About all

Ligament damage in neck: Neck Sprain (Neck Pain & Stiff Neck): Symptoms & Treatment


Neck Sprain (Neck Pain & Stiff Neck): Symptoms & Treatment


What is a neck sprain?

A neck sprain is a stretched ligament or muscle in the neck. A neck sprain may occur without any obvious injury but sometimes it may be caused by a sudden impact with an object. An impact may force the neck to quickly extend beyond its normal range, and then snap back forcefully. This is commonly called a whiplash injury. Rear-end car accidents, head jerking during amusement park rides, or being kicked are the most common forms of impact that may cause a neck sprain.

Symptoms and Causes

What symptoms will I have with a neck sprain?

You will have neck pain that worsens with movement. Sometimes this pain will not appear until a full day or two after the event that caused it. You will most likely have neck stiffness that hinders your ability to move your neck. The back of your head might hurt. You may also have pain in the shoulders or upper back. Other symptoms that may happen with a neck sprain include:

  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue
  • Patchy numbness in the hands or arms

If you notice these symptoms after a whiplash-type incident, see a doctor for an evaluation to rule out a more serious problem, such as damage to the spinal cord. Arm or leg weakness, difficulty walking, and an inability to control the bladder or bowels are signs of spinal cord injury. If you have immediate neck pain after the incident, go to an emergency room.

Diagnosis and Tests

How is a neck sprain diagnosed?

A physical examination will review your posture, ability to move, and the position of your head and chin. The doctor will inspect the blood vessels in your neck and may listen to them with a stethoscope. He or she also may check:

  • The range of motion of your neck
  • The muscle strength in your arms
  • Your reflexes
  • Whether or not you can detect sensations

Imaging tests such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used, but most people with suspected neck sprain do not need these tests.

An MRI is a painless, noninvasive test that produces very clear pictures, or images of the human body without the use of X-rays. MRI uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to produce these images.

A CT scan is an X-ray procedure that combines many X-ray images with the help of a computer to create cross-sectional views of the body.

Management and Treatment

How is neck sprain treated?

Pain, inflammation, and tension may be treated by:

  • Analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Ice for the first 24 hours followed by heat applied to the neck through a moist towel
  • Muscle relaxants

Gentle movement of the neck is encouraged. Range of motion exercises may be prescribed by a physical therapist.

You may want to try sleeping with a rolled up towel under your neck for relief.

Outlook / Prognosis

What can I expect from treatment?

Your head and neck pain should get better within a couple of weeks. If not, local anesthetic injections may be tried. Full recovery may take as long as 3 months. If you are still having symptoms after this time further evaluation by a spine specialist is appropriate.

Neck Sprain (Neck Pain & Stiff Neck): Symptoms & Treatment


What is a neck sprain?

A neck sprain is a stretched ligament or muscle in the neck. A neck sprain may occur without any obvious injury but sometimes it may be caused by a sudden impact with an object. An impact may force the neck to quickly extend beyond its normal range, and then snap back forcefully. This is commonly called a whiplash injury. Rear-end car accidents, head jerking during amusement park rides, or being kicked are the most common forms of impact that may cause a neck sprain.

Symptoms and Causes

What symptoms will I have with a neck sprain?

You will have neck pain that worsens with movement. Sometimes this pain will not appear until a full day or two after the event that caused it. You will most likely have neck stiffness that hinders your ability to move your neck. The back of your head might hurt. You may also have pain in the shoulders or upper back. Other symptoms that may happen with a neck sprain include:

  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue
  • Patchy numbness in the hands or arms

If you notice these symptoms after a whiplash-type incident, see a doctor for an evaluation to rule out a more serious problem, such as damage to the spinal cord. Arm or leg weakness, difficulty walking, and an inability to control the bladder or bowels are signs of spinal cord injury. If you have immediate neck pain after the incident, go to an emergency room.

Diagnosis and Tests

How is a neck sprain diagnosed?

A physical examination will review your posture, ability to move, and the position of your head and chin. The doctor will inspect the blood vessels in your neck and may listen to them with a stethoscope. He or she also may check:

  • The range of motion of your neck
  • The muscle strength in your arms
  • Your reflexes
  • Whether or not you can detect sensations

Imaging tests such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used, but most people with suspected neck sprain do not need these tests.

An MRI is a painless, noninvasive test that produces very clear pictures, or images of the human body without the use of X-rays. MRI uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to produce these images.

A CT scan is an X-ray procedure that combines many X-ray images with the help of a computer to create cross-sectional views of the body.

Management and Treatment

How is neck sprain treated?

Pain, inflammation, and tension may be treated by:

  • Analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Ice for the first 24 hours followed by heat applied to the neck through a moist towel
  • Muscle relaxants

Gentle movement of the neck is encouraged. Range of motion exercises may be prescribed by a physical therapist.

You may want to try sleeping with a rolled up towel under your neck for relief.

Outlook / Prognosis

What can I expect from treatment?

Your head and neck pain should get better within a couple of weeks. If not, local anesthetic injections may be tried. Full recovery may take as long as 3 months. If you are still having symptoms after this time further evaluation by a spine specialist is appropriate.

Neck Sprains or Strains | Orthopedics

Causes of neck sprains or strains

  • Extended period in an uncomfortable position such as cradling a phone with the neck
  • Sleeping with pillow that is too high or firm
  • Trauma that affects the neck
  • Carrying a heavy object on one side of the body

Risk factors for neck sprains or strains

  • Injury
  • Repetitive strain injury
  • Surgery
  • Sleeping positions
  • Poor posture
  • Bone fracture

Symptoms of neck sprains or strains

  • Pain in the back of the neck or upper shoulder that becomes more painful as you move your head
  • Difficulty moving or rotating the head or neck
  • Headaches that feel worse in the back of the head
  • Increased irritability or fatigue
  • Decreased range of motion or stiffness in the neck
  • Tingling, numbness or weakness in the arms or hands

Diagnosis of neck sprains or strains

Your primary care doctor can diagnose a neck sprain or strain in a comprehensive physical examination.

Your doctor may ask you how the injury occurred, what your symptoms are, what makes your symptoms worse, as well as check the range of motion in your neck.

Your provider may order an x-ray to evaluate the site of the pain and rule out other, potentially more serious, conditions.

Treatments for neck strain or sprains

Neck sprains or strains will heal gradually with the appropriate treatment protocols. Your doctor may recommend wearing a soft collar to help support the head and relieve pressure on the ligaments in the neck.

Treatments for neck sprains or strains could include:

  • Medication – your doctor may prescribe pain relievers to reduce the pain and swelling in the affected area; muscle relaxants can also help ease spasms.
  • Ice – icing the area a few times a day for two to three days after the injury can reduce inflammation and discomfort.
  • Physical therapy – can help strengthen the injured area; physical therapists may incorporate massage, ultrasound and aerobic exercises.
  • Cervical neck traction – can help keep the area stable while healing.

Recovery from a neck sprain or strain

With proper treatment and rest, most patients will recover from a neck strain or sprain within four to six weeks. If the strain or sprain is severe, it can take three months or more to fully recover.

Neck Sprains and Strains | Spine Care


A neck strain is an injury to the muscle or tendon in the neck that generally occurs when the neck muscle or tendon stretches too far and tears.

A neck sprain is an injury to the ligaments in the neck.

Symptoms of a neck sprain or strain are similar and can vary based on the size of the tear and location.

A neck strain can be classified from Grade I – Grade III.

  • Grade I is a mild strain with partial tearing. Pain is typically mild.
  • Grade II is a moderate neck strain where more muscle fibers are torn. You could experience some muscle weakness as well as mild to moderate pain.
  • Grade III is the most severe type of neck strain. The muscle has completely torn in a Grade III tear. Pain is severe.

Your doctor will generally use the same protocol to treat sprains and strains.

Neck sprains and strains causes

Generally, neck strains or sprains are caused by an injury to the neck. Injuries to the neck can occur from a car accident, a direct blow that causes your head to be flung backward or forward or from when a force lands on the top of the head.

