Tag Archive for: neck pain

Neck Sprain & Strain

Neck pain is a very common complaint. The most prevalent causes of neck pain are neck strains and neck sprains, also called cervical spine strains and sprains. The pain can be mild or severe and not always appear until hours after the injury occurs or even the next day. If left untreated, the resultant pain can be severe and even temporarily disabling to a patient’s everyday activities. That is why you should see one of the experienced orthopedic specialists at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for a full evaluation before the pain worsens.


Neck pain ranks in the top 5 disorders in the United States, with 10-20% of people reporting incidents of neck pain—women more often than men. The risk of neck pain generally increases with age. People often consider a neck sprain and strain as the same thing, even using the terms interchangeably. Though similar symptomatically, they are different in the soft tissues they affect. A neck strain is an injury to the muscle or tendon that generally occurs when the neck muscle or tendon stretches too far and tears. A neck sprain is an injury to the ligaments in the neck. Both can impact one’s physical, social, and mental well-being.


The seven bones of the spinal column in your neck are called cervical vertebrae. They are connected by an intricate system of soft tissues—muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the head and enable it to move in a wide range. The neck, or cervical spine, is the most mobile segment of the spine, but this mobility comes at the cost of stability, making it susceptible to injuries such as neck strain and neck sprain.


A neck sprain primarily affects the ligaments in the neck but may also affect other elements of the soft tissue like cartilage and blood vessels of bursae (fluid-filled membranes that cushion the joints). One of the most common examples would be whiplash, which is a condition that happens when sudden movement changes force the neck and upper spine to move in ways that cause injury. Because whiplash can have various effects, a grading system is as follows:

  • Grade 0—no injury
  • Grade 1—pain only
  • Grade 2—pain plus signs of injury
  • Grade 3—pain plus signs of injury and neurological effects
  • Grade 4—severe pain and signs of serious or dangerous effects

A neck strain is an injury that primarily affects the muscles and tendons of the neck. Neck strains can be classified from Grade 1 to Grade 3:

  • Grade 1 is a mild strain with partial tearing. Pain is typically mild.
  • Grade 2 is a moderate strain where more muscle fibers are torn. May experience some muscle weakness as well as mild to moderate pain.
  • Grade 3 is the most severe strain. The muscle is completely torn, and the pain is severe.

Read more about Neck Sprains & Strains on our new Colorado Springs Orthopedic News Site – Colorado Springs Orthopedic News. Schedule an appointment with a spine specialist today.

Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy

Back and neck conditions, like cervical spondylotic myelopathy, are some of the most common causes of pain and disability. This kind of pain can be recurring and distracting, preventing people from performing and enjoying everyday tasks and activities. But that’s not the way it has to be. The orthopedic experts at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs, Colorado, can help you minimize back pain and return you to a full, healthy life as quickly as possible. Their elite team of spine professionals has been offering a variety of options to help patients of all ages dealing with back and neck pain. You can trust that their surgeons will give you unparalleled care from the first consultation and be there with you every step of the way.


Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) refers to impaired function—squeezing or compression of the spinal cord caused by degenerative changes of the discs and facet joints in the cervical spine (neck) that occur with aging. CSM is the most common spinal disorder in Americans over 55 years of age and can affect men at an earlier age than women. However, the age of onset for both is variable, depending on the degree of congenital spinal canal narrowing.


The neck, also called the cervical spine, is a well-engineered structure of bones, nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Both strong and delicate, the cervical spine carries the weight of your head (10-11 pounds), protects the spinal cord, supplies blood to the brain, and allows a wide range of motion, supporting your head and neck movements, such as nodding, turning your head from side to side and looking up and down. The cervical spine has seven stacked bones called vertebrae, labeled C1 through C7, which are separated from one another by intervertebral discs. These discs allow the spine to move freely and act as shock absorbers during activity.

Read more about Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy on our new Colorado Springs Orthopedic News Site – Colorado Springs Orthopedic News. Schedule an appointment with a neck and spine specialist today.