Neck, Chest & Back Strains and Sprains

What Are Neck, Chest & Back Strains & Sprains?

Strains and sprains are prevalent forms of injury, and most of us will experience them at some point or another in our lives. A strain occurs when muscle tissue and tendons become overstretched or torn due to overuse or misuse. On the other hand, a sprain occurs when the ligaments that connect two bones together become also damaged due to overstretching. Due to their nature, these two forms of injury commonly occur in the neck, chest, and back areas.

Symptoms of Neck, Chest & Back Sprains

The symptoms of neck, chest and back strains and sprains similarly manifest themselves. This is because these two injuries are so similar to each other. The only significant difference in symptoms amongst the two it’s that strains cause muscle spasms while sprains may cause bruising around the affected area. Common symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Pain in the affected area
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Limited flexibility


Causes of Neck, Chest, and Back Strains

The most common cause for neck, chest and back strains and sprains is the overuse of muscle tissue, tendons, and ligaments. This can occur due to a wide range of reasons that result in overstretching and tearing, leading to pain. Certain activities and events increase the risk of strains and sprains, including:

  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Repetitive motion
  • Slipping or falling
  • Athletic activities
  • Overextension
  • Accidents

While most of us can experience a strain or sprain at any point, certain factors increase the risk of overstretching a muscle or ligament. People who don’t exercise regularly, dangerous work environments, improper use of equipment or machinery, and not warming up before an athletic activity can all lead to strains and sprains.

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Diagnosis and Treatment of Neck, Chest, and Back Strains and Sprains 

Our interventional pain specialists will perform a thorough physical examination during your visit and diligently review your symptoms, family, and medical history. Your physician may order a series of tests such as blood work, X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to rule out other possibilities. These steps will help ensure that there are no other underlying conditions such as breaks and fractures.

Neck Pain

Once a successful diagnosis has been reached, one or various forms of treatment may be recommended. Most mild cases of strains and sprains are treated with a method involving rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Rest is needed to properly heal the damaged muscles and tendons, while ice, compression, and elevation help reduce swelling and inflammation. More severe injuries may require surgery to repair the damaged tissue. If you or someone you know is suffering from neck, chest, and back strains and sprains symptoms, we encourage you to reach out to our team.

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