- Ringing in the ears or decreased hearing
- 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
- Bowel or bladder retention or incontinence, that is, inability to control the bowels or bladder
- Inability to urinate
- Leg weakness or any new inability to walk
- Poor balance
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Any other acute symptoms suggesting a nerve problem
- Evaluation by an orthopedist or neurosurgeon may be required to check for a condition requiring urgent surgical treatment.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/27/2015
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