10 Causes of A Stiff Neck

By james
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
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A stiff neck is a common ailment. Most of us have had one at some point and it can be very uncomfortable indeed. Fortunately, though, it is not something serious and will pass within a day or so. Remedies are available that can help to relieve you of the stiffness and other symptoms.

If you have had a stiff neck for a while, though, then you should consider speaking with a doctor. The same goes if the pain you are experiencing is particularly difficult to bear.

A stiff neck can be a sign of a potentially serious underlying problem, so it should not be treated with complacency. This article looks at 10 causes of a stiff neck.

Cause Of A Stiff Neck #1: Sleeping Awkwardly

We’ve all done it at some point. You wake up in the morning and your neck is so stiff that you can barely move it at all. Most of the time, this is down to sleeping awkwardly. Your head and neck may have been in such a position that it puts pressure on the muscles of the neck, leaving you in some discomfort when you eventually wake up.

It is very difficult to control the positions we sleep in. If a stiff neck is becoming too frequent for you then try making some changes to your sleeping arrangement. A new mattress or a new, good-quality pillow could be just what you need.

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Cause Of A Stiff Neck #2: Injury

A stiff neck can also be caused by a physical injury. It is most likely to happen in sporting people but it can happen to everybody. If your stiff neck is caused by any type of physical injury then the chances are that you will be well aware of what caused it.

There is a chance that you could have caused considerable damage to a muscle or ligament in the neck. As such, you should consider speaking with a professional if you feel as though something is not right. Fortunately, however, the vast majority of such injuries are likely to be treated relatively easily.

Cause Of A Stiff Neck #3: Grinding Teeth

Many people grind their teeth, for various reasons, and a lot of the time people don’t even realize that they are doing it. This can cause permanent damage to the teeth while it can also cause pain in the area around the jaws, and this includes a stiff neck.

Such grinding of the teeth will often take place when the patient is sleeping. This is a condition that is known as bruxism and is often considered to be a dental condition. If you do wake up regularly with a stiff neck and other discomfort in the area, you may need to book an appointment with your dentist to get the problem fixed.

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Cause Of A Stiff Neck #4: Whiplash

Whiplash is a relatively common injury that is often, but not always, caused by road traffic accidents. It is the result of the spine being bent too quickly as a result of a collision. It can be very uncomfortable and it can be a sign of a serious injury in some cases.

Whiplash will sometimes be a long-lasting injury and it can have a considerable impact on the patient’s quality of life. You should arrange to speak with a medical professional if you have a stiff neck and have also recently been in an accident. It is something that is often played down although it can be a serious injury.

Cause Of A Stiff Neck #5: Cervical Spine Disorders

The cervical spine holds a lot of nerves and important blood vessels. This area is protected by the vertebrae, but a misalignment or pathology may cause problems that can feel like a stiff neck.

Cervical spine disorders have the potential to be quite serious, and they can have a serious impact on the patient’s overall well-being. If you do suspect you have such a condition then you should arrange to get it checked out. Other symptoms include tingling, numbness, spasms, and pain in the arms.

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Cause Of A Stiff Neck #6: Tension

Life can be very taxing on us sometimes, and it can make us feel very tense. Times of tensions affect the mind and the body, which may manifest as muscle tension. This, in itself, can cause unwelcome symptoms, such as causing us to develop a stiff neck.

If you are experiencing tension too often then you should arrange to do something about it. In many cases, this can mean just making some time to do the things you enjoy doing. If this is not working for you, then you should consider speaking with a professional. Too much tension in your life can have a profound effect on your physical and mental well-being.

Cause Of A Stiff Neck #7: Sitting Awkwardly

Our necks are quite flexible. This flexibility helps us to move our head around, and this helps us to see what is going on all around us. It does have its limitations, though, and you may end up with a stiff neck if you sit awkwardly for too long. We will sometimes do so without even realizing it.

If you sit in a slouched position for too long then it can cause your neck muscles to become scrunched up and this can lead to a stiff neck. Likewise, some people might find that they get a stiff neck if they spend too long looking down at their phone or other device.

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Cause Of A Stiff Neck #8: Carrying Heavy Weights

There will come times when we will need to carry heavy weights. Some people do so on a regular basis while others will use heavy weights for exercise. For others, it might simply be a case of carrying the shopping home. Regardless of the reason, heavy weights can result in a stiff neck.

If you are carrying heavy weights then you should always be sure to use the right technique. This can help prevent a stiff neck while it can also help prevent more serious injuries. If the weight is too much for you then consider having somebody else help if possible.

Cause Of A Stiff Neck #9: Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that tends to affect older people, although people of all ages can be affected. There are different types of arthritis and they tend to be caused by wear and tear on the joints, and/or autoimmune conditions that cause inflammation. Arthritis affects our joints, and this includes the joints in our neck.

Cervical spondylosis is basically arthritis of the neck and is generally caused by wear and tear of the joints. Other symptoms include pain, headaches, weakness, and numbness and tingling. There is no known cure, but the condition can be treated to at least help reduce the severity of the symptoms.

Cause Of A Stiff Neck #10: Meningitis

Our brain and spinal cords are protected by a thin covering that is known as the meninges. This covering can become inflamed in a condition that is known as meningitis. There are various possible causes of meningitis, including bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.

Meningitis is a condition that should be taken very seriously. It is very dangerous, potentially resulting in death. It most commonly affects very young children, although people of all ages can develop the condition. Other symptoms include a fever, vomiting, inability to wake, confusion, and sensitivity to light. If you do suspect meningitis then you should treat the case as an emergency and get to a hospital as soon as possible.

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