The cervical spine is made up of seven vertebrae, which are attached to each other through ligaments. The major function of the neck is to support the weight of the head while enabling it to move. A sprain can occur when a ligament, or several, is overextended.
Your physician will conduct a physical exam, including questions about your injury and how it occurred. He or she may also measure the range of motion of your neck, looking also for locations where pain or tenderness may occur.
Neck sprains will heal gradually with time (4-6 weeks) and the proper treatment as most sprains throughout the body tend to. One of the more common forms of treatment is a soft collar which is worn around the neck. This will assist in supporting the head and relieve the pressure on the ligaments, giving them time to heal.
For pain management, our physicians recommend the use of pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen that will reduce pain and swelling. To further reduce swelling, patients find that using an ice pack for 15 to 30 minutes at a time several times a day for a few days after the injury helps. To ease muscle spasms that may occur, muscle relaxants may be prescribed.