Cervical Muscle Spasm

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Spine Conditions

Spine Physicians

Michael P. St. Onge
Marc P. Oliveri

A cervical muscle spasm is a sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle in the neck in response to strain, overuse, weakness, or trauma. In some cases, a neck spasm may cause the head to turn or jerk without warning, and it may be symptomatic of an injury, such as a fracture, or another disorder.

The cervical spine is responsible for turning the head and neck and providing sensation and motor control to the neck, shoulder, arm, and down to the hand.

Cervical muscle spasms often occur in response to another condition, or as a result of pain, fatigue or overuse.

Common causes of cervical muscle spasm include:

  • Muscle strain
  • Muscle tension due to physical exertion
  • Side effect of certain medications
  • Fracture in the cervical spine
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Degeneration of intervertebral discs
  • Trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident

Treatment of a cervical muscle spasm will depend on the extent of your symptoms and how long you have had them. The cervical spine specialists at Lancaster Orthopedic Group offer a wide range of therapies and treatments for neck and spine problems and can help relieve your symptoms.

Conservative treatment options for a cervical muscle spasm include avoiding activities that produce pain, rest and immobilization, ice, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and steroidal medication or injections.

In severe cases, surgery may be needed to repair an underlying condition.

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