Stiff Neck

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Stiffness in the neck can arise as a result of disorders and diseases of any structure in the neck. The neck contains seven cervical vertebrae that are the bony building blocks of the spine in the neck; these vertebrae surround the spinal cord and canal. Between these vertebrae are discs and nearby pass the nerves of the neck. Within the neck, other structures and organs include the neck muscles, arteries, veins, lymph glands, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, esophagus, larynx, and trachea. Cervical stiffness is most commonly due to damage to the bones, nerves, and/or muscles of the neck. However, stiff neck is also a symptom of meningitis (along with headache and fever). Neck stiffness may also develop as a reaction and result of muscle spasm in various conditions that cause neck pain, including traumatic injuries.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/10/2012

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REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Causes of Stiff Neck
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      • What are risk factors for arthritis?
      • What are arthritis symptoms and signs?
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      • What is the treatment for arthritis?
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      • What is fibromyalgia?
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      Herniated Disc Article
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      Osteoarthritis Article
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      Sprains and Strains Article
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      Whiplash Article
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      • What causes whiplash?
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      • How is whiplash diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for whiplash?
      • What can be done to prevent whiplash?
Other Causes of Stiff Neck
  • Nerve Entrapment in Neck
  • Poor posture
  • Torticollis
  • Trauma
  • Virus Infection
Examples of Medications for Stiff Neck
  • acetaminophen, Tylenol and Others
  • acetylsalicylic acid, Aspirin, Ecotrin
  • celecoxib, Celebrex
  • ibuprofen, Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever etc.
  • naproxen, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve
  • Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Over-the-Counter Products




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