Although a neck sprain isn't the most serious injury, it can cause a good amount of pain and discomfort for an extended period. Furthermore, it's possible for a neck sprain to prevent you from working.
Muscles and ligaments connect the bones of the spinal column. A sprain or tear of one or more of these, such as in a slip and fall or vehicle accident, can cause immediate pain.
There are several ways to treat a neck sprain, including the following:
- Pain relievers: For example, your doctor may suggest taking aspirin several times per day to help with pain and swelling.
- Ice: Applying ice for 15 minutes at a time, especially in the first two days after the injury, can help soothe the pain and keep inflammation to a minimum.
- Ultrasound therapy: Discuss this treatment strategy with your doctor, as they can suggest a facility in your area that provides this therapy.
- Physical therapy: As you recover, physical therapy may be necessary to regain range of motion and strengthen your neck muscles.
While most neck sprain symptoms subside after four to six weeks, it's not uncommon to take longer to heal completely.
If your doctor suggests time away from work while you recover, discuss your situation with your employer. You may be able to file a workers' compensation claim, thus providing some income while you're out of work.
If your application for workers' comp is denied, it's important to learn more about your legal right to file an appeal. You don't want to miss out on any benefits that you deserve.