For the most part, if a stiff neck is the only symptom you are experiencing then you can rest easy as it is probably some minor issue such as stress, strain, or improper posture that is causing your neck to be tight and moving with resistance. So breathe a sigh of relief if you’re just feeling the stiffness on its own.
That being said, if you’ve recently experienced an accident such as a car crash that could induce whiplash or any other event that caused a sudden push, pull or impact on your head or neck then you should seek out medical assistance in the case of possible spinal injury as soon as possible. These incidents are usually accompanied by severe and chronic pains, but it is always best to get MRI work done to confirm any suspicions and get a head start on any rehabilitation needed.
If you are just experiencing resistance in moving your neck then you are likely okay, but a restricted range of motion can be the signs of a serious condition. One of the most common and well-known cases is meningitis that often has the symptom of being unable to tilt your head forward and down. Meningitis is usually accompanied by flu-like symptoms as it is caused by an infection in the tissue around the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be life-threatening in some cases and medical assistance should be sought out immediately if you experience the restricted range of neck motion and any of the following symptoms:
- Sudden onset of fever paired often with a headache
- Light sensitivity
- Loss of awareness, shortness of temper
- The inability to wake up from sleep.
Other causes of neck stiffness can include minor sprains and muscle strains caused by sleeping awkwardly, sitting or slouching for long periods of time, staring downwards at a book or phone for too long, sports injuries, having experienced a fall or trip as well as potentially just stiff muscles caused by stress.
Another common culprit for chronic neck stiffness is the onset of arthritis or cervical spondylosis. This also includes chronic pain that gets worse when a person remains in the same position over a long period of time such as at an office job at the desk or on long drives.
In general, you probably don’t need medical help for most instances of a stiff neck, but if you’ve been experiencing it for over 6 weeks without the condition getting better you may want to schedule a checkup with your doctor to make sure if anything serious is going on.
Relieving or Preventing a Stiff Neck:
Usually, taking better care of yourself and keep your posture in mind can go a long way. Make sure that if you spend a lot of time in one position that you make sure it is as ergonomic as possible and to get a good mattress and pillow that supports your neck and spine for a more restful sleep and to get those kinks out of your neck. Stretching, yoga or light cardio are all good ways to improve the way you feel and move throughout the day.
A final way to help you feel better without getting any drugs involved is to head to a masseuse or chiropractor for a massage or alignment. Getting your stressed muscles pulled out and your spine popped back into proper alignment can have wonderful immediate effects that can liberate you from stiffness and pain without resorting to pills to delay the problem.
For professional help in relieving your stiff neck, contact Modoma to set up an appointment or consultation today.