Neck stiffness
Natural Solutions in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch

Learn about the causes of Neck stiffness & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Neck stiffness within New Zealand.

Neck stiffness (stiff neck) is commonly caused by wear and tear of the joints, called cervical spondylosis. It is also the primary symptom of meningism, an irritation of the tissue surrounding the spinal cord.


Causes of neck stiffness Neck stiffness | The Wellness Directory

Neck stiffness is caused by muscle spasms, strains or tension. Neck stiffness is a common problem and can be caused by a number of neck conditions. The primary symptoms of pain, stiffness and restricted movement can be an indication of a more severe problem such as a slipped disc, fracture of the cervical bones of the neck, viral or bacterial infection or a tumour. Neck stiffness can also occur after an injury or car accident whereby the head is forcibly thrown forwards or sideways (known as whiplash).

In children, an inherited condition called 'congenital muscular torticollis' causes neck stiffness. In adults, neck muscle spasms (known as acute torticollis) can be the body's protective mechanism for an underlying neck problem.

Other causes of neck stiffness include:

  • Angina
  • Arthritis
  • Meningitis
  • Lyme disease
  • Polio
  • Sinusitis
  • Stress
  • Tetanus

Symptoms of neck stiffness

Neck stiffness can be accompanied by a variety of symptoms depending on the underlying cause of the problem. These can include:

  • Pain
  • Restricted movement
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Swollen glands (lymph nodes)
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Breathing difficulty

Diagnosis of neck stiffness

In the majority of cases, neck stiffness is a temporary problem caused by poor posture or sleeping in an awkward position. Symptoms will usually ease after a day and with postural or ergonomic changes you can prevent the problem occurring again.

If your neck stiffness occurs after an injury or accident then you should seek emergency medical attention as there may be serious damage to the neck. If your neck stiffness is persistent, visit your GP.

The GP will make an initial assessment based on your symptoms to rule out any serious underlying problems. If necessary, you may be referred for further tests to identify the cause of your neck stiffness. Tests may include X-rays, CT or MRI scans.


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