A real pain the neck isn’t funny. It disrupts your sleep, it causes you to lose focus and it never lets up. When you have a cervical sprain, you may not be able to find a comfortable position during the day or night. And it ultimately degrades your quality of life. Seek medical treatment from the experienced pain management specialists at Redefine Healthcare in northern New Jersey. These professionals not only get the diagnosis right, they have the latest medical technology to determine the best treatment for your particular condition. Don’t continue to suffer. Call the office location nearest you for a consultation.
A cervical sprain is neck pain that follows extreme neck movement, such as whiplash from a trauma such as a car accident or fall. Inside your neck is the cervical spine, consisting of seven vertebrae and an intricate system of tendons, ligaments, muscles and nerves. A ligament is a tough connective tissue that links bones to each other and provides stability. A tendon connects bones and muscles.
Neck pain and back pain are common complaints, but there are many different causes. A cervical sprain means there’s been an injury to a ligament, while a strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon. Other possible causes of neck pain include a pinched nerve, degenerative disc disease and arthritis. To obtain an accurate diagnosis and treatment for neck pain, your best option in New Jersey is to consult the specialists at Redefine Healthcare.
Causes of Cervical Sprains
Stress on the cervical spine can damage the soft tissues in your neck. An accident or activity can trigger the neck to move beyond its normal range of motion, causing a sprain. These types of activities include:
- Trauma from a car accident
- Falling from a height onto your head or neck, even on soft ground
- A sudden increase in physical activity, especially without warming up
- A physical assault to your neck or head
- Excessive over-the-head motions, such as in certain sports or occupations
If you suffer whiplash, a sudden head jerking motion, you may not always notice an obvious injury. Amusement park rides and contact sports may also cause head jerking. You can hurt your neck muscles by remaining in an uncomfortable position for a long period of time or sleeping with a pillow that’s too firm or high.
Symptoms of a Cervical Sprain
When you have a cervical sprain, you may have neck pain and muscle spasms in your neck. Other symptoms of a cervical sprain include:
- Pain in the back of your neck that worsens with movement
- Headaches, usually in the back of your head
- Tingling, numbness or weakness in your arms and hands
- Stiffness and a decreased range of motion in your neck
Your pain may become apparent only a day or so after an injury, rather than being noticeable immediately. If you have a cervical sprain, you may have trouble sleeping or difficulty concentrating. You may also have shoulder pain and muscle spasms.
Treatments for a Cervical Sprain
To diagnose a cervical sprain, your doctor tests your neck for tenderness and measures your range of motion. Following a medical history, where you can mention any accidents you’ve had or when your neck pain began, a thorough specialist may order x-rays or other imaging studies. Minor neck injuries often heal with a conservative approach to treatment, so your doctor may recommend:
- Ice applications. Apply an ice pack several times a day for 15 to 30 minutes for the first two or three days after a neck injury.
- Over-the-counter pain medications. Aspirin or ibuprofen can help to relieve minor pain and swelling.
- Muscle relaxants. Your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants to ease any muscle spasms so your neck can start to heal.
- Gentle stretching. Doing gentle stretching exercises helps increase your range of motion, as long as they don’t cause any pain.
- Physical therapy. Working with a physical therapist strengthens your neck area and can even prevent future injuries.
Avoid any positions or activities that worsen your pain. Massage may help to relieve pain that isn’t severe. Your doctor may advise you to wear a cervical collar to support your head and give the ligaments time to fully heal. Follow your doctor’s instructions to heal faster.
New Jersey Pain Management Experts
If you have more than minor neck pain, don’t wait before consulting a medical professional. Neck injuries can lead to serious complications, so visit Redefine Healthcare for a careful evaluation of your condition. By addressing the source of your neck pain, whether it’s a sprain or something more serious, the best pain doctors in NJ take care of your pain.
The highly skilled pain management specialists in northern New Jersey are dedicated to helping you if you’ve had an injury or you’re living with degenerative ailments. Contact the practice today to schedule an appointment to find the cause of your pain and the best course of treatment for you. Don’t suffer neck pain when treatment is so close.