There is no doubt that many a times our neck feels tense and tight and uncomfortable to say the least. The discomfort is so severe at times that it becomes virtually impossible to move our neck around freely.
There are many of us who seem to suffer from this problem for a long period of time. There are many reasons which could be the cause of stiff neck and usually it is because of strain on the soft tissues of our neck. However, it could be the precursor to many other problems and therefore should not be taken lightly.
Main Causes Of Stiff Neck
Let us first look at the various causes of stiff neck so that the necessary remedial steps could be taken.
Any injury that you may have suffered could lead to stiff neck because it may have resulted in the jerking of your head violently. This could result in injury to the muscles and also the ligaments in and around your neck. There are a number of accidents which could be the reason for such stiff neck and could be due to automobile accidents, collision while you are in any contact sports, rough falls and also because of osteoarthritis. Any such conditions could lead to these problems.
Osteoarthritis is a condition which leads to the wear and tear of joints and more often than not age is a major reason for such problem to occur. The main symptoms are limited movement and stiffness around various joints and your neck is also a victim of this problem.
3. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune order which affects various parts of your body particularly your joints. Over a period of time it can damage your neck which ultimately manifests itself into stiffness and neck pain. The main is usually more profound on the upper portion of your neck.
4. Pinched Nerve
Pinched nerve is another reason for stiff neck could be caused due to arthritis or due to the narrowing of the spinal canal. A herniated disk could also lead to this situation. People suffering from pinched nerve therefore suffer from stiff neck which could also radiate to your legs and arms. [wp_ad_camp_1]
Tension is also another reason that could lead to muscles becoming tense. In fact stiff neck could be the first symptom of your being in a state of stress.
Fibromyalgia also could cause stiff neck which could also be associated with muscle and joint pains.
7. Muscle Spasm
Muscle spasm is another common reason for stiff neck. When this happens, the nerves send across messages which makes them contract. When muscles contract due to such muscle spasm you could experience stiff neck.
Meningitis is a very dangerous and often life threatening infection that attacks the fluid that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord. Along with various other symptoms, such as fever and severe headache, stiff neck is another noticeable symptom.
9. Common Infections
Other common infections like flu, influenza could also lead to stiffening of the neck. Vomiting and sensitivity to light are also other reasons for stiff neck.
Treatments for Stiff Neck
Treatments are quite a few as far as stiff neck is concerned and let us look at the same over the next few lines.
First and foremost you have to realize the fact that stiff neck could be a symptom which points perhaps to a much serious problem or infection and therefore it should not be taken lightly.
Stiff neck accompanied by fever, vomiting, headache or body and muscle aches should immediately be referred to a doctor for further investigation.
The intensity of stiff neck can be determined with the help of an x-ray or CT or through MRI. There are other imaging studies which will help your physician to look through the bones and tissues of your neck.
Amongst the various treatments that are used NSAID like ibuprofen are very helpful for pain relief. Cervical collars help to keep your neck still which provides rest to it. Limiting certain activities, physiotherapy, and home based therapies can play a big role in helping you to get relief from this problem.
Apart from the above remedies various stretching exercise, massage, ice and heat therapies can certainly help in effective management of the problems associated with stiff neck. It is important to ensure that you sleep on a firm mattress to reduce pain. Many times, doctors may also recommend complete elimination of pillow.
Normally all neck stiffness conditions resolve within a week or two failing which you might require special attention and concentration from the doctor.