Cervical strain may be mild to start with but will become more intense if not treated. It is commonly caused by lousy posture but can also develop from a sudden significant injury such as whiplash. It usually gets better over time and with self-care (such as rest, heat or cold packs, pain relievers) if you suspect something more serious like a broken bone or structural problem that should be checked out by a medical professional.
What is Cervical strain?
Cervical strain is the injury that happens when your neck muscles are over-stretched or strained. This can happen if you bend your head forward or backward too quickly if you’re looking down at a desk for hours on end, or because of excessive coughing. Cervical strain is an injury to the cervical spine and its associated tissues, ligaments and nerves. It usually results in chronic neck pain, which gradually intensifies as time goes by without proper treatment. The cervical strain should be treated immediately to avoid serious complications such as spinal cord damage, nerve compression, muscle spasms and other neurological disorders resulting in permanent disability, including paralysis of arms/legs.
Risk factors associated with Cervical Strain
The pain might be mild to start with, but it will intensify if not appropriately treated. Neck strain is a similar condition, and it can occur when the muscles in the neck are over-stretched. This often happens due to poor posture or repetitive activities such as working at a computer for long periods. It is a type of neck pain.
Cervical spondylitis is another name for cervical arthritis that occurs as part of an infection or inflammation of the outer two joints on each side of your spine (the facet joints). Cervicogenic headache occurs when head pain is caused by some problem involving your neck.
Cervicogenic dizziness happens when you’re unable to fully control your balance because of problems involving your spine’s nerve roots, lig, or muscles – most often caused by a pinched nerve.
Cervical strain can result from an injury or trauma to your neck, or it can be caused by poor posture at work overtime, which may lead to prolonged stress on your muscles and ligaments. Cervical disc disease involves intervertebral discs degenerating in the cervical spine (upper part of the spinal column).
Cervical osteoarthritis occurs as you get older due to regular ageing changes in your bones and joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause cervical strain as your immune system becomes hyperactive and mistakenly attacks your tissue.
Cervical migraine is one of the primary headaches that affect pregnant women. A cervical rib can lead to C7 radiculopathy (C7 radiculopathy is when one of the cervical nerve roots in your spine becomes compressed).
Cervical myelopathy occurs when there’s spinal cord compression in the neck (the upper part of your spinal column), which results in weakness in the arms and legs.
Symptoms of Cervical Strain
The most common symptoms of cervical strain are back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, muscle spasms, headache, and trouble concentrating. This can affect your arm or hand with numbness, tingling, weakness, or pain. It is commonly associated with a neck injury that causes the muscles in your neck to overstretch, sprain, or tear.
If you suffer from cervical strain, you will notice the following signs and symptoms. These are:
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Pain in the shoulders
- Lower back pain
- Tingling sensation
Causes of cervical strain or Neck Strain
The following are the causes of Cervical strain or Neck strain:
- Cervical strain is the injury that can happen when your neck muscles are over-stretched or strained.
- Heavy weight lifting– Some people experience Cervical strain due to having lifted heavyweights, performing strenuous physical activity, or being involved in a car accident. Cervical strain can be diagnosed from an X-ray, MRI scan, and CT scan. Cervical strain should not be ignored or left untreated, and Cervical stress will only worsen if you leave it untreated.
- Wrong sitting posture
- Bad sleeping position
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
When you experience prolonged cervical strain, you are at risk for developing chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, and lower back. Cervical strain can also lead to headaches, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating. If left untreated, cervical strain can cause permanent damage to the muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the neck. Seeking prompt treatment for cervical strain is essential to avoid long-term pain and other complications.
Treatment of Cervical Strain
Treatment for Cervical strain involves a period of rest, relaxation, and time spent on exercises that will strengthen your neck muscles. Cervical wear might be prescribed to help relieve pain and stress on the neck. Cervical collars or corsets are also used to immobilize the neck and stabilize the spine.
Cervical traction can be used to treat Cervical strain caused by C7 radiculopathy, which is C7 radiculopathy is when one of the cervical nerve roots in your spine becomes compressed.
Continued treatment of Cervical strain includes medications such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to help reduce inflammation and lessen pain, muscular relaxers, and topical creams or patches. Cervical traction is used to treat Cervical strain caused by C7 radiculopathy (C7 radiculopathy is when one of the cervical nerve roots in your spine becomes compressed).
Muscle relaxants are often used to help reduce Cervical strain caused by C7 radiculopathy (C7 radiculopathy is when one of the cervical nerve roots in your spine becomes compressed). They work by blocking the impulses that cause muscles to contract. A few examples of muscle relaxants that can help reduce pain associated with Cervical strain are cyclobenzaprine, carisoprodol, and baclofen.
One of the best ways to decrease neck stiffness is doing stretching exercises. There are a few different stretches that you can do to help loosen up your neck muscles.
The first stretch is the chin tuck. To do this stretch, tuck your chin in towards your chest and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat five times.
The second stretch is the Neck Extension. To do this stretch, extend your head backward as far as possible and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat five times.
The third stretch is the Neck Flexion. To do this stretch, flex your head forward as far as possible and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat five times.
After you have completed the three stretches, repeat all of them.
