NicolasMcComber/Getty Images Have you ever awakened with a nasty neck crick and wondered what it could be? A "crick in the neck" is not a medical diagnosis. Usually, muscle spasm, trigger points, arthritis, and/or a disc problem underlie the pain.
Elizabeth Young/Getty Images A neck strain is an injury to the muscles that attach to and move the upper part of the spine. Symptoms include muscle spasm, reduced flexibility, and pain, but strains are graded, meaning that they range from mild to severe.
Stefano Garau/istock A neck fracture is a break in a cervical bone. It may be caused by trauma, a fall, or degenerative changes in the spine. The angle of force at impact often determines the type and severity of the break. Football players who block with their head are at high risk for cervical fractures.
Neck sprains can also bring on less structural type symptoms, including a sore throat, mood changes, difficulty concentrating or sleeping, and more, the AAOS says. Similar to neck strains (above), neck sprains can be mild, moderate, or severe and are graded.
Burners and stingers are really two names for the same injury; a stretch of the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is the compilation of the five separate nerves roots that originate in the neck and begins when the radicular nerves leave the neck through the foramen (the holes in the spinal vertebra that these nerves begin from).
The most common symptom of whiplash is neck pain, which can range anywhere from mild to pins-and-needles tingling to excruciating. Other symptoms can include neck stiffness or reduced range of motion, neck instability, shoulder and/or upper back pain, or headache.