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Neck  Sprain

Home > Pain Conditions > Neck Sprain

About Neck Sprain

The neck consists of ligaments which are strong bands of connective tissues that have a certain amount of elasticity. This allows them to stretch with joint movement and return to their normal position. Ligaments in the neck connect the cervical vertebrae to each other.
A neck sprain or strain occurs when the ligaments or muscles in the neck are stretched too far and tears. When we fall or are involved in a car accident, the neck undergoes an acceleration deceleration motion, thereby causing the neck sprain as a whiplash injury.

What Causes Neck Sprain

A neck injury generally causes neck sprains or strains. Neck injuries can result from car accidents, direct blows to the head, or when a force lands on your head top. Sometimes neck sprain can occur without any force or sudden movement of the neck. Waking from an awkward posture during sleep can result in a neck sprain.

Neck sprains or strains of the neck can also result from:

  • Falling
  • Repetitive movements
  • Poor posture
  • Lifting a heavy object

Symptoms Of Neck Sprain

If you experience a neck sprain, the pain usually worsens with movement. Though not common, the pain might also radiate and present in the shoulders or upper back. Simple movements such as turning the neck from side to side or looking up and down can trigger intense sharp pain. This pain does not carry with it numbness or weakness of arms and hands.
In most cases, there will be neck stiffness that interferes with your ability to move your neck. The tightness is related to the pain of the neck sprain, making it difficult to look side to side or up and down.
Other Symptoms
Some may also experience dizziness, fatigue, numbness in the hands or arms and ringing in the ears.

A Message About Neck Pain

A neck sprain can be a very painful episode. It may feel so intense that patients may think it is a nerve compression or the cervical spine is fractured. This sprain can inhibit neck movement, causing patients to feel that there is nerve compression causing restrictions. Very often, patients may feel that the stronger the pain intensity, the more severe the condition. The trigger for neck sprain may range from severe impact whiplash injuries to innocuous non-activities related injuries like getting a neck sprain from sleeping in a poor posture.
A simple neck sprain if not treated correctly may progress to chronic neck pain such as Cervicalgia. Chronic neck pain is often mistaken as a bone spur, slipped disc, nerve compression and neck fracture. Chronic neck sprain may present as neck pain with persisting neck stiffness and tightness. Excessive massage or pressure manipulation can worsen some neck sprain, aggravating patients.

Diagnosing Neck Sprain

At Singapore Paincare clinics, our team of experienced primary care doctors and pain care specialists together with an orthopedic surgeon will evaluate your condition. Our doctors will also carry out physical examinations to look out for the above symptoms of neck sprains. MRI cervical spine may be needed to evaluate and exclude cervical spine causes of neck pain.

What Treatments Are Available for Neck Sprain?

Our goal at Singapore Paincare is to treat your pain with the least invasive option after accurately identifying the cause of your pain. Our approach to pain resolution focuses on the removal of pain generators via specialised injection and minimally invasive procedures. Combined with pharmacological treatments and cognitive and physical rehabilitative therapies, we help patients improve their functions and prevent pain from recurring.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Neck Sprain

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs
NSAIDs have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. These drugs help to relieve pain. The newer NSAIDs are more targeted at the COXII, reducing gastric side effects.
Coreflex Injection
Our Coreflex injection uses a mix of local anaesthetic, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant, which helps to break the pain cycle, reduce inflammation, and improve healing.
Myospan PRP injection
Injecting PRP can help reduce pain and swelling in the sprained muscle and bursa. Early treatment is important to prevent calcification and muscle dystonia from occurring. Once PRP is inside the injured neck muscles, it will attract and increase blood supply to the respective neck muscles, proliferative rejuvenation and improve recovery.
Physical Therapy
The therapy sessions by our specialists involve aerobic training to reduce pain. It also consists of isometric exercises to increase the motion of the joint. However, the intensity and type of exercise may differ based on the conditions of the patient.

Surgical Treatments for Neck Sprain

There is no surgical treatment for neck sprains. Non-surgical methods are generally effective but full recovery may take up to 3 months if the injury is severe.

How Can I Prevent Neck Sprain?

While you can’t fully protect yourself from any accidents that may cause a neck sprain, incorporating these strategies can help prevent neck sprain:

  • Regular exercises and stretches
  • Trying a different type of pillow
  • Maintaining a proper posture
  • Keeping yourself hydrated
  • Sleeping on your back

Get Your Pain Resolved

Send your enquiries or consult our pain experts today.

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