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Cervical Sprain/Neck Sprain

About Cervical Sprain/Neck Sprain

A sprain in your neck may not sound like a big deal, but any neck injury is potentially serious. If you don’t get it examined and treated, you can suffer devastating consequences, even from a simple injury like a neck sprain. A healthy neck and upper spine maintain your mobility and enable an active lifestyle. Following an acute injury or after a prolonged period of neck pain, call on the spine experts at the Spine & Rehab Group to begin your neck sprain recovery and avoid further complications.

Is a Cervical Neck Sprain a Serious Condition?

Anatomy of the Neck

Cervical sprain or neck sprain is a serious condition because it affects the optimal function of the cervical spine: your neck. Your spine houses the spinal cord, which allows signals to flow to and from your brain. This communication through nerves controls all aspects of your body. The cervical or top end of the spine is the most flexible segment, as it allows neck movements in all directions. As a result, your neck is also the most vulnerable section of your spine.

A cervical sprain, also called a neck sprain, is a soft tissue injury that affects the ligaments in the cervical spine or neck, leading to pain and other symptoms. Ligaments in the cervical spine hold the vertebrae in the spinal cord together, stabilizing the spine and protecting the cervical discs. You can overstretch the ligaments to a point of injury, if you’re not careful.

If you suffer constant neck pain or upper back pain, it may be impossible to enjoy the things you used to do without the proper treatment. Dr. Amr Hosny and his team of spine doctors at the Spine & Rehab Group offer specialized sprained neck treatment. They have offices in New York City and across Morris County, Union County and Bergen County, New Jersey; one of them is near you.

Have I Sprained my Cervical Spine?

Ligament damage is hard to miss, especially in the spine. You experience neck pain to such a degree that it prevents you from completing ordinary daily tasks. When the pain is this bad, you need to see a spine doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Other symptoms of a cervical or neck sprain include:

  • A reduced range of motion
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscular weakness
  • Headaches emanating from the back of your head
  • Problems with body balance
  • Tenderness and swelling or redness at the location of affected ligament
  • Neck stiffness or difficulties moving your head
  • Pain radiating from your neck to your shoulder and arm
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Sore throat
  • Numbness or tingling in the upper extremities

With a serious sprain, you’ll experience more severe symptoms, such as:

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Paralysis in any area of your body
  • Change in consciousness
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

Your spine specialists at the Spine & Rehab Group have the latest medical equipment to ensure a correct diagnosis and the best sprained neck treatment. Find them in the Financial District, Greenwich Village and Midtown Manhattan or in Paramus, Riverdale, Englewood Cliffs, Cranford and East Brunswick, New Jersey.

What Can Cause a Neck Sprain?

The most common cause of a cervical sprain or a neck sprain is a severe force or trauma on the body. The suddenness of the force exerts excess pressure on the cervical ligaments, leading to neck injury or whiplash. This type of injury jolts your neck backward or forward, causing damage to soft tissues such as ligaments or muscles. Such exertion on the ligaments can occur due to:

  • Trauma, such as from a motor vehicle accident
  • A heavy fall
  • Sharp, sudden increases in physical activity
  • A sports injury
  • Poor sleeping habits

Your spine specialist starts treatment with a thorough medical review and diagnostic tests. The findings help narrow down the cause of the neck sprain and determine the best path to neck sprain recovery.

Who’s at Risk of a Cervical Neck Sprain?

While everyone is at risk of cervical sprain in case of neck injury, there are situations that can make you more vulnerable. By learning these risk factors, you can stay safe and avoid this debilitating spine disorder. Risk factors for cervical neck sprain include:

  • Activities involving excessive bending, such as in the forward direction
  • Activities that require extension, such as excessive stretching
  • Poor posture and improper movement mechanics
  • Extended period in an uncomfortable position, such as cradling a phone with your neck
  • Automobile accidents
  • Repetitive strain injury
  • Extreme sporting activities
  • Surgery
  • Sleeping uncomfortably
  • A bone fracture in your spine

What Is the Most Effective Sprained Neck Treatment?

Your doctor first reviews the location, symptoms and severity of the ligament damage before determining how to treat your neck sprain. The diagnostics results become the basis for your individualized treatment plan. Treatment options for cervical sprain include:

  • Narcotic or non-narcotic medications for pain management
  • Cervical neck traction
  • Therapeutic exercise programs to strengthen the injured area
  • Ice treatment to reduce inflammation and discomfort
  • Proper rest for faster recovery
  • Muscle relaxants
  • A soft cervical collar
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Massage for the tender area
  • Ultrasound therapy

If your neck pain is affecting your life, it’s time to see a spine specialist and learn how to treat a sprained neck. Talk to the doctors at the Spine & Rehab Group today. With eight locations in New York City and northern New Jersey, they can serve you wherever you are. Contact the nearest office for a consultation with the best neck and back specialists.

Page Updated on Nov 15, 2021 by Dr. Hosny (Interventional Spine Specialist) of The Spine & Rehab Group
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