Neck Strain/Sprain

What is a neck strain/neck sprain?

• A neck strain is a forceful stretching tearing of the small muscles or tendons that run close to the bones in the neck or of the larger neck muscles that can be felt through the skin.

• A neck sprain is a forceful stretching or partial tearing of the ligaments that connect the bones of the neck.

What are some typical causes of neck strains/sprains?

• The most common causes are forced movements of the head and neck, as in whiplash injuries or in contact sports.

• Other common causes include being in an awkward position for prolonged periods (sleeping, computer/smart phone use)

What are some treatments?

• Rest – Avoid painful positions, you may have to change your sleeping position/pillow

• Ice – 15-20 minutes every 3-4 hours for a few days

• Over the counter medication – acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen, or naproxen (Aleve) for the first few days may be helpful (do not take for more than 7 days without discussing with your healthcare provider).

• Heat – After the first few days alternating heat and cold or using heat exclusively may be helpful

Osteopathic manipulation