Strengthening your neck muscles with Cervical Stretches will help decrease Cervical strain and avoid future Cervical injury. You can reinforce your C5, C6, C7, C8, C9, C10, C11, C12 in your neck by putting your hand behind your head and rotating your neck in a circular motion. You can also do Cervical Rotations by sitting on the edge of a chair and turning your Cervical spine for 30 seconds at a time.
Cold or heat pack
When reducing pain and swelling, using a cold or heat pack is a standard treatment option. Both hard and heat packs can effectively provide relief, but it’s essential to use them in the right way.
A cold pack should be used for inflammation, such as after an injury. The cold will help to reduce inflammation and swelling. It’s essential to keep the cold pack on for the recommended time, usually 15-20 minutes. Don’t apply a cold pack directly to your skin – wrap it in a towel first.
A heat pack should be used when there is muscle pain or stiffness. The heat will help to loosen up the muscles and increase blood flow. Heat packs are also effective in reducing Cervical pain.
Prevention tips for Cervical Strain
There are a few things you can do to help prevent Cervical strain.
The first is to make sure that you stretch your neck muscles before and after doing any activities. The second is to make sure that you are strengthening your neck muscles. The third is to avoid doing any activities that stress your neck. And finally, make sure to use a cold or heat pack when needed.
Cervical Rotations can be used to help strengthen Cervical muscles in your neck. To do Cervical Rotations, sit on the edge of a chair with your hands placed behind your head with your elbows out to the side. Cervical Stretches often cure C7 Cervical Injury or Cervical Traction performed by a physical therapist.
One of the best ways to prevent Cervical strain is using good posture. When you are sitting or standing, keep your back straight and your shoulders back. Don’t hunch over or slouch. If you are working on a computer, make sure to adjust the chair’s height so that your eyes are level with the top of the screen and your wrists are straight when you are typing.
You should keep track of your sleeping position to help you prevent neck strain.
Caring for your neck after cervical strain occurs
If you are already suffering from Cervical strain, the best thing to do is rest. When needed, you should also apply cold or heat packs – use a cold box for inflammation and a heat pack for Cervical stiffness. ,Cervical Stretches can cure C7 Cervical Injury or Cervical Traction performed by a chiropractor.
A neck collar can help to provide extra support while you’re doing any activities that put stress on your neck. This includes sitting at a desk or working on a computer for extended periods.
A neck brace can also help relieve the pain associated with Cervical strain. Suppose you are experiencing pain in your cervical spine due to a Cervical injury. In that case, it’s essential to take the proper precautions and use a cervical brace until the issue is resolved.
Acupuncture can reduce pain in Cervical C3 Cervical Injury and neck strain. You would need to find an acupuncturist qualified in C3 Cervical Injury treatment; the relief may be noticeable.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
TENS is a type of Cervical C3 Cervical Injury treatment which uses electrical current to reduce Cervical C3 Cervical Injury symptoms. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation therapy is most often used for pain relief, although it may also help with Cervical C3 Cervical Injury symptoms such as muscle spasms. This type of Cervical C3 Cervical Injury therapy can be done at home with or without the help of a physical therapist or chiropractor.
How to diagnose Cervical strain
- Cervical MRI reveals Cervical arthrosis, Cervical disc extrusions, Cervical nerve root compression, Cervical spondylotic deformity.
- Cervical MRI helps differentiate Cervicogenic headache from toxic exposure, for instance.
- Cervicogenic headache is characterized by neck pain alone, whereas toxic exposure will present with other symptoms like dizziness.
- Cervical MRI may show degenerative changes in the cervical spine, which make it challenging to diagnose neck pain
- Cervical X rays are taken when there is neck pain and cervical immobility.
- Cervical X-rays help diagnose Cervical spondylosis, Cervical fracture, Cervical osteophytes.
Cervical CT Scan
- Cervical CT scan helps diagnose Cervical disc herniation, Cervical tumour, Fractured Cervical spine.
- Cervical CT scan helps diagnose Cervical artery dissection, Cervical muscle strain.
- Cervical CT scan is helpful to rule out Cervical spine fracture.
Cervical myelogram makes Cervical ligament injuries visible, Cervical muscle strain or tear, Cephalad migration of the C3 vertebra.
Conclusion- Cervical Strain
Cervical strain can be diagnosed by Cervical MRI, Cervical X-rays, Cervical CT scans or Cervical myelogram. The most common causes of cervical stress are trauma to the neck and repetitive movements placing pressure on the neck muscles. Some risk factors for cervical strain include having a family history of arthritis in your spine, the poor posture often seen with people who work at desks all day long, obesity which puts more weight on the vertebrae disks in your back, leading to wear and tear over time.
If you’re experiencing any symptoms that may indicate Cervical Strain, like headaches or pain when turning your head one way. Still, not another, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately so you don’t worsen an already severe and painful injury. Cervical strain can be treated conservatively or surgically, both with good outcomes. A cervical Arthroplasty is a surgical option that restores Cervical spine movement by replacing damaged Cervical discs with prostheses. Cervical Spine Fusion is performed to treat Cervical degenerative disc disease, which causes Cervical Strain by removing Cervical discs and Cervical nerve root material causing Cervical Spasm. Cervical spine fusion surgery is performed to treat Cervical degenerative disc disease, which causes Cervical Strain by removing Cervical discs and Cervical nerve root material causing Cervical spasms.
Please let us know in the comment section if you or any of your known is suffering from Cervical strain or Neck pain and the treatment they are getting.