The Causes of Nerve-Related Neck Pain: What to Expect and When to See a Neurologist

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neck pain and neurological symptoms

While neck pain is often caused by muscle strains or poor posture, it can also arise from more serious underlying neurological disorders involving the cervical spine and nerves. 

At Kaly, we understand how unnerving neck pain accompanied by neurological symptoms like numbness, tingling, and weakness can be. Read on to learn the intricacies of neck pain and its tie to neurological problems based on our specialists’ expertise. 

You’ll also learn the neurological causes of neck pain, how it can affect your body, the warning signs to watch for, and when to see a neurologist. Lastly, you’ll know what proactive steps to take for your neck health.

Can neck pain cause other symptoms in the body?

Yes, neck pain can manifest with symptoms beyond the neck area itself due to the intricate structures of the cervical spine. The cervical section of the spine in the neck contains vertebrae, discs, nerves, and muscles that can all contribute to pain and other issues when injured or compressed.

According to Kaly specialists’ experience, neck pain often radiates outward into the shoulders, arms, hands, or head. You may feel shooting, stabbing pain down your arms, or numbness and tingling in your fingers. Dizziness, headaches, and problems with balance can also occur. 

Neck pain can even mimic symptoms of some heart conditions like arm pain or tightness in the chest. Your body is deeply interconnected, so disorders of the cervical spine frequently cause referrals of pain and other sensations into adjoining areas. 

A study by Bogduk et al. investigated the distribution of referred pain from the cervical zygapophyseal joints and cervical dorsal rami in 61 patients with neck and shoulder pain. The study found that each joint and dorsal ramus produced referred pain with a characteristic distribution. 

For example, pain in the occipital region was referred from C2/3 and C3, while pain in the upper posterolateral cervical region was referred from C0/1, C1/2, and C2/3. Pain in the suprascapular region was referred from C4/5, C5/6, and C4, and pain in the superior angle of the scapula was referred from C6/7, C6, and C7.

Being aware of the varied symptoms neck pain can produce will aid in diagnosis and treatment.

What are the neurological disorders that can cause neck pain?

neck pain and neurological symptoms

Neck pain can arise from several conditions directly involving the nerves or supportive structures of the cervical spine:

Pinched Nerves

A pinched nerve in the neck occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve root, often by a herniated disc or bone spur. This can cause pain, numbness or weakness that radiates down the arms and hands in the nerve’s territory. 

A study conducted by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) explains that cervical radiculopathy, commonly known as a “pinched nerve,” occurs when a nerve in the neck is compressed or irritated where it branches away from the spinal cord. 

This can cause pain that radiates into the shoulder and/or arm, as well as muscle weakness and numbness. The condition is often caused by “wear and tear” changes that occur in the spine as we age, such as arthritis. In younger people, it is most often caused by a sudden injury that results in a herniated disk.

Neck flexion or trauma that narrows the nerve root’s foramen can also pinch nerves. From our experience, conservative treatments like physical therapy and injections may help pinched nerves, but surgery like foraminotomy may be required for lasting relief in severe cases.

Cervical Spondylosis

This condition results from age-related wear and tear on the cervical spine’s discs and vertebrae. As spondylosis progresses, bone spurs can form and pinch nerves, causing neck pain and radiating arm symptoms

A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) explains that as spondylosis progresses, bone spurs can form and pinch nerves, causing neck pain and radiating arm symptoms. The study also mentions that most mechanical neck pain will respond to conservative measures, but the optimal treatment for uncomplicated neck pain has yet to be established

Spinal Stenosis

When the spinal canal in the neck narrows, it can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. This cervical stenosis often stems from spondylosis or disc herniation. It can cause neck pain, arm pain or numbness, leg issues, and balance problems in severe cases.

The Cleveland Clinic conducted a study explaining that spinal stenosis can lead to back pain and other nerve issues, like sciatica. Several conditions and injuries can lead to a narrowed spinal canal. Spinal stenosis can affect anyone, but it’s most common in people over the age of 50. 

The condition most commonly affects two areas of your spine: Your neck (cervical spine) and your lower back (lumbar spine). Your middle back (thoracic spine) can also have spinal stenosis, but this is rare.

Are there conditions that cause both neck pain and neurological symptoms?

Yes, whiplash, poor posture, and osteoarthritis can cause both neck pain and arm tingling or weakness by injuring neck muscles and tendons, narrowing the spinal canal, or forming bone spurs that pinch nerves and irritate nerve roots emerging from the cervical spine.


