A compressed nerve in the neck can eventually lead to pain, tingling, numbness, or pins and needles in the surrounding area, as well as in the shoulder and down the arm. The Premier Spine Institute reports that this can be painful and damaging, as a pinched nerve can affect the strength of the muscles. When left untreated, the damage may become irreversible. The Cleveland Clinic reports that, although pinched nerves are common and typically heal in 4-6 weeks, there are occasions in which they can cause chronic pain and even lead to permanent nerve damage. Treatments may include over-the-counter pain relievers, heat therapy, physical therapy, or in severe cases, surgery.
New Mexico Orthopaedics states that if your neck pain has been persistent for more than six weeks or has not improved and gotten worse, you should see a doctor. A healthcare professional can suggest the proper testing to provide the care you need for your chronic neck pain.