6 Common Pulled Neck Muscle Symptoms
Neck pain might occur for various reasons. Sometimes, it's because you overexert yourself with exercises or physical labour. Other times, your neck might become strained due to poor posture and an uncomfortable sleeping position. Another possible explanation is that you pulled a neck muscle, which can cause a great deal of pain.
You may experience a pulled muscle in the side of the neck. Similarly, there may be a pulled muscle between your neck and shoulder. Either way, it's crucial to treat this injury with care and diligence. First, visit a chiropractor to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Afterwards, allow your pulled muscle to heal and avoid activities that aggravate the condition.
How do you know if you injured your neck? Your body may give various signals that indicate when there's an injury. Check out these six different types of pulled neck muscle symptoms:
Symptom #1: Neck pain
Unsurprisingly, pain is one of the most prevalent pulled neck muscle symptoms. The pain can be local to a specific region where an accident occurred. Its throbbing or aching may hinder your ability to sleep and even affect your concentration. It can feel like a knife piercing your neck, and the pain will worsen as you move around.
Your pain will likely be in the back of your neck unless you had a direct injury to the side. It can also resonate into the upper shoulders, which will hurt when you move your neck. When you feel constant pain in your neck, that is a sign you might have injured a muscle. However, there are different types of neck pain, which might manifest through multiple symptoms.
Neck pain typically comes from sprains and strains. A neck sprain is when you tear or overstretch the ligaments in your neck. This condition causes pain, bruises, swelling, and limited movement. A neck strain is the tearing or overstretching of a muscle. The symptoms include swelling and pain, but you may also experience muscle spasms. You will feel pain after the injury, although it peaks within the first two days.
Symptom #2: Stiff neck
Stiffness is a symptom of a pulled muscle in your neck and shoulder. When you have a stiff neck, you might experience soreness and a limited range of movement. These symptoms are part of the inflammatory response from your body. After an injury, the body inflames the affected area to restrict motion, allowing it to heal.
There will be swelling and tightening during the recovery process. Moving the neck may be difficult and cause piercing pain. It is best to rest and allow your pulled neck muscles to heal over time.
Symptom #3: Decreased range of motion
Are you unable to move your neck as flexibly as before? A decreased range of motion signifies there might be a pulled muscle in the side of the neck. When there is a muscle injury, your body wants to restrict the movement of the neck. As a result, you won't be able to turn your neck as far as usual.
Typically, this symptom also comes with neck pain. However, you may not experience the pain initially, which is delayed and occurs in staggering stages. As your body heals, the range of movement will increase around your neck. You can do some neck pain relief exercises to help the recovery process.
Be patient with a pulled neck muscle injury. Don't overexert your neck. If you do push it, you will likely cause a muscle spasm. Take this as a sign to be gentler with your movements.
Symptom #4: Muscle spasms
Muscle spasms are another effect of a neck strain. This symptom occurs when the tear in the muscle tightens. It is an involuntary action that can cause intense pain, lasting for minutes to even days. You can do some gentle stretching to help. However, you'll want to limit the movement so healing can occur.
Ice, heat, and massage therapy are very effective for treating muscle spasms. Anti-inflammatory medication will also help with the pain.
Symptom #5: Headaches
A headache usually accompanies a neck muscle injury. The ache can also move up to the top or sides of the head. Also known as a cervicogenic headache, it compounds your pain intensely. There are ways to relieve the headache, including massage therapy or hot and cold therapy. As your neck muscles heal, your headaches should subside.
Symptom #6: Fatigue and irritability
Neck pain can trigger anxiety and increase irritability. When you are stressed, the pulled neck muscle pain will feel amplified. The constant pressure from a muscle injury will also wear you out emotionally and physically. You may feel constantly fatigued from your body trying to cope with the neck strain.
Managing your stress will be an integral part of your healing. Use relaxation techniques to calm yourself mentally and physically. Performing light stretches and gentle exercises will be beneficial for your whole body. Being active engages your neck muscles, which can help the recovery process.