Before seeing a chiropractor you must determine if you have a herniation in one of the disks in your neck. If you do then you’ll need traction, tens and heat therapies. I would avoid doing anything until you had a proper diagnosis at the risk of making it worse. Take it from me, someone who couldn’t walk for three months, these things can be serious. Go to the fujian (rehabilitation) section of a major hospital and they’ll most probably take an x-ray or give you an MRI.[/quote]
[quote]When should you seek medical care?
If severe neck pain occurs following an injury (motor vehicle accident, diving accident, fall), a trained professional, such as a paramedic, should immobilize the patient to avoid the risk of further injury and possible paralysis. Medical care should be sought immediately. Immediate medical care should also be sought when an injury causes pain in the neck that radiates down the arms and legs. Radiating pain or numbness in your arms or legs causing weakness in the arms or legs without significant neck pain should also be evaluated.
If there has not been an injury, you should seek medical care when neck pain is:
continuous and persistent
accompanied by pain that radiates down the arms or legs
accompanied by headaches, numbness, tingling, or weakness
Very few patients require surgery to relieve neck pain. For the vast majority of patients, a combination of rest, medication and physical therapy will relieve neck pain. Surgery may be necessary to reduce pressure on the spinal cord or a nerve root when pain is caused by a herniated disk or bony narrowing of the spinal canal. Surgery may also be required following an injury, to stabilize the neck and minimize the possibility of paralysis such as when a fracture results in instability of the neck. [/quote]
[quote]Initial Diagnosis and Management
History and physical examination.
Radiograph of the spine if cervical pain started with trauma.
MRI/CT not indicated initially.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Adults - 200 to 400 milligrams (mg) every four to six hours as needed for up to 2 weeks. Example: Ibuprofen
Take tablet or capsule forms of these medicines with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.
Do not lie down for about 15 to 30 minutes after taking the medicine. This helps to prevent irritation that may lead to trouble in swallowing.
To lessen stomach upset, these medicines should be taken with food or an antacid.
Do not prescribe muscle relaxants as they are not effective.
Soft collar not recommended except for 1-5 days s/p high speed whiplash trauma (i.e., MVA).
Appropriate activity limitations on lifting, overhead work, heavy headgear, etc.
Ice packs every 20-minute q2h x 72 hours - then change to heat PRN.
Encourage gentle, pain-free ROM.[/quote]
It is not bad advice to urge someone to seek out professional help rather than encourage them to rely on internet advice from who knows who. When someone has a complaint like Mordeth’s, however, the first thing a general practitioner will do is try conservative treatment which may include an xray to rule out OBVIOUS bone injury (spine misalignment suggestive of disc disease or degeneration of the spine), and all of the stuff folks have been talking about: Physical therapy, non-steroidal antiinflammtories (Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Advil, Excedrin, that kind of thing), anti-spasmodics (heat, flexeril, soma, skelaxin, etc.), massage, acupunture, chiropractice. An MRI is expensive, and is reserved for those who fail to respond to conservative therapy.