Neck Muscle Strain – Overview, Causes & How to Treat

neck strain

Neck Muscle Strain – Overview, Causes & How to Treat

Neck muscle strain is a nagging issue that affects everyone at some point. Strains can be mild or severe and may impede daily activities like ironing, driving, cooking, and dressing. Learning about neck strains can help you deal with the issue immediately and find working solutions. So, continue reading to learn more about neck muscle strain.

Neck Muscle Strain Overview

Your neck has more than 20 muscles that work together to support the weight of your head and facilitate movement. Each muscle contains bundles of fibers that enable muscle movement. Unfortunately, the fibers in your neck muscles can tear if they stretch too far. Extensive neck strains can cause inflammation, pain and require more recovery time. Your levator scapulae and trapezius are the two long neck muscles most vulnerable to neck strains.

A neck strain, also known as a pulled muscle, occurs when fibers or tendons in your neck muscle stretch beyond their maximum range of movement and tear. Neck strains vary from one patient to another based on the location and the size. Typically, muscle strains can heal independently and don’t need specialized care. However, some cases can be debilitating and require immediate care.

Neck Muscle Strain Causes

Neck muscle strain causes vary from one patient to another. You should identify the cause of your neck muscle strain early on to find suitable treatment. A neck muscle strain can occur due to:

Poor Posture

Holding your head too far forward or tilting it in an awkward position for long can overstretch the tendons and ligaments in your neck muscles. For instance, hunching over your computer for several hours can cause muscle strain. Other causes of neck muscle strain include awkward positions while sleeping or staring at your phone screen for many hours.


Sudden accidents can force your head to jerk forward or backward, causing whiplash or any other form of neck strain. Common injuries that cause neck strains include falls, sports injuries, auto accidents, and bike accidents. Even though you may not feel any pain directly after an accident, it can show up several days later and still be connected to the accident

Lifting Heavy Objects

You might place too much force on your neck when you lift a heavy object, causing a neck strain.

Repetitive Motions

Even if your neck can handle a specific activity or motion, several repetitions can cause neck muscle strain.Many repetitive motion injuries can be work-related injuries and you should contact a worker’s comp attorney if employer does not agree to cover treatment.

Strenuous Activities

Your neck is vulnerable to muscle strain due to new strenuous activities.

How to Treat Muscle Strain at Home

If you are experiencing muscle strain, you can soothe the pain at home by doing the following:

  • Take pain relievers
  • Use a heating pad or warm whirlpool bath to apply heat to your neck
  • Use a neck collar to ease the pain
  • Numb the pain and inflammation using cold

When to See a Doctor for a Neck Muscle Pain

It is essential to visit your doctor early on before things get out of hand. Better yet, visit a premier injury care clinic for specialized neck muscle strain care. Here at La Clínica, we have been striving to help local communities to access quality multidisciplinary care.  Contact us immediately for complimentary injury screening.