Cervical strain is an injury to the muscles of
the neck and upper back. These muscles support the neck and cause
the neck to move.
The most common causes of a cervical strain injury include
overuse of the muscles, overstretching of the muscles,
contraction against resistance or a direct blow to the
Other frequent causes of these strains are arthritis and poor
Common symptoms and signs of a cervical strain include:
- Stiffness or spasm.
Most cervical strains will heal with proper care with no
lingering issues. The majority of muscle injuries in the neck
are complicated by or occur along with ligament injuries
Burners or stingers are nerve
injuries resulting from trauma to the neck and shoulder. This
injury is common in contact or collision sports.
Many times, the cause of the trauma is a severe lateral flexion
of the neck. Its primary symptom is burning pain radiating down
one arm. The pain is sometimes accompanied by numbness,
paresthesia or weakness.
Symptoms usually only last seconds to minutes but sometimes will
last for hours or longer. Athletes who experience a burner should
not return to play until the symptoms are gone.
More extensive medical evaluation will be required if there is
lingering weakness, neck pain, symptoms in both arms or recurrent
With time, these injuries heal, but physical therapy may be
prescribed to regain strength and range of motion.
A cervical herniated nucleus pulposus (herniated
disc) is a slipped disc in the cervical spine.
This condition ocurs when the soft center of the disc is forced
through a damaged part of the disc. This injury may be caused by
degeneraton of the disc or an injury to the cervical spine.
If the herniated disc causes pressure on the nerve root, there
may be pain, numbness and weakness in the body where the nerve
There may not be symptoms if the herniated disc does not press
against any nerve roots, however.
Treatment begins with rest and a decrease in actitivity.
Physical therapy may be prescribed by your doctors as well.
Cervical spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the
spinal canal in the neck. The spinal cord is contained in this
Along the spinal cord, spinal nerves exit the spine and extend to
the rest of the body. These nerves control sensory and motor
If the space in the canal gets too narrow, the spinal cord and
nerves can be compressed. The most common signs and symptoms of
this compression is pain, numbness, tingling and weakness.
Cervical spinal stenosis may be caused by the degeneration of the
vertebral discs, arthritis or a traumatic injury to the spinal