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Ask Dr. Mark Your Own Question
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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I have had sharp pain in neck when turning head right. Now

Customer Question

I have had sharp pain in neck when turning head right. Now shoulder hurts. do not remember doing any thing to it. I have tried heat, ice and ben gay. What can this be and how to treat.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
Do you have pain into the upper arm?

Or traveling down the arm?

How long has this been going on?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
No pain is only when i turn my head to the right an then place between neck and top of shoulder hurt to touch. Neck pain 2 weeks.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
Neck pains that are also associated with the pain that radiates to the top of the shoulder can be characteristic of a "pinched" nerve in the neck, called cervical radiculopathy:

The fact that it happens only when you turn your head makes it more likely that this is the potential cause.

This type of pain often does improve on its own over a few weeks. Generally taking medications such as advil and heat can help until this inflammation of the nerve improves on its own.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

i have tried heat for 2 weeks. What causes this. how long should i wait to see a doctor?

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
It could be a pinched nerve from a bulging disc in your neck. The changes in position in your neck can cause inflammation in that nerve, which then causes the pain. This inflammation may take weeks to improve, and so it may be weeks until the pains gradually improves.

Generally we say if it hasn't significantly improved within six weeks, seeing a doctor for evalaution is helpful.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Is thereanything a doctor could do for it now?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
A doctor could try a short course of steroids (Medrol dose pack) to see if it will help with the inflammation in the nerve.