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Sprained Neck

Stuart Fossella - Wednesday, November 21, 2012 | Comments (0)
Posted 7 years ago

Sprained Neck

A ‘sprain’ by definition suggests damage to a ligament caused by over stretching. So a sprained neck is the term for a condition that is often brought about from sudden or unexpected neck movement. This can include can include slips, trips, falls or sports injuries. Pain may be delayed in its onset, so you may actually feel symptoms a day or so after an accident.

It is almost impossible to diagnose exact structures that may be causing pain, but diagnosis is taken from a detailed patient case history and the results of a physical examination.

Based upon a patients explanation of an injury we can begin to ‘paint a picture’ of the cause of neck pain which may include: Damage / sprain of the facet joints (the small joints in the neck which allow movement) or sprain to the ligaments of the neck.

Check out the following link for a 3D image of the neck joints and soft tissues Healthline

Clinical Signs

  • Pain may be one sided and become worse with movement.
  • Pain may be delayed in its onset.
  • May or may not be associated with muscle stiffness and spasm.
  • Pain may be felt into the arm.


  • Treatments may include reducing spasm and pain with hot or cold treatment, and the use of simple analgesia or anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Modifying activities to avoid aggravating symptoms further will generally be useful.
  • Soft tissue massage.
  • Kinesio taping.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Gentle exercise including stretching.
  • Gentle exercise including stretching.
  • Postural modification and core stability exercises.


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