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Strain – Head & Neck

Strain Strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon that may present in small or larger tears or stretching of the fibres.

Causes: A muscle strain can be caused by a trauma or accident, muscle overuse or due to dysfunctional movement. Strains can be either acute or chronic, and typically happens as a result of the muscle or tendon being stretched or torn. For example, a muscle or tendon can be strained by the acceleration of the head in an accident, or by sustaining a poor posture at work.

Symptoms: Signs and symptoms can vary depending on the mechanism of injury, or if it is an acute strain versus a chronic strain. However, common symptoms include pain, swelling, muscle spasms and limited range of motion.  

Examples: Whiplash, trapezius strain and postural strain/upper-crossed syndrome.  

How our experts can help: Depending on the findings of the history and patient examination, the chiropractor may recommend patient reassurance, manual therapies, modalities and lifestyle recommendations including rehabilitation. However, the plan of management will be individualized to the patient’s needs and examination findings. The treatment options may include:

  • Patient education and reassurance
  • Mobilization of related joints if dysfunction present
  • Soft tissue therapy
  • Modalities including electrical stimulation, acupuncture, ultrasound and others
  • Rehabilitation and exercises
  • Ergonomic and lifestyle changes


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