Neck Sprains: Painful but Treatable

Posted on Thursday, May 4, 2017 in Orthopedics

So, your neck hurts a little. What to do? You may have a neck sprain, a common ailment also known as whiplash.

At Signature Medical Group, our orthopedic and sports medicine experts are adept at treating neck sprains, as well as other injuries to your joints, bones and muscles.

You can often see us the same day you make an appointment. And we offer convenient hours at night and on weekends.

Coastal Orthopedics describes a neck sprain as an excessive stretching or tearing of the ligaments supporting the seven bones of the spine that make up the neck.

The injury is often triggered by a sudden movement that bends the neck beyond its natural range, during incidents such as:

  • A motor vehicle accident
  • A hard fall
  • A blow to the head or neck
  • Playing contact sports

Symptoms of neck sprain include:

  • Delayed pain after injury
  • Pain that worsens with movement
  • Neck stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle spasms in the shoulders
  • Numbness in the arms or hands

A neck sprain can typically be treated with rest, ice and pain relief medications. Ice is most effective when applied during the first two days after injury, several times a day for 15 to 30 minutes each time. Once the initial pain and/or swelling has subsided, heat application can ease the cramped muscles in the neck.

To speed up your recovery, it is best to visit a Signature Medical Group orthopedic specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

Your doctor may recommend wearing a neck collar during the day and placing a rolled-up towel beneath your neck at night to support your head and allow the ligaments to heal. Other solutions may include massage or aerobic exercise.

If your neck hurts, don't wait. Call today for an appointment with a Signature Medical Group specialist. We'll get you started on the road to healing.