Whiplash most often results from rear-end collisions in vehicles and can stretch and strain the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the neck. It can also pinch nerves and irritate nerve roots, causing symptoms down the arms. Gentle movement therapies, soft collars, pain medication, injections or radiofrequency ablation may ease whiplash pain. Surgery may help if nerve compression is severe.

A case-control study conducted by Freeman et al. found that 45% of patients with chronic neck pain attributed their pain to a motor vehicle accident, suggesting a significant proportion of individuals with chronic neck pain in the general population were originally injured in a motor vehicle accident

Poor Posture

Sustained forward head posture can strain the neck, while also narrowing the spinal canal over time and compressing nerves. This can produce neck pain that radiates into the shoulders and arms. Physical therapy can help strengthen the neck and re-train posture to alleviate pain and tingling caused by poor ergonomics.

A systematic review and meta-analysis by Ruivo et al. found a significant association between forward head posture (FHP) and neck pain, as well as disability in adults and older adults.


“Wear and tear” arthritis of the cervical spine can cause bone spurs that intrude into the foramen and central canal, irritating nerves. Neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and arm and hand tingling can result. Anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, therapy and lifestyle changes help treat arthritis symptoms initially. Surgery may provide relief if bone spurs are severe.

A study by Chen et al. found that neck pain was strongly associated with osteoarthritis, and chronic neck pain over one year significantly increased the mortality of osteoarthritis patients.

How does neck pain affect your body neurologically?

When the nerves exiting the cervical spine become compressed, irritated, or inflamed, it can cause pain and other symptoms to radiate down the arms in the nerve’s sensory distribution. 

A study conducted to evaluate the coexistence of C5 and/or C6 root compression with rotator cuff pathologies found that cervical radiculopathy may occur along with arm pain in 99% of patients, sensory changes in 85%, and neck pain in 80% of cases. In C5–C6 radiculopathy, the pain usually radiates to the upper trapezoidal area, the deltoid region, and the lateral portion of the arm. 

The rotator cuff muscles, which play an important role in the functioning of the shoulder, are innervated with the nerves arising from the C5 and C6 nerve roots. Radiculopathy that affects the C5 and C6 roots is thought to cause atrophy and weakness in shoulder rotator cuff muscles and deltoid muscle, as well as pain and sensory changes.

Next, patients with cervical radiculopathy often present with pain, numbness, and tingling in the upper extremities. This is often caused by the impinged sensory nerve’s dermatome distribution. If there is motor nerve involvement, patients will also complain of weakness in the involved nerve’s myotomal distribution. Diminished reflexes, particularly involving the triceps by a C7 nerve root involvement, are the most common neurological finding.

In the case of nerve impingement, the median nerve, also called the ‘eye of the hand,’ plays a primary role in the functionality of the hand. It innervates the group of flexor-pronator muscles in the forearm and most of the musculature present in the radial portion of the hand, controlling abduction of the thumb, flexion of the hand at the wrist, and flexion of the digital phalanx of the fingers. 

Pathology and injury to the median nerve can occur anywhere along the length of the median nerve, leading to weakness, clumsiness, shaking, or loss of dexterity in the affected arm and hand

Here’s an overview of common neurological manifestations of neck pain:

Arm Pain SymptomWhat It Feels Like
Arm PainCompressed nerve roots often refer pain down the shoulder and arm, even into the hand and fingers. It may be a shooting, burning, stabbing or tingling sensation depending on the type of nerve irritation.
Hand Numbness or TinglingCompression of a cervical nerve can cause sensations of pins and needles or numbness in the hand or fingers innervated by that nerve root. This is due to disruption of normal sensory nerve signaling.
Hand or Arm WeaknessNerve impingement can impair proper motor functioning, leading to weakness, clumsiness, shaking or loss of dexterity in the affected arm and hand. Symptoms are usually one-sided.
HeadacheInflammation of cervical nerve roots, especially at the C1-C3 levels, can refer pain into the head, resulting in cervicogenic headaches. These often project pain into the back of the head, temples, and forehead.
DizzinessNerve root compression higher in the cervical spine can affect equilibrium and lead to dizziness or vertigo. Severe stenosis can also cause this by compressing the spinal cord where balance pathways run.

Staying attuned to neurological symptoms that develop alongside neck pain is crucial for detecting potentially serious nerve compression issues that may require prompt treatment.

Can neck problems lead to neurological problems?

