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Team Resolve

February 5, 2022

Care And Recovery After Neck Sprain

Sometimes the most frustrating part about turning back to say hello is the sudden stretch in the ligament. More or less we all have experienced neck sprains and we know that it is not a big deal but it might lead to certain difficulties. This article provides clarity about neck sprains and what care should be taken to recover quickly and smoothly.

Table of Contents

What Is A Neck Sprain?

A neck sprain is the result of a stretched ligament or muscle in the neck. It can occur without any obvious injury. Often the most common cause of a neck sprain is sudden impact by any heavy object or snapping or turning of the neck quickly. 

One should not be worried about an acute neck sprain. It easily recovers on its own even without any intake of medicines.

It is often known as a ‘whiplash injury’.

Causes Of Neck Sprain

Neck sprains are generally not caused due to obvious reasons. But it can result due to certain side effects.

  1. Wrong sleeping postures or sleeping with a pillow that is high and firm.
  2. The quick snapping of the neck.
  3. Carrying heavy objects on one shoulder or one side of the body.
  4. Trauma can often result in stiffness of the neck and its movement.
  5. An extended period in an improper position.
  6. Working out in the wrong postures.
  7. Collision or fall.
  8. Injury.
  9. Repetitive strain injury in the same region.
  10. Surgery
  11. Side effects of bone fracture.

Symptoms Of A Neck Sprain

The common and most widely seen symptoms are listed below:

  1. Immediate effects are dizziness, ringing in the ear and fatigue. 
  2. Pain in the back of the neck.
  3. The pain often spreads to the shoulder and increases as the neck is moved.
  4. Difficulty in moving and rotating the head.
  5. Stiffness and numbness in and around the neck.
  6. Numbness in the hands and arms.
  7. Discomfort and increased irritability.
  8. Restricted movement range.
  9. Weakness of the region in and around the neck.
  10. Often swelling in the neck region.

What Can Be Done At Home

  1. Improving the sleeping posture: resting the neck in a comfortable and proper position.
  2. Not sleeping on a very high and firm pillow.
  3. Refraining from strenuous activities for a couple of days.
  4. Ice and heat therapy: some people like the feeling of cold on their strained area while others prefer the feeling of hot. Both ice and hot therapy can provide comfort to the pain, swelling and bruising. Ice or heat should be selected according to one’s preference. A layer should be kept in between the skin and the ice or heated substance. An application of 20 mins is enough to reduce the pain and provide comfort.
  5. Taking over the counter pain medication: taking oral painkillers like Advil, Aleve, Tylenol, etc. can help in case of extreme pain. Although one should contact a doctor before taking any medications. (note: it is advisable to contact a doctor before trying out the medications)
  6. Massage therapy: gently massaging the area can help in providing comfort.
  7. Physical therapy: if the pain doesn’t go away in a few days then one can opt for some physical therapy like gentle neck exercises.
  8. Take a good rest.
  9. Eat healthy and nutritious food
  10. Drinking plenty of water to keep the body hydrated.

Diagnosis And Treatment

Diagnosis

  1. A physical exam: can be performed to test any occurrence of muscle spasms. Range of motion, abnormalities and tenderness is also checked.
  2. In advanced diagnosis:
    1. X rays 
    2. Ct scans
    3. MRI
    Can be performed to assess any damages to muscles, soft tissues, tendons and ligaments. Advanced diagnosis is often performed to cross-check the result of physical exams.
  3. A medical history: of the patient can be taken if there is any link of the current symptoms to any family cases. information about lifestyle can also be collected like working environment, hobbies, playing sports, eating habits, etc. 