Other causes of neck sprains or strains include:

  • Poor posture
  • Lifting a heavy object
  • Falling
  • Performing a new activity
  • Repetitive motions or activities that require repetitive motions
  • Diseases such

Neck sprains and strains symptoms

The most common sign of a neck sprain or strain is a pain in combination with a decreased range of motion.

Other symptoms of neck sprains or strains include:

  • Headache
  • Muscle tightness or spasms
  • Inability to perform daily activities
  • Weakness, numbness or tingling potentially associated with nerve irritation or damage
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Problems chewing, swallowing or breathing

Neck sprains and strains complications

If a Grade II or III neck strain is left untreated, you could experience:

  • Chronic pain
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Loss of cervical ROM
  • Disability

Neck sprains and strains risk factors

There are a variety of factors that can increase your likelihood of developing a neck sprain or strain, including:

  • Performing activities that require repetitive movements
  • Having surgery on the neck
  • Sleeping in an awkward position
  • Maintaining a poor sitting or standing posture
  • Suffering a bone fracture in the neck

Neck sprains and strains prevention

Although all neck sprains and strains cannot be prevented, you can prevent some cases by following these guidelines:

  • Practice using good posture when standing and sitting.
  • Take breaks if you are traveling long distances or sitting in the same position for an extended period.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Avoid carrying heavy objects or bags on your shoulders.

Neck sprains and strains diagnosis

Your doctor can diagnose a neck strain or neck sprain. During a clinic visit, your doctor will perform a physical exam, take a full medical history and order diagnostic testing.

Physical exam

Your doctor will evaluate your range of motion, examine your neck for abnormalities, and, when necessary, perform a Spurling’s test to see if symptoms associated with nerve compression can be reproduced.

In rare cases, your doctor will order an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan to confirm your diagnosis.

Neck sprains and strains treatment

Your doctor will develop a customized treatment plan for your case.

If the injury is a Grade I or Grade II neck strain, your doctor will typically start you with conservative treatments such as:

  • Rest
  • Local heat
  • Medications such as ibuprofen or Aleve

If over-the-counter medications are not adequately treating your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe more potent pain relievers or corticosteroids.

In more severe cases, you may need physical therapy or cervical neck traction. Physical therapy will help strengthen the injured area. Your physical therapist may use massage, ultrasound, or weightlifting exercises. Cervical neck traction will help stabilize the neck during healing.

When to seek care

Most cases of neck sprain or strain heal on their own with in-home self-care. If your symptoms such as constant neck pain, persistent neck spasms, and inability to perform daily activities that do not go away within a few days or if they intensify, call your doctor to schedule an appointment.

If you experience any of these symptoms, go to the emergency room right away:

  • Numbness or tingling in your upper extremities
  • Weakness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Headache associated with dizziness, nausea or vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing

Next Steps

Symptoms of neck sprains or strains are similar to more severe neck issues. Patients are strongly encouraged to seek a diagnosis and treatment plan from their doctor.

Once diagnosed, your doctor will develop a treatment plan customized for your case. Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions and call if your symptoms change or intensify.

Whiplash Center – Symptoms Treatments Neck Pain

Peer Reviewed

The Universal Guide to Whiplash: Everything you ever wanted to know, straight from the experts.

In This Article: What Is Whiplash?   |    Symptoms   |    Causes   |    Is Whiplash Serious?   |    Diagnosis   |    Treatments  |    Surgery   |    Alternative Treatments   |    Recovery   |    FAQs   |   Sources


Imagine you’re in your car and get rear-ended. Your head snaps back, then slams forward. Soon, not only does your neck ache, but it’s also so stiff you can barely turn your head.

If you go to the doctor – and you should – you may be diagnosed with whiplash. It’s sometimes called a neck strain or sprain, though not all neck strains and sprains are whiplash.

Since whiplash can cause long-lasting effects on the spine, it is important to see your doctor if you have been injured. Photo Source: 123RF.com.

By some estimates, there are around 3 million whiplash injuries a year. More than just a neck-ache, whiplash is associated with disability, decreased quality of life, and distress. The distress doesn’t just stem from pain, but also from the false perception that whiplash isn’t a serious injury – since it doesn’t always show up on imaging scans.

We’re here to help set the record straight: Whiplash is a real physical condition that can have a major impact on your life and mental health.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is the common term for a neck sprain or strain. It often results from being rear-ended in a car, making the head snap back and forth like the tip of a whip. A whiplash injury damages the soft tissues in the neck such as ligaments, tendons, and discs. Recovery can take days, months, or years.

Whiplash is essentially a two-part injury. First, there’s a jerking neck movement that creates hyperextension (excessive motion that opens a joint). Immediately after is a too-fast, too-far reversal of that motion known as hyperflexion. Either one on their own could injure any of the tissues in your neck, including the discs between your vertebrae, as well as ligaments, muscles, and nerves. Together, they’re doubly dangerous.

During a whiplash incident, your neck moves forcefully and rapidly backward and forward. Photo Source:Spine Universe.com

“At its mildest, whiplash is associated with transient pain that may last a few hours to a few days and then resolve,” said Dwight S. Tyndall, MD, a spine surgeon at the Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery in Munster, Ind. In severe cases, recovery can take months or — in rare cases — even years.

Luckily, most people won’t take nearly that long to recover, as most cases of whiplash resolve on their own in a matter of days or weeks. To understand what’s going on with whiplash—however long you’re dealing with it—it helps to understand your neck’s structure.

Neck Anatomy

The upper part of your spine (your neck) is called your cervical spine. Despite it being  such a small part of your body, there’s a lot going on.

Your cervical spine features seven square bones called your cervical vertebrae. Starting from the top, they’re numbered C1 to C7. Together with ligaments and the long muscles over them, they form a protective structure (the spinal canal) surrounding the spinal cord.

Of course, your cervical spine does more than that. It supports the full weight of your head. It also enables you to nod, tilt, and rotate your head. When you look up at the stars, button your jeans, or reach for the salt at dinner, your cervical spine plays a central role.

The flexibility of your cervical spine enables you to move your head in all directions without a second thought. The downside of that flexibility, though, is that it can make your neck vulnerable to injury.

What Are Whiplash Symptoms?

Neck pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion are classic whiplash symptoms, but they’re not the only ones. Whiplash can also cause upper to mid-back pain (thoracic spine pain) in some people – particularly if you have high levels of pain right after the injury.

Other symptoms of whiplash may include:

  • Headache
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Pain in the shoulder, upper back, or arms
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms
  • Fatigue
  • Diziness
  • Blurred vision
  • RInging in the ears (tinnitus)

There are some subtle symptoms, too – things you might not realize are connected to your injury. Cognitive symptoms of whiplash can include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Irritability
  • Depression

The signs of whiplash are sometimes immediately apparent. However, they may appear or get worse a day or two after the injury. “Patients can also sustain a mild traumatic brain injury in association with a whiplash injury, commonly called a concussion,” Dr. Tyndall said.

In some cases, you may not notice any symptoms for several days after an injury. Delayed symptoms of whiplash may be masked initially by other, more acute pain.

What Causes Whiplash?

Auto accidents are the most common cause of whiplash. (There are several other physical traumas that cause whiplash as well. Take contact sports: football, karate, boxing, ice hockey, to name just a few. Any of these can cause a collision that can snap your neck forward and backward.

Besides auto accidents and contact sports, you can also get whiplash from:

  • Physical abuse, especially being punched or shaken
  • Cycling accidents
  • ATV or motorcycle accidents
  • Horseback riding accidents
  • Falls where the head snaps backward

“During a whiplash injury, tremendous force is applied to the soft tissues in the neck,” says Michael Fehlings, MD, professor of neurosurgery at the University of Toronto. “That includes the muscles, joints, the ligaments at the base of the skull and along the front and back of the spinal column, and the discs in the front of the neck.”

