About Neck Sprains

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907)562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is a Neck Sprain?

The seven bones of the spinal column in your neck (cervical vertebrae) are connected to each other by ligaments and muscles–strong bands of tissue that act like thick rubber bands. A sprain (stretch) or tear can occur in one or more of these soft tissues when a sudden movement causes the neck to bend to an extreme position.

Common Causes:

  • People who play contact sports
  • A hard fall
  • A motor vehicle collision (Whiplash)

Symptoms of a Neck Sprain may include:

  • Pain, especially in the back of the neck, that worsens with movement
  • Pain that peaks a day or so after the injury, instead of immediately
  • Muscle spasms and pain in the upper shoulder
  • Headache in the back of the head
  • Sore throat
  • Increased irritability, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty concentrating
  • Numbness in the arm or hand
  • Neck stiffness or decreased range of motion (side to side, up and down, circular)
  • Tingling or weakness in the arms

When you arrive for your initial consultation, Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) team of spine specialists will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss your symptoms, and develop a customized and comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This evaluation is a necessary part of diagnosing your condition and providing the best possible care. 

When diagnosing a Neck Sprain, the OPA specialist will provide:

  • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
  • A physical examination
  • Multiple view x-rays ( to rule out a fracture) or MRI

Once an official diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatment plans decrease symptoms as quickly as possible.

Common Treatments:

Medical treatment for a neck sprain is designed to relieve pain and restore range of motion and strength. The majority of hip strains are treated nonsurgically.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

Decrease inflammation and pain.

Physical Therapy

One of OPA’s onsite physical therapist prescribes and monitors strengthening and stretching exercises.

(RICE) Method

Rest, ice, compression, and elevation
Most symptoms of neck sprain will go away in 4 to 6 weeks. However, severe injuries, may take longer to heal completely.

At OPA, our Board-Certified and Fellowship-Trained Spine Specialists, Dr. Mark Flanum, Dr. James Eule, and Dr. Curtis Mina are experts in treating neck sprains.

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment to see one of our Spine Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.

Anchorage: (907)562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Spine Team

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Dr. James Eule

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Dr. Mark Flanum

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Dr. Curtis Mina

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Sean Taylor, MD

Pain Management

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.

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