When to go to Urgent Care for Neck Pain
If you’re experiencing neck pain and are unsure about whether or not it’s a medical emergency, then don’t be afraid to go out of your way to visit an urgent care clinic. Even if it turns out that you aren’t having a major problem, then at least you know that your neck pain is manageable and shouldn’t linger for too long. On the other hand, if a doctor can tell from an examination (and X-rays if necessary) that you have one of several specific types of problems—such as spinal stenosis or spondylolisthesis—then immediate treatment may be required. A lot depends on where your symptoms are coming from.
If you have moderate to severe neck pain that lasts longer than a few days, see your doctor. While some cases of neck pain may be due to simple strains and sprains, others could signal serious conditions such as cervical spinal stenosis or arterial dissection. In general, if you’re experiencing symptoms of neck pain in addition to fever or chills, loss of bladder or bowel control, weakness in an arm or leg on one side of your body, numbness in a hand or foot on one side of your body, changes in vision on one side of your body; especially if these symptoms last more than several days without improvement (or are getting worse), seek medical attention right away.
The most common cause of neck pain is muscle strain, which usually improves with rest. If you’re experiencing weakness or numbness in your arms or hands, however, you may be suffering from a pinched nerve. In that case, it’s better to seek treatment sooner rather than later; when nerves are injured or compressed, they can worsen over time. So if you experience these symptoms, get yourself checked out as soon as possible by a specialist . And remember: When it comes to health problems like these (or anything else), your best bet is always an appointment with your primary care physician—not urgent care! Check out more information about going to urgent care and making an appointment with your primary care doctor here.
If your neck pain is interfering with your ability to sleep, you should consider going to urgent care. Waiting until morning may worsen your condition and make it harder to recover. If you have specific questions about when and where to get treatment, contact your doctor right away. He or she can give you advice on whether it’s okay to wait or if a trip to urgent care is warranted.