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Erector Spinae Strain (Head/Neck) treatment guide

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Guide Overview

A brief summary of what you'll find inside our treatment guide.


Erector Spinae Strain involves damage to the muscles, ligaments or connective tissues of the neck.

Causes (Aetiology)

Often traumatic in origin, Erector Spinae Strains occur as a result of the small joints in the neck being bent or stretched beyond their normal range of movement resulting in pain, inflammation, and bleeding in and around the injury site.

Signs and symptoms

In some cases, Erector Spinae Strains may go unnoticed at the time. Pain may not be felt until the following day once inflammation and swelling have accumulated in the tissues.

Symptoms include:

  • Acute pain with possible radiating symptoms into the head or shoulders
  • Onset may be immediate or 24-48 hours afterwards
  • Tenderness at the point of injury with some localised swelling
  • Some associated neck stiffness, headache or shoulder pain


In most cases, Erector Spinae Strains are not serious. However, they can result in stiffness, reduced mobility, and secondary problems which develop after the injury has healed.

If left untreated scar tissue and congestion forms around the injury site which increases the likelihood of re-injury.

Acute phase

Pain always causes a protective guarding in the tissues which shortens the muscles and hampers rehabilitation.

Our treatment guide provides expert advice on how to reduce pain and inflammation and create the right conditions to accelerate the healing process.

Post-acute phase

Post-acute phase rehabilitation involves the staged introduction of isometric, concentric and eccentric stretches, scar tissue removal and proprioceptive exercises to strengthen the connective tissues to achieve a full range of movement and prevent re-injury.


Erector Spinae Strains respond well to self-treatment and conservative care.

Our treatment guide provides comprehensive tips and advice to achieve a full recovery in the shortest possible time.


If you follow the treatment guide correctly and are diligent with the rehabilitation programme, then complications are unlikely.

Without correct rehabilitation, there may be residual stiffness and reduced range of movement.

Regular stretching and correct warm-up before sports or exercise are some of the techniques contained in our clinically proven treatment guide to help prevent re-injury. 

Start today and fast track your recovery!

Our guides contain all the latest clinical advice for musculoskeletal healthcare.

You can save hundreds of pounds or dollars on expensive physical therapy by treating the condition simply and effectively at home.

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Erector Spinae Strain (Head/Neck) treatment guide

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