person suffering from cervical sprain symptoms

The Spine Health Risks of Ignoring Your Cervical Sprain Symptoms

It only takes seconds for a normal day to turn into something disastrous. For example, a single car accident could leave you with long-lasting neck pain and reduced range of motion. This could also affect one’s mental health, such as leading to extended periods of depression.

A cervical sprain is a serious medical condition that you should never ignore. However, many people overlook cervical sprain symptoms.

To treat this condition appropriately, it’s imperative to know when to take action. Let’s explore the key information you should keep in mind.

What Is a Cervical Sprain?

This occurs when ligaments become overextended. The severity can vary drastically depending on certain factors, such as the cause. This also impacts recovery time.

Many people confuse strains with sprains. Strains occur when tendons or muscles are damaged instead of ligaments.

How Does It Occur?

There’s no shortage of ways cervical sprains can occur. Understanding these can help you determine how they happened and take steps toward preventing them. Let’s explore them below.

Car Accidents

More often than not, this injury is caused by car accidents. It’s one of the telltale signs and symptoms of whiplash, as well.

Whiplash refers to a situation where force causes your head to quickly move forward and backward. This puts a large amount of strain on your neck and can cause significant injury.

Car accidents don’t have to be serious to cause whiplash, either. Impacts at low speed can still result in injuries. Children and elderly individuals are more likely to experience whiplash during low-impact collisions.

Poor Posture

Having poor posture over extended periods places your neck in a compromised position. This makes injury more likely to occur.

The good news is this cause is simple to prevent, as all you’ll need to do is prevent poor posture. Sit upright with your neck in a neutral position when you’re seated. This is especially important for people who spend long hours working on their computers.

Heavy Lifting

Lifting heavy objects (such as weights) isn’t inherently dangerous, but it’s essential to take proper care during this movement. If your neck is in an unsafe position when you lift something heavy, you could cause a cervical sprain.

The same is true if you lift with poor form. Depending on how heavy the weight is, you might cause a serious injury.


Intense falls can have a similar effect on your body as whiplash. During a fall, you could bounce your head off the ground and cause it to jerk, placing strain on your neck. If you fall directly onto your neck, you could also cause a cervical sprain.

Cervical Sprain Symptoms

Understanding cervical sprain symptoms allows you to quickly diagnose the issue. However, you’ll need input from a medical professional before you can pinpoint a cervical sprain as the cause. You may have this injury if you experience any of the following symptoms.

Neck Stiffness

This leads to a decreased range of motion and makes it difficult to look around without turning your body. In some cases, it can be much more difficult to go about your day. Some tasks, such as driving, can even become impractical or unsafe.

Muscle Spasms or Tightness

Serious strains can lead to muscle tightness or spasms. Spasms, in particular, can lead to major issues.

For example, intense muscle spasms can make it difficult to fall asleep at night due to the pain or discomfort. Numerous other issues can then arise from a lack of sleep, such as a weakened immune system or high blood pressure.


When your neck is severely strained, the ligaments won’t be able to hold your head up properly. This could then cause neck weakness. Having a weak neck also makes it more likely that you reinjure yourself or exacerbate your injury.

Tingling or Numbness

If you notice tingling or numbness, this is a sign of nerve damage. You likely won’t experience this symptom after most sprains, though.

Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you notice it. In rare cases, it could indicate something much more serious. To clarify, it might be a symptom of a neurological disorder.

Problems Chewing or Swallowing

Some cervical sprains can extend to the parts of the neck that you use to swallow food. The same is true for chewing in some cases.

Eating food can sometimes be painful, which can lead to difficulty getting enough calories per day. There’s also something to be said about the stress that can arise when you have difficulty eating.

Finding a Doctor

Cervical sprains often have a difficult time resolving on their own. In most cases, you’ll need to visit a medical professional to get started with your treatment. While looking for a doctor, there are certain factors you need to keep in mind when making your decision.

This will help ensure you find the best option for your situation. Listed below are some of the most notable.


What do other people have to say about the doctor’s reputation online? Were they satisfied with their results?

The answers to questions like these will help you streamline your search. It’s imperative to keep an eye out for fake reviews, as well.

These are often posted in batches and contain many of the same keywords. Pay attention to how they handle criticism. If they get defensive or aggressive, you should continue your search elsewhere.

Avoid doctors who don’t have any feedback at all. While this doesn’t guarantee they’ll provide poor results, you’ll take unnecessary risks by choosing them.

Reputable doctors will showcase their capabilities on their websites. This should provide information about different cases they’ve handled in the past and the methods they used to help clients get their lives back on track.


Only choose doctors who have plenty of experience handling this condition. You can get even better results if you find someone who specializes in treating neck injuries. It’s best to find someone who’s been practicing for at least ten years.

These doctors will have a solid chance of understanding the key nuances of your situation. Experienced doctors are also more likely to have solutions to complex issues. The last thing you want is to lengthen your recovery by choosing someone who doesn’t know how to provide stellar treatment.


Medical treatment can easily lead to financial distress. This is influenced strongly by whether their practice accepts your insurance provider. Even with coverage, you can still spend thousands recovering.

Explore different options so you can find the most cost-efficient opportunity. However, you shouldn’t sacrifice the quality of your treatment to save extra money. This could lead to additional problems in the future.

Continuing Education

Medical professionals will need to pursue continuing education (CE) to renew their license. This involves completing a certain number of credit hours in relevant courses. However, some doctors do the bare minimum and don’t implement the knowledge they learn.

Even though they satisfy the requirements, this doesn’t mean they’re better at their job. Look for someone who takes CE seriously.

These individuals will utilize modern tools and techniques. Those who treat continuing education as an afterthought are more likely to make mistakes.

Board Certification

In many cases, non-certified doctors are capable of treating patients. Not taking or passing a board certification exam doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t a competent doctor. However, board certification exams exist to ensure the medical practitioner complies with the required standard of care.

It’s worth noting that board certification and medical licensure aren’t the same. Board certification is voluntary, but it’s something that all reputable doctors should pursue. It showcases they’re committed to providing the best possible care to their patients.

If a doctor isn’t board certified but you’re still interested in them, ask them why. They shouldn’t have trouble providing you with a legitimate reason. You can then make your decision.

Their Location

Some people make the mistake of not visiting the location before making their decision. Even if they satisfy many of your other needs, it’s best to see what the office is like first.

Assess how the staff greets you when you walk in. You should also inspect the facility to see how well it’s maintained.

Dirty facilities are ones you should avoid at all costs. Look for an office close to where you live, as well. If you need to make multiple visits, it can be inconvenient to make long or difficult drives.

If your intuition tells you something is off, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere. There’s nothing wrong with taking extra time to find the ideal choice.

Take Action ASAP

If you’re experiencing cervical sprain symptoms, it’s imperative to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This will prevent the issue from evolving into something worse. Just be sure to choose the right medical professional.

Blue Diamond Integrative Care Clinic aims to diagnose and eliminate the source of your pain. We achieve this through chiropractic adjustments, myofascial release, and intersegmental traction. You’ll learn more about the many other benefits we provide when you get in touch with us today.

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