About Neck Strain, Sprain, & Fracture


A neck strain is an injury in which the muscles or tendons connected to the back of the neck are stretched or torn. A neck sprain is an injury in which the ligaments connected to the back of the neck are stretched or torn. There are seven cervical vertebrae connected to these neck ligaments. Ligaments are bands or sheets of fibrous tissue that connect two or more bones or cartilages. They also serve as a support for fasciae or muscles.

A neck fracture is a term used to describe a medical condition in which there is a break in the continuity of the cervical vertebrae. Depending on the degree of the fracture and which vertebra is injured, paralysis, quadriplegia, and paraplegia may occur.


Basic symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Stiff neck
  • Bruising
  • Numbness
  • Puffiness
  • Redness
  • Increased Pain with Movement
  • Lack of Mobility

Severe symptoms:

  • Arm numbness
  • Arm weakness
  • Leg numbness
  • Leg weakness
  • Uncontrollable urinating
  • Uncontrollable defecating
  • Inability to walk

Common Causes

A neck injury can be caused by, but is not limited to, the following:

Neck sprains may also be caused by exercising incorrectly and trying to self “crack” one’s own neck without the authority of a medically trained professional. X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans are required to verify whether or not you have a fractured neck.


Besides discomfort and pain, a neck sprain may also cause some degree of difficulty when moving your head. A neck brace may be necessary until your neck ligaments adequately heal. Unfortunately, this will also limit your mobility.

Depending on the severity of your injury, a neck fracture may affect various areas of your daily life. With a mild neck fracture, it is possible to have a full recovery; however, with a severe neck fracture, it is possible to become paralyzed. If this is the case, you will need counseling to learn how to cope with these life-altering changes. Additionally, a strong support system will play a paramount role in your recovery.


The RICE method is usually helpful in treating a neck injury.

  • R – Rest
  • I – Ice
  • C – Compression
  • E – Elevation

In order to prevent the injury from worsening, a neck cast or splint may be used until the fracture has healed as much as necessary. Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or acetaminophen, can also help with the pain and swelling. If you are experiencing severe pain, a stronger pain medication may be used. Once the pain starts to subside, you will work on strengthening the neck muscles by using a series of motion exercises.

Neck Fracture Surgery

Depending on the severity of your injury, surgery may be required. Some possible surgeries include:

  • Disk Surgery
  • Laminectomy
  • Spinal fusion
  • Vertebroplasty

Physical therapy will also be necessary after surgery is completed; however, outcomes are dependent on the degree of your injury.

Contact Us

If you strained, sprained, or fractured your neck during an accident, you can reach the Law Offices of Michael Cordova at (602) 265-6700 or by contacting us through our online services.