Yes, disorders of the cervical spine frequently lead to neurological complications, since the spinal cord and nerve roots exit through this narrow, fragile area. Any condition that inflames, compresses, or damages cervical nerves and surrounding structures may ultimately generate neurological dysfunction.

According to our specialists’ clinical experience, common neck problems like herniated discs, arthritis, bone spurs, and injuries can all contribute to neurological issues over time by irritating nerve roots or compressing the spinal cord. This may cause pain, numbness, or tingling to radiate down the arms. In severe cases, neurological deficits like hand weakness, numbness in the legs, or bladder problems may even develop.

  • One study explains that a herniated disc can compress the nerve or the spinal cord, causing pain consistent with nerve compression or spinal cord dysfunction, also known as myelopathy. In more severe cases, there can be associated weakness or sensation changes. The study also mentions that untreated cases of disc herniation can lead to lasting nerve damage in severe nerve root compression.
  • Another study on the NCBI website discusses cervical radiculopathy, a condition that occurs when the nerve root of a spinal nerve is compressed or otherwise impaired. The study explains that in nearly all cases of cervical radiculopathy, the key pathophysiologic feature is inflammation, which can result from acute herniation of an adjacent cervical disc that subsequently impinges on the nerve root. The inflammation can also exacerbate degenerative changes to such a degree that osteophytes or changes associated with disc dehydration can impinge on the nerve root.
  • Finally, a case report discusses a patient who developed neurological symptoms due to osteophyte formation after undergoing anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), a surgical procedure for decompressing the cervical cord. The report explains that the patient developed new pain and weakness in his right leg six months after surgery, and imaging results revealed a large posterior osteophyte at C5/6, compressing the spinal cord anteriorly.

What does nerve pain in your neck feel like?

neck pain and neurological symptoms

Nerve pain originating in the neck often feels intensely painful, like electric shocks, burning, stabbing, pins and needles, or throbbing that shoots down the arm or up into the head, caused by irritated or compressed nerves and nerve roots in the cervical spine.

Arm Pain TypeNerve Reaction
Shooting PainSudden, severe pains that shoot or radiate down the neck and arm or into the head. These often feel like electric shocks or stabs along the nerve’s path.
Burning SensationA fiery, scalding pain that travels down the shoulder and arm, potentially into the hands and fingers innervated by the affected nerve.
Pins and NeedlesTingling, prickling, numb, itchy or “creepy crawlies” sensation along the compressed nerve’s dermatome.
Stabbing PainBrief, repeated pains reminiscent of being jabbed by needles along the nerve’s territory. These may come and go.
ThrobbingRhythmic, pulsating pain that beats in sync with your heart rate as it radiates down the arm or up into the head.
Muscle SpasmsInvoluntary muscle contractions in the neck, shoulders, and upper back triggered by irritated nerve roots. These spasms are often painful.

Can a pinched nerve in the neck cause confusion?

In rare, severe cases, a significantly pinched or compressed nerve in the neck has the potential to cause symptoms like mental confusion, along with headache and dizziness. However, this is very uncommon.

One study found that patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy, a condition that can cause compression of the spinal cord, sometimes complain of cognitive dysfunction. The study investigated cognitive dysfunction in patients with cervical spinal disorders and found that after surgery, some patients showed statistically significant improvement in neuropsychological tests measuring visuospatial perception, which reflects the function of the parietal and/or occipital lobes. 

Although the practice effect may have contributed to the neuropsychological improvements, this study suggests that cervical spinal disorders may affect cognitive functions and that surgical treatment can reduce such effects.

Here’s some context on why neck nerve issues only rarely cause confusion:

  • Nerves serving the brain exit at the base of the skull, away from the cervical spine. This limits compression risk.
  • Some sensory nerve overlap exists. Compromised nerves may reroute signals through other pathways to minimize deficits.
  • Nerves have some natural protective padding and reserve capacity. Significant, sustained compression is usually required to substantially disrupt nerve signaling enough to affect cognition.
  • Severe compression higher in the cervical spine near the brainstem would likely cause other immediate, serious neurological issues before confusion sets in.

In the uncommon event a pinched neck nerve did lead to confusion, headache or dizziness, prompt medical treatment would be required. Seek emergency care for signs like weakness or inability to walk. 

Surgery may be warranted depending on the cause and severity of the compression. But rest assured, the vast majority of pinched nerves result only in neck pain and radiating arm symptoms – not cognitive issues.

