Neck sprains and strains are similar but different soft tissue disorders.
A sprain is an injury to a ligament caused by overuse or trauma. Whiplash is a common type of sprain often referred to as a hyperextension and hyperflexion injury. A strain is an injury to a tendon or muscle caused by overuse or trauma. Muscle pain that develops from cradling the phone between the ear and shoulder is an example of a strain.
Both sprains and strains can cause:
- Severe pain
Whiplash can cause:
- Jaw pain
Diagnosing & Treatment
Your doctor will ask your medical history and perform a physical exam. Your doctor may also order diagnostic tests that include:
- CT scans
- MRI scans
Many different nonsurgical treatments can help relieve neck sprain or strain symptoms.