Whiplash Complications

If you’re diagnosed with whiplash, your physician may assess you for complications or associated conditions. Any impact or event forceful enough to produce a whiplash injury may also cause other injuries, including:

  • Concussion (very frequently associated with whiplash)
  • Pain in the arms
  • Lost range of motion
  • Memory loss
  • Headaches
  • Loss of coordination

Don’t discount the potential impact on mental health, either. There is a relatively high prevalence of psychiatric disorders – including post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, and generalized anxiety disorder – in people with persistent whiplash pain. Experts believe whiplash can both trigger and worsen these conditions.

Be sure to tell your doctors if you experience new or worsening mental health symptoms post-whiplash injury, so that they can refer you to an appropriate specialist for treatment.

Is Whiplash Serious?

Whiplash can be mild or serious. It depends on the nature of the injury and the physical condition of the patient. Young patients with mild injuries may recover in a few days. In contrast, older patients and those in higher-impact accidents can suffer from whiplash symptoms for months or even years.

“There’s a wide range of pathologies that can occur, from a mild neck strain, bruising or stretch injury, right through at its worst to a fracture or dislocation of the cervical vertebrae,” says Dr. Tyndall.

To better evaluate patients with WAD (whiplash-associated disorders), a group of whiplash specialists called the Quebec Task Force created the following classification scale.

  • Grade 0: No complaints about the neck. No physical sign(s).
  • Grade I: Neck complaint of pain, stiffness or tenderness only. No physical sign(s).
  • Grade II: Neck complaint AND musculoskeletal sign(s). Musculoskeletal signs include decreased range of motion and point tenderness.
  • Grade III: Neck complaint AND neurological sign(s)such as numbness or tingling in an arm.
  • Grade IV: Neck complaint AND fracture or dislocation.

Where you fall on the whiplash classification scale can help determine the severity, treatment, duration, and prognosis for recovery.

How Can You Get a Whiplash Diagnosis?

The most important thing you can do, if you think there’s a chance you have whiplash, see a doctor for a proper whiplash diagnosis. If you’re in a lot of pain and your regular doctors’ offices aren’t open, go to an urgent care facility. Don’t wait; see a medical professional immediately.

“It’s important to have a physical examination and relevant imaging studies of the cervical spine to rule out a fracture or other associated conditions,” Dr. Tyndall says.

When getting checked out for a neck injury, you’ll start with a physical exam. Expect your doctor to touch and move your head, neck, and arms. You will be asked to move and perform simple tasks so that your doctor can explore:

  • Range of motion in your neck and shoulders
  • Degree of motion that causes pain or an increase in pain
  • Tenderness in your neck, shoulders or back
  • Reflexes, strength and sensation in your limbs

Chances are you’ll also get imaging studies, which enable doctors to look inside your neck. You may get one or more of the following:

  • X-rays. Electromagnetic energy beams produce pictures of your internal structures. X-rays can depict fractures and other problems with bone, but they don’t show soft damage to soft tissue such as tendons, ligaments or intervertebral discs.
  • Computerized tomography (CT). More detailed than traditional X-rays, a CT scan shows detailed images of any part of your body: bones, muscles, fat, and organs.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Large magnets and a computer create detailed, 3D images of soft tissue structures and organs.

What Whiplash Treatment Is Available?

The primary treatment options for whiplash.

The primary goals of whiplash treatment are to control pain and restore your range of motion, so you can get back to the normal activities of your daily life.

Medication. To reduce the pain of whiplash, your doctor may recommend one or more medications, such as:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers for mild to moderate pain
  • Antidepressant drugs, which can help relieve nerve pain people with moderate to severe whiplash pain 
  • Muscle relaxants

Neck stretches. Gentle moves can ease stiffness and help you recover faster. These are a few your doctor or physical therapist may encourage you to do on your own.

  • Rotate your neck in both directions
  • Tilt your head side to side
  • Bend your neck toward your chest
  • Roll your shoulders

Physical therapy. Guided exercise and sometimes other treatments (including transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS) may help ease neck pain and strengthen muscles.

Soft foam collars. Doctors used to recommend soft foam collars (cervical collars) to keep the neck still after whiplash injury. Now we know that prolonged rest can hinder recovery. The cervical collar may still be a good idea, but only for short periods of time.

Whiplash is usually treated without surgery, but you may need a similar neck collar.

Note that most of these strategies are primarily for people who have whiplash in the middle ranges of severity. If your case is very mild, you might not need treatment.

Do You Need Surgery for Whiplash?

If you’re on the severe side of the scale – especially if your pain persists even after you’ve undergone non-surgical treatment – your health care provider may recommend whiplash surgery. The need for surgery depends on the severity of the injury and the parts of your spine involved. The hyperextension and hyperflexion that characterize whiplash can cause damage to important structures in the neck, and it’s those that need to be treated with surgery.

Trauma from whiplash can cause a herniated disc, when one or more intervertebral discs that sit between the vertebrae and act as shock absorbers are damaged. A part of the soft inner layer of the disc can punch through the hard outer layer (herniate) and compress a nearby nerve root, which can cause pain, tingling, numbness or weakness.  Standard treatment for a herniated disc is a microdiscectomy, a minimally invasive procedure in which the surgeon removes the portion of the disc that’s compressing the nerve.

Sometimes it’s beneficial to reduce the movement of damaged vertebrae after whiplash, and a cervical fusion is one way to do so. Fusion surgery uses a tissue graft to encourage vertebrae to grow together, eliminating potentially painful movement. In one study, some patients who experienced stabbing neck pain with movement found relief from cervical fusion. 

Can Alternative Medicine Help Whiplash?

Some people use alternative medicine, or nontraditional therapies, to treat their whiplash pain. Research is limited on how well such strategies work. In one recent, large analysis, researchers found there is little or no neck-pain benefit with:

  • Electroacupuncture
  • Relaxation massage
  • Hot or cold therapies
  • Ultrasound
  • Hydrotherapy

However, the analysis found that clinical massage, and sometimes cervical manipulation, may improve neck pain. To explore these modalities, start by asking your healthcare provider to recommend a practitioner with expertise in neck disorders.

How Long Does Whiplash Recovery Usually Take?

If you’re like most people who get whiplash, you’ll recover within about one to three weeks after your initial injury. “Because whiplash is a soft-tissue injury,” says Dr. Fehlings, “you should get full resolution.”

The question from patients who don’t recover quickly: “When will I get better?” Unfortunately, there’s no way to know for sure.

“With milder types of injury,” says Dr. Tyndall, “such as a grade 0 to grade I injury, the prognosis is quite favorable and tends to resolve itself over days to weeks.” In fact, about 9% of whiplash patients will make an excellent and swift recovery, Dr. Tyndall says.

With more severe injuries such as grade II to IV injuries, symptoms may persist much longer. A small sampling of patients may never fully recover. “It’s felt that probably around 10% to 20% will be left with significant chronic pain down the road,” says Dr. Tyndall.

Mental health and pain perception may also play a role in recovery. The most consistent risk factors for poor recovery are people who report from the start:

  • Higher levels of pain
  • Higher levels of disability
  • Post-traumatic stress symptoms
  • Pain catastrophizing
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Low expectations of recovery

Age is a factor to consider as well. Younger patients tend to recover faster from whiplash than older ones. “All things being equal,” says Dr. Fehlings, “A young person involved in a car accident where the airbag goes off will recover faster than someone in their 60s or 70s under the same circumstances.” Patients with a history of back pain, bone spurs, or a previous whiplash event may also take longer to heal.

Getting whiplash can be a terrifying experience. Not only is there the neck injury aspect, but you’ve probably gotten whiplash from a traumatic event like a car crash. Luckily, there are excellent treatments for the physical, mental and emotional symptoms of whiplash. Talk to your doctor about what whiplash treatments are right for you.


What is whiplash?

Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a violent impact — like a car crash. The impact makes the head snap forward and back, injuring soft tissues like ligaments, tendons, and muscles. In many cases it can resolve in a few days or weeks, but in some cases the symptoms last longer.

How long does whiplash last?

The duration of whiplash depends on two factors: impact severity and patient age. Though the condition often clears up in a few days or a couple weeks, older patients or victims of high-force accidents may take months to recover. In rare cases, whiplash can last years.

How can you treat whiplash?

