Acute neck pain is defined as neck pain that lasts less than four weeks. It’s typically caused by minor neck muscle and ligament injuries. A strain occurs when the neck muscle fibers are damaged or torn. A sprain occurs when the neck ligaments are overstretched. The following are five activities that can cause a strain and/or sprain that produces acute neck pain:
- Prolonged computer and/or phone Use. Looking at a computer or phone requires a user to lean forward and bend at the neck. When this position is maintained for a prolonged period of time, neck muscles and ligaments are stressed and an injury can easily occur. To avoid this, users are advised to sit up straight and take frequent breaks that involve standing up and walking around or changing of positions.
- Sleeping with the neck turned, twisted, or bent can stretch muscles and ligaments. If a sleeping individual doesn’t change the above-mentioned positions, acute neck pain may result. A comfortable pillow and mattress can be used to help improve neck position while sleeping.
- Constant overhead movements made while painting can overstretch the shoulder and neck muscles. A strain or sprain can occur if someone who’s painting doesn’t take frequent breaks and stretch properly.
- Overhead weightlifting. Lifting weights too frequently or lifting weights that are too heavy increases the risk of a neck muscle or ligament injury. Weight lifters should always warm up properly and be cognizant of proper lifting techniques.
- Impact sports. Football and soccer players are the athletes who are most at risk to sustain a neck injury. In order to prevent injury, these athletes should practice and play their sport using proper form. They should also stretch frequently and warm up properly.
If you sustain an injury or if you have neck pain that worsens in severity, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our 5 Fairfield County offices to arrange an appointment with one of our spine specialists.
Diagnosing and treating your condition as soon as possible will help ensure a quick recovery and return to a normal, pain-free life.