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Health Tips / Neck Sprains and Strains

Diagnosis and Symptons

Neck sprain is caused by overstretching of the ligaments in the neck. Neck strains are caused by damage to the muscles or tendons in the neck. The severity will depend on the extent of damage and will range from mild overstretching of ligaments to complete rupture of ligaments, muscles or tendons.


Symptoms may include pain, stiffness, tenderness, restricted movement and muscle spasm.

Preventative measures

Proper warm-up and stretching routines are vitally important in prevention. Strengthening and flexibility may be particularly important in certain sports such as boxing and soccer. Seek professional advice before exercising on a current injury. Incorrect sports technique may be a contributory factor, for example, incorrect heading technique in soccer may predispose to injury.
In some sports such as rugby, incorrect technique in scrummaging and tackling may lead to very serious neck injury. Incorrect performance gym exercise such as abdominal crunches are often a source of injury as is poor weightlifting routine. Poor posture in sports such as cycling, motorsport should be corrected.
In the case of repeated or long term injury, professional advice should be obtained. All lifestyle factors such as sitting and standing posture, choice of beds and pillows etc may need to be examined.


For serious injury always consult your doctor or physiotherapist. 
To find a Chartered Physiotherapist in your area check

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Last update: 16/05/2013 12:38 • Previous update: 30/11/-0001 00:00