Stiff Neck: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 27. March 2017 07:10

Difficulty in moving and turning the neck in either side can be termed as a Stiff Neck. In this condition, if a person wants to look sideways, he will have to move his complete body to that side. Stiff Neck condition is common and is not age specific.

Causes

  • Sleeping with an awkward neck position
  • A sudden blow to the neck, which pushes it to one side
  • Frequent side to side turning  of the head while swimming
  • Slouching while looking on a computer monitor
  • Excessive stress or anxiety
  • Abnormal positioning of the neck, for e.g. while holding a phone
  • Conditions like Cervical Herniated Disc, Degenerative Disc, Osteoarthritis etc.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the neck , which may radiate to shoulders and arms
  • Headache and nausea
  • Limited range of motion
  • Difficulty in coordinating leg movement while walking
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Mood swings

Diagnosis

The doctor will examine, how far a patient can move his head in either direction. Certain imaging tests may be suggested to evaluate the cause of neck pain and stiffness.

  • X-rays – This test may reveal the areas where nerves and spinal cord may be pinched by bone spurs or any other degenerative changes.
  • CT Scan And MRI Scan – These tests may give detailed images about the damage caused to soft tissues.

Treatment

This condition can be treated with conservative mode of treatment:

  • Rest – The doctor may advise the patients to take rest for about 2 days. This may help damaged tissues to heal and also relieve the symptoms. For instance, a swimmer may avoid practising strokes that involved rapid turning of the head.
  • Heat Or Cold Therapy – Heat therapy may be suggested by the doctor to stimulate blood flow in the neck muscles. On the other hand, using ice packs may be recommended to alleviate inflammation and pain.
  • Medication – Patients may be prescribed anti-inflammatory medicines and painkillers to reduce bruising and affliction.
  • Exercises – Various muscle strengthening exercises may be suggested to the patients for increasing neck’s range of motion and relieving tenderness.
  • Traction – Weights, pulleys or an air bladder may be used by doctors to stretch patient’s neck. This may reduce pain and free a pinched nerve that might be causing neck stiffness.
  • Immobilization - For rapid healing of the damaged tissues, the doctor may ask the patients to wear neck collars. They provide support and take off the pressure from the neck muscles.

For comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of Stiff Neck, consult Dr. Guess, a board certified spine surgeon in Carrollton, TX. To schedule an appointment with the surgeon call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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