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Cervical Sprain and Strain Differential Diagnoses

  • Author: Oregon K Hunter, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Consuelo T Lorenzo, MD  more...
Updated: Dec 28, 2015

Diagnostic Considerations

These include the following:

  • Cervical herniated disc
  • Cervical myelopathy
  • Cervical osteoarthritis
  • Infection or osteomyelitis
  • Inflammatory rheumatologic disease
  • Malingering
  • Psychogenic pain disorder
  • Referred pain from cardiothoracic structures
  • Tumor or malignancy of cervical spine
  • Vascular abnormality of cervical structures

Differential Diagnoses

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Oregon K Hunter, Jr, MD Physiatrist, Southeastern Rehabilitation Medicine, SIMED

Oregon K Hunter, Jr, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, American College of Forensic Examiners Institute, American College of Legal Medicine, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, American Medical Association, Florida Medical Association, Florida Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, International Association for the Study of Pain, International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, National Association of Disability Examiners, North American Spine Society, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, American Academy of Pain Management, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Michael D Freeman, MedDr, PhD, MPH Associate Professor of Forensic Epidemiology, CAPHRI School for Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University Medical Center

Michael D Freeman, MedDr, PhD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Forensic Sciences, American Academy of Pain Management, American College of Epidemiology, Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, North American Spine Society, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Milton J Klein, DO, MBA Consulting Physiatrist, Heritage Valley Health System-Sewickley Hospital and Ohio Valley General Hospital

Milton J Klein, DO, MBA is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians, American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, American Academy of Osteopathy, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Medical Association, American Osteopathic Association, American Osteopathic College of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Pain Society, Pennsylvania Medical Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Consuelo T Lorenzo, MD Medical Director, Senior Products, Central North Region, Humana, Inc

Consuelo T Lorenzo, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Martin K Childers, DO, PhD Professor, Department of Neurology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Professor, Rehabilitation Program, Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Martin K Childers, DO, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, American Osteopathic Association, Christian Medical & Dental Society, and Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Disclosure: Allergan pharma Consulting fee Consulting

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Radiograph of the lateral cervical spine shows a normal lordotic curve.
Radiograph of the lateral cervical spine shows straightening of the lordotic curve.
MRI of the cervical spine shows disc protrusion.
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