Anyone suffering from neck pain should consult a doctor if the pain persists or gets worse after several weeks of self-care or if the pain radiates down the arms or legs, as Mayo Clinic explains. A loss of bladder or bowel control subsequent to neck pain also requires a doctor.
If severe neck pain occurs subsequent to injury, as in a car accident or fall, the patient should seek emergency medical care. Muscle weakness in arms or legs or difficulty walking are also symptoms that, when associated with neck pain, require emergency care, according to Mayo Clinic. In addition, neck pain that coincides with a high fever may indicate meningitis and also requires immediately medical attention.