Symptoms and Signs of Neck Strain (Sprain) Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Recovery Tiime

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Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Neck Strain (Sprain) Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Recovery Tiime

Neck strain refers to any injury to the muscles or tendons that support the head and neck. These injuries are often caused indirect trauma in which the head is flung backward (hyperextension) or forward (hyperflexion), commonly called whiplash. Most instances of neck strain injury do not involve fractures of bones or damage to the underlying structures of the neck like the trachea, spinal cord, or blood vessels.

Symptoms of neck strain include pain that may be mild to severe and decreased range of motion of the neck. In a classic whiplash injury, the patient usually feels fine on the day of the injury but awakens the next morning with pain and decreased range of motion. Associated symptoms can include stiffness of the neck, pain that radiates to the low back, and the inability to perform daily work tasks or activities.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.