A mild case of whiplash can be treated at home, with rest and ice. In cases of severe or persistent pain or loss of mobility, a doctor may treat whiplash with over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxers, a stretching regimen, and physical therapy. Scans like MRIs or X-rays can rule out deeper injury.

What does whiplash feel like?

Whiplash causes symptoms of severe neck pain and stiffness, along with loss of range of motion. You may feel upper back pain too, or have frequent headaches at the base of the skull. In severe cases, numbness or tingling may point to complications.


Intro: Mayo Clinic. (N.d.) “Whiplash.” https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/whiplash/symptoms-causes/syc-20378921

Prevalence: Spine Research Institute of San Diego. (N.d.) “Facts about the incidence, risk and prevalence of whiplash.” http://www.srisd.com/consumer_site/epidemiology.htm

Mental health: Journal of Physiotherapy. (2014) “Physiotherapy management of whiplash-associated disorders (WAD).” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1836955314000058?via%3Dihub

Harvard Medical school. (2009) “Whiplash.” https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Whiplash

How the Neck Works: UpToDate. (2020) “Patient education: Neck pain (Beyond the Basics). https://www.uptodate.com/contents/neck-pain-beyond-the-basics

Symptoms: PLOS ONE. (2018) “Thoracic dysfunction in whiplash associated disorders: A systematic review.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5865734/

Causes: Mayo Clinic. (N.d.) “Whiplash.” https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/whiplash/symptoms-causes/syc-20378921

Diagnosis: Johns Hopkins Medicine. (N.d.) “Whiplash Injury.”

Is Whiplash Serious: Open Access Emergency Medicine. (2011)“Acute whiplash Associated Disorders.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4753964/

Treatment: Mayo Clinic. (N.d.) “Whiplash.” https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/whiplash/symptoms-causes/syc-20378921

Scandinavian Journal of Pain. (2016) “A small group Whiplash-Associated-Disorders (WAD) patients with central neck pain and movement induced stabbing pain, the painful segment determined by mechanical provocation: Fusion surgery was superior to multimodal rehabilitation in a randomized trial.” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877886016000203

Alternative therapies: The Spine Journal. (2016) “Are manual therapies, passive physical modalities, or acupuncture effective for the management of patients with whiplash-associated disorders or neck pain and associated disorders? An update of the Bone and Joint Decade Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders by the OPTIMa collaboration.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26707074/

Recovery, Complications: Journal of Physiotherapy. (2014) “Physiotherapy management of whiplash-associated disorders (WAD).” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1836955314000058?via%3Dihub


Updated on: 03/30/21

Neck Strains and Sprains – Atlanta Brain and Spine Care

Neck pain is a very common complaint. The most common cause of neck pain is strains and sprains. The resultant pain can be severe and even temporarily disabling to the patient’s everyday activities.

The frequency of this condition is closely related to our lifestyles. For example, awkward positions such as cradling the phone between the ear and shoulder, sitting in a chair that offers no support, or working at an ill-designed computer station can contribute to neck strain. Another example is whiplash, which is a type of neck strain. It may develop after an automobile accident when the head is suddenly and quickly forced forward and backward (excessive flexion and extension) during a rear-end collision. Other causes of whiplash include injuries during sports or biking.

Although, the initial neck pain may be so severe that the patient fears they have “broken” their neck, the good news is that most neck strains and sprains are easily treated and do not require spine surgery.

How Neck Sprains and Strains Occur

Remarkably, only 7 small vertebrae and an intricate system of soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) support the head and enable it to move in a wide range. The neck (or cervical spine) is the most mobile segment of the spine, but this mobility also makes it susceptible to strain and injury.

Sprains and strains are soft tissue injuries. A strain affects muscles and tendons, while sprains affect ligaments. While these soft tissues provide reinforcement of the cervical vertebrae, they can be stressed and forced to the point of injury. Excessive flexion (bending forward) and extension (bending backwards) activities, especially when combined with poor posture and movement mechanics, can lead to injury.


The typical symptoms of cervical strain and sprain include sharp pain, stiffness and difficulty when moving, and swelling. Whiplash shares these symptoms and may include headache, dizziness, difficulty swallowing and chewing, burning sensations, and shoulder discomfort.


Although the symptoms described above might exist, it does not necessarily mean that the patient has a sprain or strain. To make a correct diagnosis, doctors at our practice take several steps. First, we will take a detailed patient history, asking for information about when the pain started, what makes the pain worse, and so forth.

Following this step, we will conduct a physical and neurological examination. The exam will include:

  • Palpation – the physician feels the patient’s spine to detect muscle spasm and areas of inflammation.
  • Range of motion exam – measures the degree of mobility of the neck. For example, can the patient turn his or her head from side to side comfortably or bend the neck forward and backward without pain?
  • Neurologic exam – tests the patient’s reflexes, motor, and sensory responses. For example, are there areas of tingling or numbness in the shoulders, arms or hands?

Finally, it is possible that physician will order an x-ray to evaluate the spine. Seldom is further diagnostic testing initially required.

Non-Operative Treatment

The vast majority of sprains and strains do not require surgery. Treatment options thus focus on non-operative techniques.

The majority of patients will be prescribed medications to relieve pain and muscle spasm. Medications may include an anti-inflammatory, a muscle relaxant, and either narcotic or non-narcotic medications for pain. A narcotic is only prescribed temporarily when a non-narcotic medication is insufficient to relieve pain.

Some patients will be instructed to wear a soft cervical collar. This is a removable, padded, adjustable collar worn about the neck that serves to gently support tender and painful neck tissues. A cervical collar is a short-term treatment (two to three weeks) to help the patient manage muscle spasm, neck fatigue, and pain.

Finally, there is physical therapy. Therapeutic exercise programs begin slowly to acclimate the patient to stretching and strengthening routines. The patient is usually provided with a home exercise program to continue on a regular basis. A strong and agile spine is one step toward preventing future injury.

In addition, physical therapy incorporates “hands on therapies” such as ultrasound, massage, heat or ice packs, and electrical stimulation. These therapies work to increase neck mobility and decrease inflammation, muscle spasm and pain. Manual therapies of this type also increase circulation to the site of injury and facilitate healing. Chiropractic care can also provide good results for patients with strains and sprains.


The symptoms associated with neck strains and sprains can be similar to symptoms of more serious conditions. As a result, it is very important that patients do not try to diagnose themselves, and just assume their neck pain indicates a strain of sprain. Patients should visit a doctor who is an expert at diagnosing such conditions, and at identifying other more serious conditions with similar symptoms.

Whiplash – Symptoms and causes


Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip.

Whiplash is commonly caused by rear-end car accidents. But whiplash can also result from sports accidents, physical abuse and other types of traumas, such as a fall. Whiplash may be called a neck sprain or strain, but these terms also include other types of neck injuries.

Most people with whiplash get better within a few weeks by following a treatment plan that includes pain medication and exercise. However, some people have chronic neck pain and other long-lasting complications.

Products & Services

Show more products from Mayo Clinic


Signs and symptoms of whiplash usually develop within days of the injury, and may include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Worsening of pain with neck movement
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
  • Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

Some people also have:

  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Depression

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you have any neck pain or other whiplash symptoms after a car accident, sports injury or other traumatic injury. It’s important to get a prompt and accurate diagnosis and to rule out broken bones or other damage that can cause or worsen symptoms.


Whiplash typically occurs when your head is forcefully and quickly thrown backward and then forward. This motion can injure bones in the spine, disks between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves and other tissues of the neck.

A whiplash injury may result from:

  • Auto accidents. Rear-end collisions are a major cause of whiplash.
  • Physical abuse or assault. Whiplash can occur if you are punched or shaken. It’s one of the injuries seen in shaken baby syndrome.
  • Contact sports. Football tackles and other sports-related collisions can sometimes cause whiplash.


Most people who have whiplash feel better within a few weeks and don’t seem to have any lasting effects from the injury. However, some people continue to have pain for several months or years after the injury occurred.

