Neck pain is quite common. In fact, according to one estimate, between 20% and 70% of adults will experience neck pain that interferes with their daily activities at least once in their lifetime. Of course, just because this problem is common doesn’t mean it’s nothing to be concerned about. When should you see a doctor for your neck pain? Let’s discuss some common red flags.
Severe and/or Lingering Pain
Severe neck pain, as well as pain that lingers for longer than six weeks, could indicate a significant problem. It is especially important to see a doctor ASAP if any symptoms of a more serious medical condition accompany your neck pain. Such symptoms include:
- Unexplained episodes of dizziness or nausea
- Thunderclap headaches (severe headaches that com on very suddenly)
- Unexplained weight loss or other potential indicators of cancer
- Pain when someone taps lightly on your spine
- Rashes or other symptoms that might point to an autoimmune disease
- A high fever
- Muscle weakness
If you were recently in a motor vehicle accident, it is certainly worth your time to visit a doctor who helps with personal injury claims. Even if your neck pain is not severe, getting checked out as soon as possible may spare you from future health complications related to the accident. Plus, seeking treatment from a medical professional can make the legal aspects of handling a personal injury claim much easier, especially if the accident was not your fault.
Signs of TMD
TMD is a disorder of the jaw joint. It is usually marked by jaw pain, difficulty chewing, and other oral symptoms. However, problems with the jaw also places tension on the surrounding muscles, which can cause neck aches, headaches, ringing in the ears, and many other problems. Since TMD is a descending disorder, it can even lead to problems for your spinal alignment if it is left untreated. If you suspect that you have TMD, you should schedule a visit with a dentist who is qualified to diagnose and treat it.
Interference with Your Daily Life
In most cases, neck pain is not indicative of a larger issue. It may just be related to poor posture, hours staring at a computer, mild arthritis, or other problems. However, if your neck pain is interfering with your daily life or causing you to rely on pain relievers just to get through a normal day, it is certainly worth your time seek treatment. A qualified doctor can provide in-office therapy and offer tips on self-care to help you manage your symptoms.
Are you struggling with neck pain? A timely visit to a qualified medical professional may be what you need to find true relief.
Dr. Keith Hollinger is an experienced dentist who has completed advanced training in TMD therapy. He specializes in providing oral appliances that relieve tension in the jaw joint and may thereby help to mitigate other symptoms of TMD, including neck pain. To learn more about Dr. Hollinger and how he may be able to serve you, contact our practice at 860-430-5687.