Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
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:
- 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.