Treatment

  1. Initial treatment for neck strains can be performed at home which includes improving sleeping and working postures, sleeping on a suitable pillow, activity modification, heat and ice therapy and taking over the counter medicines. (note: it is advisable to contact a doctor before trying out the medications)
  2. For neck strains that don’t resolve after a few days on their own, therapies like physical therapies, massage therapies are performed.
  3. Manual manipulation: a trained physical professional can make manual changes to the posture of the neck and spine.
  4. Acupuncture: This treatment is done to target specific locations that are linked to causing the pain. Strategic placements of thin needles are done in specific locations to improve the balanced energy flow. Some patients experience pain relief after the treatment.
  5. Medications: medicines like muscle relaxants, pain killers can be prescribed on a short term basis. (note: it is advisable to contact a doctor before trying out the medications)

 

Recovery

Though neck strains can sometimes cause uncomfortable pain, it is not advisable to take complete bed rest and wear neckbands. All these activities can make the neck muscles weaker and delay the recovery process.

During the recovery process it is effective:

  1. To stay active: complete bed rest can cause more harm. So, it is better to be physically active and to indulge in light tasks. It is recommendable to avoid heavy tasks like lifting heavy weights, carrying heavy bags, etc.
  2. Starting slowly: when starting any new activity or sport, the process should be taken slowly and shouldn’t be thought to be achieved in one single go. The muscle strength builds up gradually and performing it at a manageable pace will ensure safety.
  3. Focusing on postures: focusing on working, sleeping, walking and eating postures.
  4. Taking breaks: taking breaks between repetitive activities or strenuous tasks.
  5. Getting a good sleep: getting a good sleep in proper posture on a low pillow can help in faster recovery.
  6. Gentle exercises: doing gentle neck exercises can help it to recover faster. One should keep in mind that they shouldn’t put extra pressure that they cannot bear. Or else, it will cause more harm to the already strained region.

 

It nearly takes about a week or two to completely recover from the sprain if properly treated. Also, the period of recovery can vary from person to person. It depends on many factors like how active they were, the extent of the sprain, what lifestyle they are leading, diet, sleeping schedule, working environment and many more.

 

If the pain doesn’t go away even after taking medications, one should surely contact their doctor for further examinations. Also, trying to return quickly to normal daily activities from a neck strain can increase the risk of getting it again. Sufficient recovery time should be given to rejuvenate the strained muscles.

 

One can also browse on youtube and see certain videos to know better what they are going through and what can be done, which will be beneficial for the neck sprain.

 

It is always better to ask for help. The family members and caregivers should keep an eye on it. It’s not that the person cannot perform any activities, but there might be cases when they can face difficulty in performing it. So, asking for help is better than worsening the condition.

Disclaimer

The above-mentioned remedies and medicines; are over the counter medicines and are effective in most cases. It is advisable to contact the doctor before taking any medications.

Why Should Someone Choose Resolve360?

  1. Resolve360 is a promising online platform, where one can receive treatment at the comfort of their own home. 
  2. Sick patients don’t need to worry about traveling long distances to get them diagnosed.
  3. The patients can save up the time and can utilize that time to take care of themselves.
  4. Live sessions are conducted so that the patients can have a face to face interaction with their assigned doctors. 
  5. Building trust is really important. So, we always try our best to provide the maximum support to the patients to make them feel comfortable. 
  6. We always schedule the timings of the meetings based on the patient’s preference. Rescheduling can also be done if there are any problems.
  7. When a patient comes to our doctor it becomes the responsibility of our doctor to gift them a healthy life.
  8. We guarantee that the doctors will never leave their patients. 
  9. The patients can openly talk about their problems and we assure that the information will be between the patients and the doctors only. 
  10. Our doctors plan every step necessary for their patients, starting from planning out exercises to drafting their diet charts. 
  11. The doctors on the platform are extremely reliable and are certified professionals with experience. 
  12. It is a platform that provides solutions to every problem, starting with home remedies to prescribed medications. 
  13. The patient’s trust is our confidence!

 

Resolve360 is an online platform that provides solutions to surgery aftercare and complications that the patient may face. There are several programs on how to take care after undergoing surgery, what precautions and care one should take. There is free access to knowledge and consultation. For further details, don’t forget to contact us! We will take extreme pride in serving you! Happy recovery!

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