Neck Strains & Sprains

Symptoms of Neck Strains & Sprains

Neck sprains and strains can range in severity from barely noticeable to utterly debilitating. Depending upon the severity of the injury, your condition may be accompanied by pinched nerves or cervical radiculopathy. Your symptoms, therefore, will vary depending upon the extent of muscular damage and the specific nerves that are affected.

Worried that your symptoms may indicate a neck strain or sprain? To schedule an appointment with one of our award-winning Top Doctors, contact our team of patient advocates at (973) 538-0900.

Diagnosing Your Neck Strains & Sprains

To diagnose your condition, your doctor may assess your reflexes and evaluate you for numbness, weakness, or signs of brain injury. X-rays or CT scans may be used to confirm a diagnosis and eliminate other serious conditions. Sometimes, electromyography (or nerve conduction studies) may be performed to determine if there is a muscle issue. Other diagnostic methods include: measuring the range of motion in your neck; palpating your spine to search for the presence of inflammation or muscle spasms; or neurological examination of your sensory or motor responses.

Neck Strains & Sprains Treatment Options

Conservative Therapies

Since neck strains and sprains are generally mild, nonsurgical treatments such as hot/cold therapies, movement pattern modification, stretching and exercise, or pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs are usually sufficient to provide long-term pain relief.


If your neck pain is caused by a damaged or herniated disc, your surgeon may suggest a microdiscectomy to eliminate your pain. During this procedure, ruptured disc material is extracted to make space for compressed nerves. Read more...

Physical Therapy

In more moderate cases of neck strains and sprains, your doctor may recommend that you complete a regimen of physical therapy, or guided exercise. Physical therapy may be combined with other treatment modalities such as deep tissue massage or chiropractic manipulation.

Artificial Disc Replacement

During this procedure, your surgeon replaces a worn-out or cracked disc with an artificial model that enables you to retain flexibility in your neck. A minimally invasive intervention, this procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis. Read more...