Neck pains can be anything from having slept in a bad position, to sprains or even serious injuries from accidents. A neck sprain refers to an overstretched or torn ligament in the neck and are commonly associated with a whiplash injury, which can occur from a car accident, playing a contact sport, or any sudden impact that forces your neck beyond its normal range of motion. If a ligament in your neck is torn, it can cause extreme pain and severely limit your ability to move your head and neck.
Neck sprains are typically caused by an impact or force that causes your neck to quickly extend beyond its normal range and then snap back forcefully. While the terms sprain and strain are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. A sprain refers to ligaments (the fibrous tissues that connect joint bones together), whereas a strain refers to muscles and tendons (the fibrous tissues that connect bones to muscles).
Common signs and symptoms of a neck sprain include:
-Headache (typically in the back of the head) -Muscle spasms and pain in the upper back and/or shoulders -Neck pain that worsens with movement -Neck stiffness which limits the range of motion -Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
On the other extreme end, one can experience severe impact that results in a break at the neck, and this is a medical emergency needing professional help from a qualified doctor! A broken neck can be a simple break like any other bone in your body or it can be very severe and can cause paralysis or death. When the bones in your neck break, the nerves of your spinal cord can also get damaged. When this happens, it is referred to as a spinal cord injury.
In either of these cases, it is always advisable to consult a doctor to determine the extent of injury so as to get the right treatment, which may include wearing a brace or even surgery.