Chronic Neck Pain: When to Get Help

Whether from looking down at a screen, hunching forward at a desk, or overuse from physical activity, neck pain is common. The neck is a highly flexible part of the spine, making it particularly vulnerable to pain. But, when this pain becomes chronic, you may need professional medical care for relief. 

Neck pain is considered chronic if it persists for longer than three months. At this point, it’s time to more closely evaluate your pain, determine the root cause, and work with a physician to create a treatment plan. 

What Causes Chronic Neck Pain?

Chronic neck pain can result from a variety of different conditions, including:

  • Arthritis (most commonly osteoarthritis from wear and tear on the spinal structures)
  • Degenerative disc disease affecting the intervertebral discs
  • Spinal stenosis (the narrowing of the spinal canal)
  • Muscle strain in the neck
  • Neck fracture

Rarely, chronic neck pain can point to more severe conditions, like meningitis or cancer. 

Poor posture, overuse, neck injuries, repetitive neck motions, heavy lifting, and even sleeping in a poor position can lead to neck pain. If these factors are left unaddressed, neck pain can eventually become chronic. 

When to Seek Emergency Medical Care for Chronic Neck Pain

In some cases, chronic neck pain can point to a serious issue that requires immediate care. If you experience any of the following symptoms with neck pain, seek emergency medical care:

  • Fever with headache and neck stiffness
  • Pain that radiates into one arm
  • Severe neck instability
  • Chronically swollen glands in the neck
  • Pressure or pain in the chest
  • Lost bladder or bowel control

If rest and physical therapy fail to alleviate your neck pain, regenerative therapies are a non-surgical solution to consider. Regenerative medicine involves using substances that stimulate the body’s natural repair process (like stem cells or PRP) to stimulate healing from the inside out. To learn more, find a physician in the Regenerative Medicine Now database today!

Mira Swave, MD

Contributor at Regenerative Medicine Now

Mira Swave, M.D. is a specialist in the field of Regenerative Medicine.
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