Can nerve damage in the neck cause leg pain?

While rare, irritation or inflammation of certain cervical nerve roots can sometimes refer to pain into the upper legs in addition to causing neck pain and arm radiculopathy symptoms. However, neck disorders themselves do not directly generate pain that radiates below the knee.

One study titled “Cervical cord compression presenting with sciatica-like leg pain” conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) presents two cases of cervical cord compressions that resulted in sciatica-like leg pain. The study suggests that this is a “false localizing” presentation, which can lead to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. The leg pain in these cases was due to the irritation of the ascending spinothalamic tract, a referred pain due to cervical cord compression.

According to our clinical experience, leg pain originating from a neck issue is unlikely for several reasons:

  • The nerve supply to the legs – the sciatic nerve – branches from the lower spinal cord only.
  • Some sensory overlap between nerve roots can very occasionally cause upper cervical problems to refer to pain into the front of the upper leg region, though not usually beyond the knees.
  • Nerve root compression severe enough to radiate symptoms into the legs would cause other immediate and serious neurological deficits requiring prompt treatment.

So while isolated neck problems don’t directly cause leg pain, a pinched nerve associated with some neck conditions could potentially radiate symptoms into the upper legs in rare instances. Any leg numbness, weakness, or pain should be evaluated by a medical provider to assess for underlying spinal cord compression requiring urgent surgical treatment.

Can neuropathy cause neck pain?

Yes, neuropathy affecting the cervical nerve roots can manifest as chronic neck pain and neurological symptoms like numbness, tingling, or sensitivity in the neck, shoulders, and upper extremities. 

There are a few types of neuropathy that may generate neck pain:

  1. Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy is characterized by neurological dysfunction caused by compression and inflammation of the spinal nerves or nerve roots of the cervical spine. It mainly presents with neck and arm pain, sensory loss, motor dysfunction, and reflex changes according to the dermatomal distribution. The most common causes of cervical radiculopathy are cervical disc herniation and cervical spondylosis.

A study by Lee and Turner reported that the natural history of cervical radiculopathy was generally favorable and self-limited. In mid- to long-term follow-up (2 to 19 years) of 51 patients with radiculopathy, 43.1% had no symptoms, 29.4% had mild or intermittent symptoms.

  1. Peripheral Neuropathy 

A nerve disorder that most commonly affects the hands and feet but can also involve the nerves of the neck, causing pain, numbness and stiffness. Diabetes, chemotherapy drugs, infections or trauma increase risk.

A systematic review assessing the evidence for nerve pathology and neuropathic pain in patients with whiplash associated disorder (WAD) found that clinical questionnaires suggested symptoms of predominant neuropathic characteristic in 34% of patients. The review concluded that a subset of patients with WAD demonstrate signs of peripheral nerve pathology and neuropathic pain

  1. Small Fiber Neuropathy 

Small fiber neuropathy manifests in a variety of different diseases and often results in symptoms of burning pain, shooting pain, allodynia, and hyperesthesia. Diagnosis of small fiber neuropathy is determined primarily by the history and physical exam, but functional neurophysiologic testing and skin biopsy evaluation of intraepidermal nerve fiber density can provide diagnostic confirmation. 

From our experience, diagnosing the particular type of neuropathy responsible for neck pain allows targeted treatment to help manage symptoms, from medications and therapy for radiculopathy to drugs and lifestyle modifications for peripheral neuropathy.

Is neck pain linked to brain tumor symptoms?

In very rare cases, new onset neck pain accompanied by progressively worsening neurological symptoms like persistent headaches or balance problems may indicate a tumor in the posterior fossa region of the brain. However, it would require a complex constellation of many severe, out-of-the-ordinary symptoms all occurring together to even raise suspicion of a brain tumor, which is extremely uncommon.

Some key points regarding the limited association between neck pain and brain tumors include:

  • Neck pain and headaches alone are very weak indicators of any brain tumor, as both are frequent benign occurrences. Still, the Canadian Cancer Society lists neck pain as a potential symptom of brain and spinal cord tumors, although it is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as weakness, numbness, and lack of coordination.
  • Tumors specifically pressuring the lower cerebellum or brainstem could theoretically cause neck pain. But significantly more characteristic neurological deficits would arise first. A study by Aaron Cohen-Gadol, MD, an expert surgeon, explains that brain tumor symptoms can vary widely depending on the tumor’s characteristics and location within the brain. 
  • Larger growths produce more nonspecific problems like cognitive changes and vomiting well before isolated neck pain manifests. The Musella Foundation conducted a survey of brain cancer patients, and while headaches were the most common symptom reported (60.58% of patients), nausea/vomiting (40.74% of patients), and weakness of the arm(s) or leg(s) (44.12% of patients) were also common. 