It is difficult to predict how each person with whiplash may recover. In general, you may be more likely to have chronic pain if your first symptoms were intense, started rapidly and included:

  • Severe neck pain
  • More-limited range of motion
  • Pain that spread to the arms

The following risk factors have been linked to a worse outcome:

  • Having had whiplash before
  • Older age
  • Existing low back or neck pain
  • A high-speed injury

Feb. 05, 2020

Show references

  1. Ferri FF. Whiplash. In: Ferri’s Clinical Advisor 2020. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 27, 2019.
  2. Giangarra CE, et al., eds. Whiplash injury: Treatment and rehabilitation. Clinical Orthopaedic Rehabilitation: A Team Approach. 4th ed. Elsevier; 2018. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 27, 2019.
  3. NINDS whiplash information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/all-disorders/whiplash-information-page. Accessed Dec. 20, 2019.
  4. Miller MD, et al., eds. Whiplash (Cervical strain). Essential Orthopaedics. 2nd ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 28, 2019.
  5. Frontera WR, et al., eds. Cervical strain or sprain. In: Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 4th ed. Elsevier; 2019. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 28, 2019.
  6. Daimon K, et al. A 20-year prospective longitudinal MRI study on cervical spine after whiplash injury: Follow-up of a cross-sectional study. Journal of Orthopaedic Science. 2019; doi:10.1016/j.jos.2018.11.011.
  7. Sarrami P, et al. Factors predicting outcome in whiplash injury: A systematic meta-review of prognostic factors. Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology. 2017; doi:10.1007/s10195-016-0431-x.
  8. Isaac Z, et al. Management of non-radicular neck pain in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Dec. 27, 2019.
  9. Gross AR, et al. Exercises for mechanical neck disorders: A Cochrane review update. Manual Therapy, 2016;24:25.
  10. Wong JJ. Are manual therapies, passive physical modalities, or acupuncture effective for the management of patients with whiplash-associated disorders or neck pain and associated disorders? An update of the Bone and Joint Decade Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders by the OPTIMa collaboration. The Spine Journal. 2016;16:1598.


Associated Procedures

Show more associated procedures

Products & Services

Show more products and services from Mayo Clinic

Treatment of trauma of the cervical spine

The cervical spine is located at the top of the spine. Injuries to the cervical spine are very rare and can lead to significant long-term damage.

The cervical spine is located at the top of the spine. Injuries to the cervical spine are very rare and can lead to significant long-term damage.It is surrounded by seven vertebrae and protects the human spinal cord. The most common cervical spine injury symptoms that a patient may experience most often are inability to breathe without assistance, inability to speak, numbness and loss of sensation just under the injured area, paralysis in the legs, and inability to control bowel function and get dressed.
Unfortunately, the truth behind spinal cord injury is that there is no way to resist spinal cord injury at any level.Cervical spinal cord injury is one of the most serious and serious spinal injuries, and the patient has a long way to recover from it.
There are early treatments for this type of injury that include stabilizing the neck and preventing further injury and trauma, regulating respiratory function, and preventing complications such as blood clots and urinary retention. A patient who suffers from a cervical spine injury should have a good level of mental health as it is directly related to physical health.The spinal cord sends messages to all parts of the body from the brain. The person may feel pain because messages are sent from the spinal cord. If the injury is closer to the neck, then paralysis and severe pain are possible. There is no way to fix the damage to the spinal cord, but researchers are working hard to find new treatments that include prosthetics and nerve cell formation.
In the early stages of treatment, medical attention is essential to minimize the sequelae of neck and head injury.In emergency rooms, doctors place more emphasis on maintaining the patient’s ability to continue breathing and preventing shocks or heart attacks. A patient with a spinal cord injury will be under intensive care for treatment. After the first days, when the injury has stabilized, doctors have focused on preventing secondary problems that may arise, such as pressure sores, infections, blood clots, and muscle contractures.
Nothing to worry about as new technology has provided us with devices to help the patient feel more comfortable.With modern wheelchairs, people who suffer from spinal cord injuries are more active. In other cases, a computerized adaptation is performed for a patient who has limited function in the arm. These adaptations are very powerful tools and can range from simple to complex. Examples include key protection and voice recognition. In cases where the patient has difficulty walking, robotic gait training allows the patient to walk after a spinal injury.Recovery from a spinal cord injury can take anywhere from a week to about six months. It depends on the injury and the person – in some cases it took six months, and in some cases patients showed little improvement after one to two years.

Traumatic spinal cord injury
Trauma often causes permanent changes in the patient’s strength, sensation, and other body functions below the area of ​​injury. The ability to control limbs after a cervical spine injury is highly dependent on two factors: the location of the injury and the severity of the spinal cord injury. Urgent signs and symptoms of the spinal cord include severe back pain, pressure in the neck, difficulty walking, odd positioning and deformity of the neck or back. Spinal cord injuries are the result of damage to the vertebrae, ligaments and disc. Traumatic spinal injury can be caused by arthritis, cancer, infection, and degeneration of the spine.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries:
Falls: After age 65, most of the causes of spinal cord injury are from falls.Falls account for 31% of all spinal cord injuries.
Sports and recreational injuries. Sports activities account for 10% of spinal cord injuries.
Alcohol: About one in four spinal injuries are due to alcohol.
Diseases: Diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis and arthritis are other causes of spinal cord injury.
Injury to the cervical spine can lead to circulatory problems that range from low blood pressure when a person rises to swelling of the limbs.Blood circulation can change or even increase the risk of blood clots and pulmonary embolism.
Risk factors for spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injury is the result of an accident and can happen to anyone. Other factors that have a high risk of this injury include:
Being a man: A disproportionate number of men have suffered from a spinal injury. Women accounted for only 20% of head injuries in the United States.
Age from 16 to 30 years old.A person between the ages of 16 and 30 is more likely to suffer from traumatic spinal cord injury.
Risky behavior. Diving or playing sports without proper protection and safety equipment can lead to spinal cord injuries. Currently, the main cause of injuries is motor vehicle injuries for people under the age of 65.
Presence of bone or joint disease: Minor injuries can result from a spinal cord injury if the person has another medical condition that affects the bones or joints, such as arthritis.

Preventing Cervical Spine Injury
The following tips can reduce the risk of spinal injury.
Safe driving. One of the most common cases of such injuries is car accidents. Wear your seat belt every time you drive your car.
Before diving, check the depth of the pool: make sure the pool is deep and not shallow. Do not dive into a pool that is above ground and you don’t know its depth.
Avoid drunk driving: do not drive while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.Avoid getting into cars where the driver was drinking.

Symptoms of a spinal cord injury
A spinal cord injury has the following symptoms:
• Problem walking
• Loss of bladder control
• Problem with arm and leg movement
• Numbness and tingling in the extremities
• Headaches
• Pressure and stiffness in neck and back.
• abnormal head position

Neck fracture treatment
Another name for a neck fracture is “cervical fracture,” which is a fracture of one or more of the seven cervical bones in the spine.
A neck fracture is caused by an injury to the neck that is severe enough to fracture a vertebra. This injury can be caused by falls, car accidents, severe neck warps, and blows to the head and neck. Factors that increase the risk of a neck fracture include aging, osteoporosis, muscle loss, and violence.
A treatment option for a minor neck fracture involves the use of a neck collar or brace, which is used for minor neck fractures and lasts up to 8 months.This allows only minimal movement, and surgery uses plates and wires to connect broken bones and hold them in place for healing. The entire recovery period depends on the type of injury, whether permanent or minor. A broken neck can result in a person being hospitalized for days or even weeks, although this period may even be expended depending on the type of fracture and surgery. If the fracture is minor and the spine is intact, in some cases, patients can wear braces and, on the advice of a doctor, rest and recover at home.The patient may take pain medication to soothe pain, attend physical therapy, use a pillow with an appropriate height, and apply a cold compress to help with swelling.
The spinal cord and neck are very delicate and play a very important role in our life. The spinal cord is the sender of messages to parts of the body and allows a person to move. Avoid activities that are dangerous and may cause injury and fracture of the spinal cord and neck. There are no guarantees as to when the patient will recover, as this greatly depends on the severity of the fracture and the area.Spinal cord injuries are of two types: one with paralysis of the lower body, called paraplegia, and another with paralysis below the neck, which includes the arms and legs, called quadriplegia.
More information on spinal cord injury and neck injury can be found on the Monib Health website and is available to everyone.

