Your cervical spine, or neck, is built from seven bones stacked on top of each other along with a shock-absorbing disc between each level. Your neck is actually quite flexible and it relies on muscles and ligaments for support. "Sprains" and "strains" in your neck are the result of these tissues being stretched in a way that is too hard or too far, much like a rope that frays when it is stretched beyond its normal capacity.
The medical term, "sprain" refers to a situation where the tough, durable ligaments that hold your bones together have been damaged, while "strain" means that your muscles or tendons that move your neck have been damaged.
In other cases, less traumatic activities such as reaching, pushing, pulling, moving heavy objects, and prolonged sitting can also trigger these problems. For most people who suffer from neck pain that is brought on by sprains and strains, the pain is not the result of any single event but rather from repeated overloading.
Tendons and ligaments for the most part are able to handle these small isolated stressors quite well, but repetitive challenges lead to injury in much the same way that constantly bending a piece of copper wire will cause it to break. Some common types of these less acute types of cervical sprain/strain injuries include bad posture, poor workstations, repetitive movements, prolonged overhead activity, sedentary lifestyles, improper sleep positions, poor bra support and obesity.
Complaints with neck sprains and strains often include limited range of motion/tightness especially with turning and looking all the way up or down. Pain is usually along the sides of the neck and head but may radiate to the middle back and shoulders or include headaches.
This process can lead to ongoing pain and even arthritis in some cases. Seeking early and appropriate treatment for your injuries, like the type provided in our office, is critical. Depending upon the severity of your injury, you may need to limit your activity for a while - especially if you are frequently experiencing pain during certain movements or activities.
If possible you should do your best to avoid heavy lifting and take frequent breaks from prolonged activity, particularly overhead activity. Following acute injuries, you can try to add ice for 10-15 minutes each hour. Topical sports creams like PRoZE “nerve” are often helpful in easing symptoms of sprains and strains. Use this link below to buy it and enjoy a nice discount