A sprained neck is a term used to describe an injury to the muscles and / or ligaments of the neck. Ligaments are like strong rope-like structures that help connect bones and provide stability to joints. There are six major ligament groups that run down the spine and lower back. These ligaments form a strong support system for the spine and neck, and they attach to each vertebra.
As a result of repetitive stress at work, during sporting activities, or motor vehicle accidents, neck strains can occur due to several reasons. Neck muscles and / or ligaments can become injured while performing repetitive tasks, or can become injured doing a single activity strenuously.
How is Neck Sprain Diagnosed?
By obtaining the patient’s medical history and performing a physical examination, it becomes possible for physiotherapists or general physicists to diagnose a neck sprain. To rule out degenerative disc disease, X-rays of the neck region is required. Further tests such as MRI and CT scans may also be required to rule out other causes of neck pain, depending on the severity of the problem.
What Does a Neck Sprain Feel Like?
The affected muscles may tighten up to protect the injured area, and usually pain and tenderness around the muscles or ligaments that are injured. People with neck strain normally complain about:
People experiencing these symptoms should visit their physiotherapist or doctor. Although these symptoms usually fade away with time if the severity is not intense. However, if these symptoms are ignored and looked upon by professionals, there are chances of the symptoms to recur.
What is the best Treatment for a Neck Sprain?
Damaged muscles and ligaments begin to repair themselves in most cases. However, it’s recommended that people consult with their doctor or physiotherapist to help guide them back to health. Physiotherapists are professionals who know almost everything about the physical body and know various measures that can help patients recover faster. The best treatment method includes physiotherapy which helps patients learn proper movement patterns, provides education about the physical body, teaches activity modification, proper posture and exercises. Physiotherapy may include manual mobilization / manipulation of the affected area, and modalities such as gentle electrical currents and heat or ice to help with pain.
Professional physiotherapists are well-versed with various neck exercises that help can strengthen muscles and improve muscle flexibility. They know various neck stretching exercises that expand or preserve the range of motion and elasticity in affected cervical (neck) joints, and thus relieve the stiffness that leads to pain. After someone recovers from a neck strain it is essential to maintain a healthy neck with proper posture, and exercises that help maintain neck muscles. These measures may help reduce the chances of another neck strain. Get in touch with our professional physiotherapists in Edmonton, if you’ve been experiencing neck pain or any other body related problems.