Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and More

Your neck is made up of vertebrae that stretch from the cranium to the higher torso. Cervical discs take up shock between the bones.

The bones, ligaments, and muscle tissue of your neck assist your head and permit for movement. Any abnormalities, irritation, or harm may cause neck ache or stiffness.

Many individuals expertise neck ache or stiffness often. In lots of circumstances, it’s from poor posture or overuse, or by sleeping in an ungainly place. Generally, neck ache is attributable to harm from a fall, contact sports activities, or whiplash.

More often than not, neck ache isn’t a critical situation and could be relieved inside just a few days.

However in some circumstances, neck ache can point out critical harm or sickness and require a health care provider’s care.

You probably have neck ache that continues for greater than every week, is extreme, or is accompanied by different signs, search medical consideration instantly.

Neck ache signs can vary in severity and length. Oftentimes, neck ache is acute and lasts for less than a few days or perhaps weeks. Different instances, it might change into persistent. Your neck ache could also be gentle and never intrude a lot along with your actions or every day residing, or it might be extreme and trigger incapacity.

Signs of neck ache might embrace:

  • Stiff neck. Individuals with neck ache typically describe feeling as if their neck is “stiff” or “caught.” Neck ache can typically trigger a decreased vary of movement.
  • Sharp ache. Neck ache might really feel like sharp or “stabbing” ache that’s localized to 1 space.
  • Ache when transferring. Neck ache is commonly exacerbated by transferring, twisting, or extending your cervical backbone, both back and forth or up and down.
  • Radiating ache or numbness. Your neck ache might radiate to your head, trunk, shoulder, and arms. In case your neck ache entails the compression of a nerve, you could really feel numbness, tingling, or weak point in both of your arms or fingers. Neck ache that’s from a pinched nerve might really feel like a burning or sharp ache that begins on the neck and travels down the arm. Speak with a health care provider should you expertise this symptom.
  • Headache. Ache that begins in your neck might also produce a headache referred to as a cervicogenic headache. Neck ache with a headache might also be a symptom of a migraine headache.
  • Ache when palpated. Neck ache might enhance in case your cervical backbone is palpated (bodily examined).

Neck ache or stiffness can occur for a wide range of causes.

Muscle rigidity and pressure

That is often from actions and behaviors reminiscent of:

  • poor posture
  • working at a desk for too lengthy with out altering place
  • sleeping along with your neck in a nasty place
  • jerking your neck throughout train


The neck is especially susceptible to harm, particularly in falls, automotive accidents, and sports activities, the place the muscle tissue and ligaments of the neck are pressured to maneuver exterior of their regular vary.

If the neck bones (cervical vertebrae) are fractured, the spinal wire might also be broken. Neck harm from sudden jerking of the pinnacle is often referred to as whiplash.

Coronary heart assault

Neck ache can be a symptom of a coronary heart assault. It typically presents with different signs of a coronary heart assault, reminiscent of:

In case your neck hurts and you’ve got different signs of coronary heart assault, name 911 or go to the emergency room instantly.


Meningitis is an irritation of the skinny tissue that surrounds the mind and spinal wire. In individuals who have meningitis, they might expertise:

  • stiff neck
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sensitivity to mild
  • fever

Meningitis could be deadly and is a medical emergency

You probably have the signs of meningitis, search medical assist instantly.

Different causes

Different causes of neck ache embrace the next:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis causes ache, swelling of the joints, and bone spurs. When these happen within the neck space, neck ache may result.
  • Osteoporosis weakens bones and might result in small fractures. This situation typically occurs in fingers or knees, however it might additionally happen within the neck.
  • Fibromyalgia is a situation that causes muscle ache all through the physique, particularly within the neck and shoulder area.
  • As you age, the cervical discs can degenerate. This is named spondylosis, or osteoarthritis of the neck. This will slim the area between the vertebrae. It additionally provides stress to your joints.
  • When a disc protrudes, as from a trauma or harm, it might add strain on the spinal wire or nerve roots. That is referred to as a herniated cervical disc, also called a ruptured or slipped disc.
  • Spinal stenosis happens when the spinal column narrows and causes strain on the spinal wire or the nerve roots because it exits the vertebrae. This may be from long-term irritation attributable to arthritis or different situations.

In uncommon situations, neck stiffness or ache happens attributable to:

  • congenital abnormalities
  • infections
  • abscesses
  • tumors
  • most cancers of the backbone

If signs persist for greater than every week, seek the advice of a health care provider. Additionally see a health care provider in case you have:

  • extreme neck ache with out obvious trigger
  • a lump in your neck
  • fever
  • headache
  • swollen glands
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • bother swallowing or respiratory
  • weak point
  • numbness
  • tingling
  • ache that radiates down your arms or legs
  • incapability to maneuver your arms or fingers
  • incapability to the touch your chin to your chest
  • bladder or bowel dysfunction

In case you’ve been in an accident or fall and your neck hurts, search medical care instantly.

A physician will carry out a bodily examination and take your full medical historical past. Be ready to inform them in regards to the specifics of your signs. Additionally let the physician learn about all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and dietary supplements you’ve been taking.

Even when it doesn’t appear associated, let your physician learn about any latest accidents or accidents you’ve had, too.

Therapy for neck ache will depend on its trigger. Along with an intensive historical past and bodily examination by your physician, you may additionally want a number of of the next imaging research and exams to assist your physician decide the reason for your neck ache and make a prognosis:

Relying on the outcomes, your physician might refer you to a specialist. Therapy for neck ache might embrace:

Different therapies embrace:

Be sure you’re seeing a licensed skilled when utilizing these strategies.

You probably have minor neck ache or stiffness, take these easy steps to alleviate it:

  • Apply ice for the primary few days. After that, apply warmth with a heating pad, sizzling compress, or by taking a sizzling bathe.
  • Take OTC ache relievers, reminiscent of ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Take just a few days off from sports activities, actions that worsen your signs, and heavy lifting. Once you resume regular exercise, accomplish that slowly as your signs ease.
  • Train your neck each day. Slowly stretch your head in side-to-side and up-and-down motions.
  • Apply good posture.
  • Keep away from cradling the cellphone between your neck and shoulder.
  • Change your place typically. Don’t stand or sit in a single place for too lengthy.
  • Get a delicate neck therapeutic massage.
  • Use a particular neck pillow for sleeping.
  • Don’t use a neck brace or collar with out your physician’s approval. In case you don’t use them correctly, they’ll make your signs worse.

Many individuals expertise neck ache due to poor posture and muscle pressure. In these circumstances, your neck ache ought to go away should you observe good posture and relaxation your neck muscle tissue after they’re sore.

Make an appointment with a health care provider in case your neck ache isn’t bettering with dwelling therapies.

Leave a Comment