You'll likely first bring your concerns to the attention of your family doctor. Depending on your signs and symptoms, he or she may refer you to a physical therapist or to doctors specializing in spine disorders or orthopedic surgery.
What you can do
Before your appointment, you might want to write a list of answers to the following questions:
- When did your signs and symptoms begin?
- Does any type of movement or positioning make them better or worse?
- Do you know if your parents or siblings experienced neck problems?
- Have you ever had whiplash or any other neck injury?
- Do you have other health conditions?
- What medications or supplements do you regularly take?
What to expect from the doctor
A doctor who sees you for neck pain may ask:
Jun. 12, 2012
- Where exactly does your neck hurt?
- Have you had previous episodes of similar pain that eventually went away?
- Do your symptoms include any changes in your bladder or bowel control?
- Do your symptoms include any tingling or weakness in your arms, hands, legs or feet?
- Do your symptoms include difficulty walking?
- What treatments or self-care measures have you tried so far?
- Have any treatments or self-care measures helped?
- What is your occupation?
- What are your hobbies and recreational activities?
- Bradley WG, et al. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Butterworth-Heinemann Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7506-7525-3..X5001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-7506-7525-3&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed April 6, 2012.
- Cervical spondylosis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00369. Accessed April 6, 2012.
- Takagi I, et al. Cervical spondylosis: An update on pathophysiology, clinical manifestation and management strategies. Disease of the Month. 2011;57:583.
- Shelerud RA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 4, 2012.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed April 6, 2012.