90,000 Treatment of injuries of the cervical spine in children in Krasnoryask

Natal trauma of the cervical spine.What is behind this diagnosis? What is the threat? And why is it important to carry out an ultrasound of the cervical spine as early as possible.

It is not surprising that in the first year of life, the child’s condition and development are closely monitored by a pediatrician and narrow specialists, because it is during this period that the child acquires and develops important skills, and so that nothing prevents the child from growing up healthy, it is important not to miss planned visits to doctors up to one year (at the age of 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months) . And if there is any pathology, then identify it as early as possible and eliminate the causes.Various laboratory and instrumental examinations help us in this. Along with routine (mandatory) examinations (such as ultrasound of the brain, abdominal cavity, heart, hip joints), parents need to remember the importance of ultrasound of the cervical spine (doctors often overlook this examination for some reason). Natal injuries of the cervical vertebrae are often encountered in neurological practice.

So let’s start!

The human cervical spine is the thinnest, most mobile and sensitive part. In the fetus, it is even more tender. For this reason, any forceful bending, stretching, or twisting can cause injury.

The term “natal” means that the injury was sustained during childbirth. Below are examples by which this or that damage to the cervical spine could occur.

During childbirth, the following types of cervical spine injuries occur:

– Rotational injury
– Distraction injury
– Flexion-compression injury

Rotational injury to the cervical spine occurs when obstetricians help the baby move through the birth process …Manipulations are carried out with hands or obstetric forceps. Rotational movements are performed by the head of the child, which can lead to subluxation of the atlas (first cervical vertebra), damage to the articulation of the first and second vertebrae. Possible displacement of the atlas and narrowing of the spinal canal, accompanied by compression of the spinal cord.

When a large fetus is formed, in some cases during natural childbirth, obstetricians are forced to apply excessive efforts. This is fraught with distraction injuries: separation of the vertebral bodies from the discs, rupture of ligaments in the cervical spine and damage to the spinal cord.

Flexion-compression injuries most often occur during rapid labor, especially if the fetus is large. The child’s head meets resistance while moving along the birth canal, because of this, there may be compression fractures of the vertebral bodies.

Even a small natal trauma cannot go unnoticed, regardless of the severity, the trauma will have its consequences. Damage to the cervical spine always affects the well-being of the baby, his behavior, the state of his nervous system.


  • heart rhythm disturbance;
  • muscle hypotension;
  • cyanosis of the nasolabial triangle;
  • concern;
  • sluggish sucking;
  • frequent and profuse regurgitation of the “fountain”

On examination you can find:

  • lengthening or shortening of the neck;
  • Tension of the muscles of the neck and occiput;
  • swelling of the cervical muscles;
  • torticollis

And if you do not pay attention to this in time and do not start treatment, the problem by itself will not go away, and the consequences can be unpredictable.

Sometimes there are no obvious consequences of an injury. This does not mean that the child is completely healthy. Injury to the cervical spine directly affects the blood supply to the brain. Due to the violation of the blood supply, the process of delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the cells of the brain becomes more difficult, which in turn can lead to hypoxic brain damage, as a result of which the baby may lag behind in development.

Some consequences generally appear only closer to preschool and school age.At that time, very few people associate them with the injury received at birth. Consequences such as delayed speech and / or psychomotor development, and at an older age, headaches, scoliosis, vegetative-vascular dystonia, increased blood pressure, hypotension appear. Also, the trauma of the cervical spine leaves its imprint on the mental health of the child.

Entering school, such children may experience learning problems, they are both inhibited and hyperactive, which does not in the best way affect their communication with others, poor memory, low concentration of attention, decreased motivation for the educational process. Poor studies and behavioral disorders lead to a decrease in self-esteem and further exacerbate negative processes in the nervous system.

  • If a newborn has a natal CS injury, the first and most important measure is neck fixation.
  • In case of dislocation, before fixing the neck, the orthopedist must set the cervical vertebrae in place. Fixation is carried out using a special method of swaddling, when the neck is enclosed in a hard cotton-gauze roll. Swaddling in this way should be at least 2-3 weeks.
  • Also, the doctor may prescribe wearing a Shants collar. It is necessary to select such a collar strictly individually, focusing on the weight and volume of the baby’s body. An improperly fitted collar can only aggravate the problem of the cervical spine. 3-4 weeks after the start of treatment, the next stage begins, which is aimed at restoring muscle tone and normalizing the functions of the nervous system. At this stage, massage, various baths, physiotherapy (electrophoresis) are performed.

Similar courses of rehabilitation therapy in the first year of life should be carried out 2-3 times.It is possible to be registered with a pediatric neurologist and orthopedist for a long time, depending on how successful the recovery is.

How to quickly relieve pain from cervical muscle strain

There are times when you wake up in the morning and feel severe neck pain. This can happen to anyone, and in most cases it is a result of stretching the neck muscles.

Stretching of the muscles of the cervical spine is most often accompanied by severe pain and discomfort.Sometimes the pain can be so severe that the person cannot even turn their head. The movements are stiff and limited.

Stretching should not be taken lightly. It can be quite a problem. You need to be aware of the possible consequences.

Here’s how to quickly relieve pain from this type of sprain.

First of all, it is worth noting that the stretching of the cervical muscles, in most cases, is associated with an uncomfortable position during sleep. This happens most often during the winter and spring seasons.

As a rule, a stretching of the cervical muscles occurs for the following three reasons:

First, as a result of intense loads for a long time, for example, working for a long time sitting at a table, playing electronic games for a long time on the phone or at the computer etc. In addition, intense exercise can cause annoying damage to the neck or shoulder muscles.

Second, uncomfortable sleeping position, unsuitable pillow height or mattress rigidity, etc.d.

Third, the neck and shoulders were supercooled during sleep.

So how can you quickly relieve pain? We recommend two methods:

The first one is warming up

as an option – take a hot bath.

You can warm it up by attaching a hot towel to your neck for about 20 minutes. Do this warming up 3-5 times a day.This will have a beneficial effect on blood circulation and reduce the discomfort caused by muscle spasm.

If the situation is more serious, and the neck is a little swollen, then in the first 48 hours we advise you to apply something cold, and only when the swelling subsides, warm it up.

The second – with the help of drugs

Stretching of the cervical muscles can cause inconvenience to any person. It requires timely treatment and special exercises to fully restore the functionality of the cervical spine.Therapy should be carried out under the supervision of the attending physician.

The first manifestation of cervical muscle strain is muscle spasm. In theory, taking pills to reduce muscle tone should be effective. In this case, it is better not to self-medicate and consult a doctor. The doctor will certainly recommend a medication based on your specific situation.

It is also permissible to take anti-inflammatory and pain relieving medication. It should not be forgotten that any medication should be taken under the guidance of a physician.

How to prevent annoying damage to the cervical muscles?

Stretching the muscles of the cervical spine has a major negative impact on daily life. It causes sharp or aching pain, sluggishness, and causes discomfort throughout the body. So it is necessary to pay due attention to the cervical vertebra and make efforts to prevent diseases of the cervical-collar zone.

During sleep, in the supine position, the neck should be on a pillow and not suspended.Attention should be paid to the height of the pillow and its rigidity. There are special orthopedic pillows that can easily solve a lot of sleep quality problems and relieve neck muscle tension. In your free time from work and sleep, we recommend doing physical exercises aimed at relieving discomfort in the neck area. It also improves blood circulation, relieves muscle spasm and increases neck flexibility.

Of course, no one can fully insure themselves against injuries, but everyone can follow the basic rules that help prevent injuries.Before doing any physical exercise, you must thoroughly warm up the muscles of the cervical spine. Regular exercise will help strengthen your muscles and ligaments.

In case of neck muscle strain, to relieve pain, we recommend a set of simple exercises.

Exercises are performed slowly, without jerking. Increase the number of approaches gradually. Over time, the neck will become more flexible, but this will not happen immediately.

