Neck pain is a common complaint with many different causes, ranging from minor strains and sprains to more serious conditions like infections, tumors, or nerve damage. While most cases of neck pain are not serious and will resolve on their own or with treatment, there are some red flags to watch out for that may indicate a more serious underlying problem. These include:
- Persistent or severe pain: If your neck pain is severe and/or lasts for more than a few days, it may be a sign of a more serious problem.
- Stiff neck: If you have difficulty moving your neck or feel stiff and sore, this may be a sign of inflammation, infection, or nerve damage.
- Numbness or tingling: If you experience numbness or tingling in your arms, hands, or fingers, this may indicate nerve damage.
- Weakness: If you have weakness in your arms or hands or have difficulty lifting or holding objects, this may be a sign of nerve damage or a more serious underlying condition.
- Fever or headache: If your neck pain is accompanied by a fever, headache, or other symptoms, this may be a sign of infection or another underlying medical condition.
- Trauma: If you have recently experienced a neck injury, such as a fall or a car accident, seek medical attention immediately, as this may be a sign of a severe spinal injury.
Suppose you experience any of these red flags. In that case, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause of your neck pain and to receive appropriate treatment.