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Pulled Muscle in the Neck: Causes And Cures

Arjun Kulkarni
If your neck muscles are getting overused or overstressed, then it is only a matter of time before you experience the condition of pulled muscle in your neck. Read on to know what this common condition is all about.
The neck, perhaps, is one of the worst places to pull a muscle. This is because your daily activities require you to move your neck a lot and any movement of the neck, when you have a pulled muscle will cause a sharp pain in the neck.

What Can You Do?

As far as treating the muscle is concerned, the bad news is, you can't really 'cure' a pulled muscle with some pills or an exercise. The good news is, you don't really need to do much about it! Okay, that's not really good, but well, considering your situation, the best thing you can do is just lay back and relax, and follow these measures...
The important thing to do is to get as much pressure off the muscle as you can. You can do this by not moving your neck around too much and using an elastic neck brace, which takes on the pressure from the neck muscles.
When you're home safe, you need to apply an ice pack on the area. You can apply the ice pack about 2-3 times a day. But don't keep it on for too long as it can cause tissue damage.
For the medicine, you can also take an anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen to reduce the swelling and pain. Then you can rub Arnica cream on and around the area. It will help considerably in reducing the pain.
Once the swelling has reduced, apply a wet hot towel to the neck. In my experience, I've found that moisture is better than dryness for soothing sore muscles. So I would prefer a hot water bath or a moist towelette for better comfort.
Once the pain starts to reduce, you can do some stretching exercises for the neck. Start conditioning the muscle again after a few days. Limit your exercise to just slowly rotating your shoulders for a few days till the pain completely suppresses.

What Causes Pulled Muscle?

» A person may pull a muscle in the neck due to overstress of the muscle. Each muscle in the body has physical limitations. If one tries to cross that physical limitation suddenly, you will overstress the muscle, causing muscle sprain.
» For instance, if you go to a gym and suddenly lift a lot more weight than what your muscle is used to, then you will end up spraining it.
» Another very common cause is a wrong motion. Suppose you're playing squash, and in the heat of the moment, you swing your hand awkwardly, it can make you to pull a muscle.
» You may also get a pulled muscle in neck, if there is a sudden blow to it.
» But the most common cause is when you sit or sleep in an awkward position for too long. Especially when people sleep with an extra pillow or a different pillow at night, they usually wake up with a niggling muscle pain in their neck.
» Even if you sit in one place in an awkward position for too long, you will end up spraining your neck.
It is fairly simple to diagnose a pulled muscle. If you experience a sharp pain, when you move the neck even slightly, you have a pulled muscle in neck. Any time you try to move your head from side to side or to turn around, you will feel a sharp neck pain.
Second, you will experience difficulty while moving your neck from side to side. You will also experience muscle spasms and tenderness around the neck.
Of all the things I told you to do, rest is the most important. Even if you've got unavoidable things to take care of, your body comes first. A pulled muscle is a very painful and frustrating experience. The best you can do is to not overexert yourself to avoid the injury the next time.
Disclaimer: The information provided is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.