A neck strain involves excessive stretching or tearing of the neck muscle. A neck strain occurs when the head and neck is hit or moving in a forceful manner in contact sports or whiplash in falls or vehicular accidents. Oftentimes, the injury occurs from an awkward position while sleeping or poor posture while working in a desk.
What are the signs?
Generally, the usual indication of a neck strain is neck pain. Other signs that might be present include:
- Discomfort when moving the head sideways or upwards and downwards
- Spasm and tenderness of the neck muscles
- Pain right after the injury or there is a delay for a few hours or days after
- Stiff neck
- Unusual sensations such as pins-and-needles or burning
Management of a neck strain
Generally, the doctor will suggest stretching and strengthening exercises along with other forms of physical therapy to promote healing.
In most cases, the pain often settles after a few weeks with self-care measures, but some cases might take some time to recuperate.
Some of the measures to relieve the discomfort include:
- At first, application of an ice pack that has been covered with a towel or cloth on the site several times throughout the day.
- Provide an over-the-counter pain medication as instructed by the doctor or based on the dosage instructions on the packaging.
- Moist heat can also be used to promote the relaxation of the muscles as well as allow easier neck movement.
In addition, you can prevent a neck strain by making sure that the neck muscles are flexible and strong.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on a neck strain is for learning purposes only. Learn more about the causes and how it is treated by taking a standard first aid course with Vancouver First Aid.