Brain tumors are quite rare relative to all the potential causes of headaches and neck pain. Only see 0.02% of neck pain cases have a brain tumor origin.

So while new neurological deficits plus neck pain can sometimes require imaging tests to verify causes, patients should not fear that typical sporadic headaches and neck aches signal a brain tumor. These symptoms arise much more often from musculoskeletal issues, tension, or migraines. 

What are the symptoms of TIA related to neck pain?

TIA, or transient ischemic attack, occurs when blood flow is temporarily disrupted to a portion of the brain, causing stroke-like symptoms that fully resolve within 24 hours. TIA and neck pain share some common neurological symptoms, but are not directly related conditions.

According to our clinical experience, TIA symptoms that can sporadically accompany neck pain include:

  • Temporary weakness or numbness on one side of the body, often the face/arm/leg, due to interrupted blood supply. With TIA, this resolves rapidly.
  • Slurred speech, confusion, or difficulty understanding others when the language centers of the brain have reduced circulation during a TIA episode.
  • Vision loss or double vision can occur in some TIAs, as can difficulty swallowing.
  • Loss of coordination, balance issues, and dizziness may arise during a TIA as equilibrium brain regions are impacted.
  • Headache or facial pain may happen if the TIA affects the carotid arteries supplying the head and face. But TIAs do not directly cause neck pain.

This is supported by an NCBI study that presented two cases of cervical myelopathy, a potential stroke imitator, where the patients lacked cranial nerve symptoms but suffered neck pain at the onset. The study concluded that neck pain and the absence of cranial nerve symptoms are clues to cervical myelopathy.

While TIA requires emergency care due to the risks of an imminent stroke, isolated neck pain not involving any overt neurological deficits or altered cognition is not an emergent TIA symptom. However, if neck pain is accompanied by sudden onset of unilateral weakness, speech changes, vision loss or vertigo, call 911 as critical stroke care may be required.

What are the neurological symptoms associated with neck pain?

Neck pain often manifests with neurological symptoms stemming from compression, irritation, or inflammation involving the cervical nerve roots or spinal cord itself. 

A study on cervical radiculopathy, a condition characterized by neurological dysfunction caused by compression and inflammation of the spinal nerves or nerve roots of the cervical spine, supports these symptoms. The study found that patients with cervical radiculopathy often experience arm pain (97%-99%), sensory deficit (85%-91%), reflex deficit (71%-84%), neck pain (56%-80%), and motor deficit (64%-70%).

Here are some of the most common neurological manifestations according to our clinical experience:

Radiating Pain 

Nerve root compression refers to pain from the neck into the shoulder, arm, forearm, or hand in the dermatome of the affected nerve. This may feel like shooting, burning, pins and needles, or stabbing sensations.


Loss of normal sensation or deadened feelings in the upper arms, forearms, hands, or fingers on one or both sides, depending on the irritated nerve root(s).


Prickling, crawling, antsiness, “creepy” feelings in the arms, hands or fingers, often indicative of nerve root inflammation.


Nerve compression can impair proper muscle functioning, leading to weakness, difficulty gripping, lack of coordination, or arm fatigue.


Compression higher in the cervical spine can affect equilibrium and lead to lightheadedness, vertigo, or unsteadiness. 

A study on upper cervical spine dysfunction and dizziness found that problems in the ligaments or muscles of the upper cervical spine can cause confusion in proprioception, leading to cervicogenic dizziness (CGD). Patients with CGD often complain of unsteadiness, neck pain, stiffness, and headache. 


Inflamed cervical nerve roots can refer pain into the head, typically the back and sides. Headaches may worsen with neck motion.

A study on cervical radiculopathy found that patients often complain of occipital or temporal pain that extends to the back of the ear or side of the neck, which can be difficult to distinguish from other causes of headaches such as migraines.

What are the danger signs of neck pain?

