A stiff neck, typically characterized by limited mobility (commonly from side to side) and pain is often caused by muscle strain, inflammation of the joints or soft tissue sprain.
Examples of activities that may contribute to a stiff neck include:
- Looking at smartphones or similar electronic devices for an extended period of time
- Driving for a long period of time
- Sleeping with the neck in an awkward position
- Falling or sudden impact
- Turning the head repeatedly from side to side during an activity
- Experiencing prolonged periods of stress, which can lead to tension of neck muscles
The following self-care treatments can be applied for mild cases of a stiff neck:
- Heat or cold therapy
- Resting the neck by reducing activities that require frequent movement
- Over-the-counter medications ( used as recommended or as advised by a physician)
- Low impact exercises
On rare occasions, a stiff neck may be indicative of a more serious health condition. If a stiff neck is accompanied by the following symptoms, it is advised that medical attention is sought right away:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Coordination issues
- Changes in mental state (confusion or mood swings)
It is also recommended that you see a doctor if milder symptoms of a stiff neck including pain and limited mobility do not improve after a week.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.