A neck strain occurring after an injury or accident which causes the head to whip backward or forward is known as whiplash. The sudden stop is hard on the neck muscles and tendons and can cause them to stretch and tear. Those who play sports are commonly affected by neck strains. These should also not be confused with neck sprains. Sprains tear ligaments, where strains affect the muscles and tendons, making them stretch. However, the conditions will be treated in relatively similar ways.
The pain associated with whiplash is usually too difficult to ignore and many people can’t simply wait for it to go away. Other signs or symptoms of a neck strain include:
Tightness in the neck
Headaches at the base of the skull which move to the forehead
Decreased range of motion
Muscles can feel knotted or hard
Moving the neck side to side or forward and backward is painful or very difficult
Neck injury pain usually occurs right away after the event. However, it can take a few hours or even days for the discomfort to show up or become noticeable.
Depending on how severe the sprain or neck strain is, the treatment can vary. However, basic treatment will include:
Manipulation- this will involve moving the affected joint in the area of restriction. Usually this is done slowly, but a short thrust can be used.
Various exercises- simple movements done while at Advanced Corrective Chiropractic and then continued at home can help ease the discomfort and help with range of motion. Stabilization and sensorimotor exercises can also be employed.
Muscle relaxation- this will involve muscle stretches to relieve muscle tension and gentle finger pressure can be used to relieve pain.
Lifestyle and ergonomic changes- Dr. Chad will also instruct you on how to perform daily activities with little strain to the body.
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