While most neck pain is not life-threatening on its own, certain “red flag” symptoms that may accompany neck pain warrant immediate medical attention, as they can indicate serious underlying pathology requiring emergency treatment. These include:

  • Loss of bowel/bladder function, incontinence, or retention – A study conducted by Harvard Health states that loss of bowel or bladder control might indicate pressure on the spinal cord, needing immediate attention.
  • Fever or night pain along with neck pain – According to Harvard Health, fever, headache, and neck stiffness might indicate bacterial meningitis, an infection of the spinal cord and brain covering that requires prompt treatment with antibiotics.
  • Severe trauma such as falls or accident injuries – Can damage cervical vertebrae and spinal cord.  The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) mentions that playing sports can contribute to neck injuries of varying degrees of severity, ranging from relatively minor injuries such as muscle strains to severe ones.
  • Muscle wasting in the arms/hands – Suggest nerve damage or nerve root compression. The Mayo Clinic explains that nerve compression, such as from herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of the neck, can press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.
  • Sudden loss of reflexes, sensation, or weakness – Indicates possible spinal cord damage requiring surgery. The Mayo Clinic also mentions that severe neck pain resulting from an injury, such as a motor vehicle accident, diving accident, or fall, requires immediate medical care.
  • Onset of widespread neurological symptoms – Suggests nerve root or spinal cord compression. The Cleveland Clinic mentions that radicular neck pain (pain that shoots into other areas, such as your shoulders or arms) can be a symptom of many different injuries and medical conditions.
  • Excruciating pain with little relief – This may mean nerve impingement needing surgical release.

Can you see a neurologist for neck pain?

Absolutely. Consulting a neurologist for evaluation of neck pain accompanied by neurological symptoms can be very helpful in pinpointing the underlying disorder and guiding appropriate management. 

A study titled “A Neuroscience Perspective of Physical Treatment of Headache and Neck Pain” discusses the importance of a thorough neuromuscular evaluation in understanding the co-occurrence of headache and neck pain.

According to our experience, there are several advantages to neurology care for neck pain involving neurological features:

  • Thorough neuromuscular evaluation – Reflex, strength, balance, coordination, and gait exams help localize nerve involvement.
  • Targeted diagnostic testing – MRIs, nerve conduction studies, CTs, or labs to identify causes requiring specific treatment.
  • Expertise in nerve disorders – Provides the best insight on neck nerve impingement and related conditions.
  • Medication management – Prescription of neuropathic meds, muscle relaxants, or anti-inflammatories to help alleviate nerve-related neck pain.
  • Referrals for injections, therapy, or surgery – Neurologists can coordinate effective neck pain treatments by appropriate specialists if needed.

Seeing a neurologist does not always mean you have a dire or dangerous condition. However, their assessment and direction can be invaluable for resolving chronic neck pain with neurological features or identifying potentially serious compressive causes requiring prompt intervention.

What does a neurologist do for neck pain and neurological symptoms?

When evaluating neck pain with neurological features, a neurologist performs a focused neurological exam, orders diagnostic tests as needed, and provides expert treatment recommendations. Here is an overview of their role:

  1. History of symptoms – Ask detailed questions about the nature and timing of your neck pain, arm pain, numbness, or other symptoms. Carefully document your story.
  2. Neuro exam – Checks reflexes, sensation, strength, and muscle tone in the neck, arms, and legs to pinpoint affected nerves. Also assesses gait and balance.
  3. Imaging orders – May order CTs, MRIs, or X-rays to visualize cervical spine bones and nerve structures if compressive causes are suspected.
  4. Other diagnostic tests – Nerve conduction studies and EMG to evaluate nerve signaling. Potentially lab work to check for underlying conditions.
  5. Treatment guidance – Prescribe medications for pain and neuropathy if appropriate. Recommend injection therapies, surgery, physical therapy, or alternative treatments as warranted for neurological symptoms.
  6. Coordinate care – Work with physiatrists, spine surgeons, pain specialists, primary doctor, therapists, and others to optimize treatment approaches for your situation.
  7. Monitor progress – Follow up periodically to assess if additional interventions are needed for stubborn neck pain and neurological deficits.

Got Neck Pain With Nerve Symptoms? Get Answers From a Neurology Expert

doctor and patient consultation on neck pain

While neck pain involving neurological features can be unsettling, keeping your doctor informed and following their expert treatment recommendations offers the best chance of resolving symptoms and restoring normal function. Don’t ignore new neurological deficits – seek prompt medical attention for optimal outcomes. 

Kaly offers an easy way to connect with top local neurologists and spine specialists if you are looking for reputable neck pain care in your area. With the right diagnosis and treatment plan, we can dispel your worries for good.

Start searching for the most suitable neurologist now!