Neck strain is an irritation to tendons, muscles and ligaments in the upper back and neck area.
Neck strain can occur as the result of an abrupt movement by the neck such as whiplash.
Symptoms of neck strain can include any of the following:
- Neck pain
- Stiffness in the neck
- Abnormal sensations such as prickling or burning
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Memory loss
- Concentration impairment
- Trouble sleeping
To accurately diagnose your neck condition, your physician will perform a physical exam and obtain a detailed medical history. Your physician may also recommend x-rays, MRI, CT scan, EMG, bone scan or discography.
Treatment for neck strains can include any one or a combination of the following:
- Pain medications
- Use of a cervical collar
- Physical therapy
- Cervical traction
Why are neck strains so common in car accidents?
The main reason is that a vehicle’s headrest on the back of the seat limits the range of extension in your neck.
How long does a neck strain usually take to heal?
It varies for each patient. Some people have symptoms for a few hours while others can last up to six weeks or more.