• Starting position: sit on a chair. On inhalation – tilt your head to the right, fix it for 5-7 seconds, on exhalation – return to the starting position.Then tilt to the left.

• Sit on a chair, relax your whole body, lower your arms along the body. The head is slowly tilted back. Locks for 5 seconds and returns to its original position. Repeat 9-10 times.

• Next, tilt your head forward. In this case, one should try to press the chin to the chest as much as possible. Return to starting position. Repeat 10 times.

• Sitting on a chair, perform left-right head turns with maximum amplitude.Perform 10 turns in each direction.

90,000 Sprains: what are injuries, how to treat them, principles of first aid


Probably does not exist in the nature of a person who has never faced sprains in his life. This is a rather unpleasant phenomenon, which, like any other disease, without proper timely treatment is fraught with a chain of consequences.

We talked with orthopedic traumatologist Artem Tereshchenko , who shed light on the types of ligament injuries and methods of their effective treatment.

Traditionally, let’s start with a brief excursion into medical theory.

What are ligaments and what are they called sprains?

Ligaments are strong movable joints of the bone foundation of the body, the main purpose of which is to fix the bones in the joints. The so-called micro-tears in the ligaments are considered a frequent occurrence. It is precisely such metamorphoses in the structure of tissues that are called stretching.

In the first place in the top of the most vulnerable to stretching areas is the ankle joint.But, as you understand, other parts of the body can also be damaged under unfavorable circumstances – the neck, phalanges of the upper and lower extremities, knees, etc.

“The concept of ‘sprain’ is actually very cumbersome. In short, stretching can occur as a result of injuries of various kinds or intense physical exertion, ” explains the orthopedist.

An important aspect. Very often, the patient is not fully aware of the nature of his injury, mistaking a serious injury for a mild sprain.Do not self-medicate. After the examination, only a qualified narrow-profile specialist will be able to give you an accurate diagnosis and get rid of unwanted complications, among which there is even a disability. Treat your body with proper care and attention.

What are the types of sprains?

In medical practice, there are three degrees of severity of sprains:

  1. Light stretching.

  2. Medium stretch.

  3. Ligament rupture.

How do the above degrees differ? Mild to moderate sprains are characterized by acute pain, in which the patient can, after all, move. These types are also connected under the name “ligament tear”.

A third degree sprain is, directly, a rupture of the ligaments, in which movement is excluded due to severe paroxysmal pain.

How do you know if you have a sprain?

How to recognize a sprain in the early stages?

Let’s list the main symptoms of the injury in question:

  • you unsuccessfully stumbled, fell or put a heavy load, for example, on your knee and heard a slight crunch;

  • the affected joint is swollen and sore;

  • you can bend the joint, but with great difficulty, while experiencing pain.

“The main symptoms of sprains are pronounced pain, comparable to the sensations of a fracture, edema and subcutaneous hematomas. Pain during stretching has a specific character: it decreases with physical exertion, but as soon as a person rests a little, the pain syndrome returns with renewed vigor ”, – emphasizes Artem Viktorovich.

Under what circumstances do you need to urgently go to the doctor?

You shouldn’t joke with bundles. If you suspect you have a sprain or, worse, a rupture – do not delay, visit a doctor.

A mild form of sprain allows restoration at home in bed rest. But only a specialist can make an accurate diagnosis.

There are a number of factors that require immediate medical attention.

Call an ambulance if:

  • you are not able to move the damaged joint and even load it minimally;

  • the site of the injury is very disturbing, the pain does not subside for a long time;

  • the place of injury and the injured area lose sensitivity, become numb;

  • you have a large, purple subcutaneous hematoma that is significantly swollen;

  • you found that the joint moved out of place, deformed.

“You should always see a doctor in order to exclude tearing marginal fractures in the places where the ligaments are attached. The consequences of untimely medical care can be long-term, poorly controlled pain syndrome, nonunion of ligaments and pathological mobility (the limb is mobile in the absence of a joint) “, – the orthopedist advises.

How to treat a sprain?

The main rule is no self-medication.It is worth remembering that a sprain is a partial rupture of the ligaments, in which you should not rely on your grandmother’s advice and the strength of the plantain.

If you did not find the emergency symptoms described in the previous block of material in your individual situation, most likely you have a slight sprain. But it won’t hurt to see the doctor.

Ligament sprain as such is unpretentious in treatment and most often goes away on its own within a few days.

In order to quickly achieve the recovery effect and feel within the normal range, experts advise adhering to the basic principles of RICE therapy, which consists of four points: [Official source]

  • Rest – rest. It is important to keep the damaged joint in a state of rest. Refuse movement and stress during the treatment.

  • Ice – ice. It’s no secret that in cases of various bruises, ice, like no other, will help eliminate swelling and reduce the level of pain. Use ice compresses until they are shown to you. 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening is enough to relieve your general condition.

  • Compress – compression.Don’t forget about compression garments and an elastic bandage. It will help fix the damaged area in the correct position and prevent swelling from growing. The main thing is not to overdo it with a tightening, so as not to disrupt the blood flow.

  • Elevate – rise. Once you have an injury, lift the affected area above the level of your heart. Such manipulation also helps to reduce edema.

If your injury is unbearable, take an over-the-counter pain reliever (such as ibuprofen) first.

After a few days, a light massage of the damaged area can be introduced into the treatment regimen in order to restore mobility. This is best done under the guidance of a physical therapist.

Regarding the recovery time – everything is individual here. For some, the treatment takes several days, while for others it takes more than one month. It depends on the severity of the injury and the individual’s ability to regenerate.

First aid for sprains

It is best to see a specialist at the first symptoms of a stretch.But if at the time of the injury you do not have the opportunity to get to the medical facility, follow these recommendations:

  1. Ensure yourself a state of complete rest, never try to move the damaged area.

  2. To avoid severe swelling of the affected area, raise the limb above the level of the heart.

  3. Use cold compresses, thanks to which the swelling also disappears faster and the pain is dulled.Apply ice to the injury for 15 minutes, take a half hour break – and so on in a circle. For the greatest effect, it is recommended to provide the cold supply for 2 hours.

  4. Fix the damaged joint with an elastic bandage or compression garment.

  5. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to relieve pain. Other medicinal products should only be used as directed by a qualified healthcare professional!

Stretching and Sports

If at some point after waking up the thought came to your head to abruptly introduce prolonged strength training into your life – the next day you can feel all the “delights” of the body’s response.To avoid stretching while playing sports, try to exercise gradually.

If you have the most severe dyspnea – do not think to lie down. According to the doctor, the best treatment in such cases is a light exercise, followed by a hot bath with sea salt.

After the bath, drinking a mug of strong hot tea is also recommended.

Why sprains are also called “runner’s disease”

Athletes who run are most susceptible to diseases such as tendonitis (injury or rupture) of the Achilles tendon, sprained ankle and femoropatellar arthrosis (pain, swelling, friction and crunching sensations in the knee). Why it happens?

Poor-quality footwear, too much sports load, significant risks of improper positioning of the feet on the running surface lead people who regularly go in for sports to various kinds of joint damage.

By the way, according to the orthopedist, today injuries sustained during sports are in the lead.

The best treatment for any disease is its timely prevention. Do not overload your body, wear comfortable shoes and always be careful and careful! All health!

Many people experience this symptom at least once in their life.There is weakness in the arms and legs , the muscles become flaccid and disobedient, there is a feeling of constant fatigue. Why it happens? Read the blog Medmarket Pharmacy24.

Do you know why the veins are blue and the blood is red? Or why in some people they are strongly visible under the skin, while in other people the veins are practically invisible? Read about this amazing paradox in our new article in .

apteka24.ua is the first online pharmacy you can trust.

apteka24.ua provides comprehensive and reliable information on medicine, health and well-being, however, only your doctor can make a diagnosis and choose a treatment method! Self-medication can be unsafe for your health. apteka24.ua is not responsible for possible negative consequences arising from the use of information posted on the site by apteka24.ua users.

