Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You might initially contact your family doctor about your neck pain, and he or she may refer you to:

  • A doctor who specializes in nonoperative treatment of musculoskeletal conditions (physical medicine and rehabilitation)
  • A doctor who specializes in arthritis and other diseases that affect the joints (rheumatologist)
  • A doctor who specializes in treating nerve-related disorders (neurologist)
  • A doctor who operates on bones and joints (orthopedic surgeon)

What you can do

Before your appointment, you may want to write a list of answers to the following questions:

  • When did your symptoms begin?
  • Have you ever injured your neck? If so, when did the injury occur?
  • Do any particular neck movements improve or worsen the pain?
  • What medications and supplements do you take regularly?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor might ask some of the following questions:

  • Where exactly does your pain occur?
  • Is the pain dull, sharp or shooting?
  • Do you have numbness or weakness?
  • Does the pain radiate into your arm?
  • Is the pain made worse by straining, coughing or sneezing?
  • Do you have other physical problems?
July 09, 2015