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Muscle strains occur from motor vehicle crashes or from hard falls in a contact sport or around the house. This pain can result from a ligament sprain or muscle strain. A sprain is a stretch or tear in the ligament resulting from a sudden movement that causes the neck to move into an extreme position.

  • Mechanism consistent with tensile force to head/neck
  • Pain, especially in the back of the neck, that worsens with movement. Delayed pain that often peaks a day or so after the injury.
  • Possible muscle spasms and pain in the upper regions of the shoulders. Headache in the rear of the head.
  • Numbness in the arm or hand
  • Stiffness or decrease in range of motion (side to side, up and down, circular)
  • Tingling or weakness in the arms
Brachial plexus injury (Stinger or Burner) are a common injury in contact or collision sports. The injury is named for the "stinging" or "burning" pain that radiates (spreads) from the shoulder to the hand. This can feel like an electric shot or "lightening bolt" down the arm and can be accompanied by a warm sensation.
  • A "burning" or "electric" shock sensation
  • The arm may feel "dead" or numb immediately following the injury
  • Weakness in arm or shoulder
  • The symptoms most commonly occur in one arm only
  • Symptoms usually last seconds to minutes but a small number can last hours, days or even longer
  • X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other nerve studies are not usually needed