A stiff neck is a common complaint which will probably affect everyone at some point in their life. It is however, usually short-lived, lasting for just a few days at a time. More often than not a stiff neck is caused by muscular tightness.
Symptoms of a Stiff Neck
- A tight, stiff feeling in the neck and surrounding muscles.
- Difficulty moving the neck, especially turning the head.
- Some people may experience headaches.
- Pain may radiate down into the back or down the arms.
Causes of a stiff neck include poor posture, repetitive neck movements, unusual neck positions (especially when sleeping), stress, sports activities or lifting weights etc.
A stiff neck can occasionally be a symptom of another condition, such as meningitis, although this would feature other symptoms such as a temperature, nausea or vomiting. Neck injuries and problems with the vertebrae or discs may cause a stiff neck due to muscle spasms which help support and protect the injury.