90,000 with a whip to the neck. Frequent trauma of townspeople | Healthy life | Health


A typical situation for a whiplash injury is hard braking and equally sharp acceleration of the vehicle. The seat belts at this moment hold the body in the seat, and it makes a jerk with the car, while the neck falls behind the head and receives a kind of blow from a whip. This can damage the muscles and ligaments of the upper spine. But whiplash can also be obtained when playing sports, when falling and hitting. In European countries, such an injury occurs with a frequency of 300 cases per 100 thousand of the population per year, and its number is constantly increasing. In the United States, it affects 1 million people every year. The increase in the speed characteristics of the car and violation of the rules of the road, as well as the psychosocial instability of the participants in this movement, increase this risk.

More often this injury occurs in older drivers who have already had neck or back pain. Women suffer more often – perhaps because they do not occupy the driver’s seat, from which it is easier to adjust their movements, but the seat next to the driver, go behind.

Where did that come from?

The danger of whiplash injury is that at the very minimum degree of damage, the patient has no complaints, at the first moment he simply does not notice it. But this does not mean that nothing happened. Those who shake more thoroughly develop pain and restriction of movement in the neck, then there may be constant muscle tightness on one or both sides, numbness of the skin in the neck region, and dizziness. The pain can appear both immediately after the incident, and after a few days, while its intensity increases.Blurred vision may occur when turning the head, observing moving objects, reading. The most severe degree of injury is a fracture or dislocation in the cervical spine. Sometimes doctors call this injury an acute sprain of the neck, the consequences of which disappear on their own or after treatment in six months. If, after six months, the painful sensations do not disappear, then the disease is designated as whiplash syndrome.

Alarm for a reason

With a sharp throwing back of the head in an accident, cracks and microfractures of the articular processes of the vertebrae, damage to the ligaments may occur.They are not visible on x-rays. Therefore, an X-ray is not enough to make a diagnosis. It is necessary to conduct a CT scan, MRI, possibly an ultrasound of the soft tissues of the neck, consult a neurologist. Often, a whiplash injury is accompanied by a head injury, which is even more difficult to diagnose.

Doctors have noticed that whiplash injury increases the level of anxiety, a tendency to suspicion and depression in patients, and these conditions themselves lead to a delay in rehabilitation. Therefore, for any discomfort after such an injury, it is better not to pull, but to see a doctor.

Without laziness and fear

With such injuries, doctors recommend starting physical activity as early as possible, restoring the usual movements in the cervical spine. This can be physiotherapy exercises under the supervision of a kinesitherapist, preferably with the connection of functional biofeedback to track how muscles and ligaments respond to exercise. Cold treatment, magnetotherapy, bioresonance therapy, static current massage are also useful. Sometimes they take analgesics for the first weeks.Botulinum toxin treatment is also used, although many doctors note that its effectiveness is low.

Psychotherapy is also very important, preparing the patient to enter an active life and reducing the feeling of fear and anxiety.

How to strengthen your neck muscles and protect them from injury

No one is insured against accidents, but we can make sure that their consequences are less painful. Do a simple set of exercises daily.

  1. Starting position – lying on the floor. There is a rigid roller under the neck. Turn your head all the way to the right, then to the left. If you experience discomfort in the muscles of the neck, this exercise can be omitted.
  2. Starting position – sitting on a chair, your back is straight, you can lean slightly on the back of the chair, hands on your knees. Do deep nods, slowly but trying to achieve maximum amplitude. If you experience pain in the cervical spine, do not tilt your head too much.Two minutes of warm-up is enough.
  3. The starting position is the same. Roll your head left and right. Try to reach your shoulder with your chin. If you feel discomfort, limit the rotation to two minutes, then rest.
  4. The starting position is the same. Tilt your head to the right and left, trying to reach your shoulder with your ear. But don’t lift your shoulder towards you. Only slight tension should occur in the muscles and joints.
  5. Starting position – standing as straight as possible against the wall.Take a deep breath while raising your arms at the same time, while trying to straighten your neck and back even more. After maintaining the pose for 15–20 seconds, exhale and relax. Repeat 7-10 times depending on fatigue.

See also:


Disease in which the ligament supporting the cervical spine becomes hard like bone.

A longitudinal ligament exists to maintain mobility between the vertebral bodies and maintain the integrity of the spine.The ligament that sits in the front of the spine is called the anterior longitudinal ligament, and the ligament that sits at the back of the spine is called the posterior longitudinal ligament. The posterior longitudinal ligament firmly hardens and becomes thick like bone, causing pressure on the spinal cord as it passes through the spinal canal, resulting in a neurological disorder. This occurs mainly in the cervical spine, and less often in the thoracic spine.


Mild pain around the neck and numbness in the arms and legs.

  • 1. There is pain in the back and the ongoing pain creates an unpleasant condition.
  • 2. The posterior longitudinal ligament hardens and is severely deformed, and presses on the nerves, so chest pain appears.
  • 3. Numbness and pain in the legs, impaired sensitivity, muscle weakness, resulting in a violation of gait, paralysis of the limbs, dysfunction of the pelvic organs.
  • 4. In most cases, patients are unaware of the presence of the disease.Symptoms come on suddenly after an injury.


The hereditary factor plays an essential role.

  • The causes of ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament are unknown, but it is believed that the hereditary factor is the main one. The risk of morbidity between family members is high, so it is assumed that the main cause of the disease is hereditary and racial elements. Also, this disease can occur other diseases such as trauma, diabetes mellitus, obesity, immune disorders, ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Treatment

    Since the disease is chronic and slow progresses, early diagnosis is essential.

    Diagnostics: X-ray, myelogram of the spinal cavity, CT, MRI

    Non-surgical treatment

    • lying down
    • Drug treatment
    • Wearing an orthosis on the cervical spine

    Surgical treatment

    Surgical treatment is necessary if the patient has myelopathy, gait disorder, fine motor hand disorders

    90,000 Child’s sprain

    Children are very mobile and emotional.It is difficult to keep them in one place, they are constantly in motion, especially when walking. As a result, there are frequent injuries, fractures and sprains. Most often, children suffer from damage to the ligaments of the knee joint and ankle. It is impossible to determine the nature of such an injury based on external signs, therefore, the child must be shown to a traumatologist or surgeon.

    Symptoms of sprain in a child

    At the time of the sprain, the child experiences severe pain. This is due to the fact that the ligaments that strengthen the joints have a large number of blood vessels and nerve fibers.Parents do not need to panic, despite the loud crying and crying of the baby. If crying does not stop and tissue edema appears, you should consult a doctor. Children can get not only an injury to the limbs, but also a rupture with displacement of the vertebrae, a sprain of the neck ligament. The following symptoms may appear:

    If the leg or foot is sprained, the child cannot move due to severe pain. When the neck ligaments are sprained, children cannot move their heads, complain of headaches and numbness in the fingers.

    There is swelling at the site of the stretch, the swelling occurs immediately or increases gradually.

    A hematoma occurs a few hours after the injury. A bruise can occur in a day.

    In the area of ​​the hematoma, the skin becomes hot, the child has a general malaise.

    When the ligament is completely torn, excessive joint mobility is observed, if a sprain occurs, the baby tries not to step on the injured joint, sparing it.

    First aid for sprains

    If a sprain is suspected, parents should give the child complete rest. Something cold must be applied to the hematoma. This could be an ice warmer wrapped in a towel. You can keep the cold for no more than 15 minutes. The joint can be bandaged with a loose elastic bandage. After the child calms down, you need to see a doctor.

    Treatment for sprains

    Therapy usually lasts about ten days.First, pain relieving ointments, gels, and anti-inflammatory drugs are used. In case of a complex sprain or rupture of the ligaments, the doctor may suggest hospitalization of the child. As soon as the swelling subsides and the soreness goes away, special exercises will be prescribed, which will need to be performed under the supervision of a physical therapy specialist.

    It is difficult to avoid falls and injuries in childhood. But every parent can reduce the risk of their occurrence. It is necessary to tell the child about how to behave during active games on the playground.And in order to strengthen the ligamentous apparatus, the child is shown moderate physical activity.