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A stiff neck is characterized by limit mobility of the neck, especially in side to side motions. This is typically accompanied by tightness or discomfort, either in the muscles or bones of the neck. Neck pain can also be accompanied by pain in the shoulders, back, or arms. A stiff neck is an extremely common condition, and most American adults will experience a stiff neck at some point in their lives.
A stiff neck can have a variety of causes, ranging from everyday activities to more serious health conditions. Causes of a stiff neck include:
*These causes are extremely rare
The following factors may increase the risk of developing a stiff neck:
Though a stiff neck can most often be self-diagnosed, there are some diagnostic tests your doctor may perform to rule out the possibility of other, more serious health conditions. These include:
The following may be signs of a stick neck:
Stiff necks should improve after several days of rest. If you do not see improvement during this time, contact a doctor immediately to rule out the possibility of a more serious health condition.
If you have a stiff neck, consider the following tips:
There are no screening methods for detecting a stiff neck.
According to the National Institute of Health, the following treatments are available for a stiff neck:
Treatment for neck pain may also be accompanied by pain management, either over-the-counter or by prescription. If taking over-the-counter medication, be sure not to use it consecutively past a few days. This may cause further complications such as liver disease and ulcers. If taking prescription pain killers, be sure to talk to your doctor about the full risk and benefit of each pain killer.
Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications include:
For more information about prescription-strength pain medications, talk to your doctor or visit the thirdAGE Pain Management Condition Center.
The following alternative treatments may help reduce the symptoms of stiff neck:
If you are caring for a loved one with a stiff neck, consider the following:
Contact a doctor if you experience any of the following:
Contact emergency services if your experience any of the following. These may be signs of serious infection or heart attack:
To fnd a general practitioner in your area, click here or visit www.healthgrades.com
To find a chiropractor in your area, click here or visit The American Chiropractic Association.
For more information on stiff neck, visit:
You may want to ask your doctor the following questions:
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