Stiff neck causes can be due to a numerous amount of factors. Some of these factors can be non-life threatening while others may be very serious. Many stiff necks usually go away within a few days, but if the condition lasts longer, medical treatment may be needed. Here are some reasons a person may experience having a stiff neck.
- Sleeping improperly. Positioning your head wrong while resting can cause your neck to feel stiff upon waking. Using a pillow that is too flat and does not give enough support to the head and neck can cause a problem.
- Stress. Stress is a common cause for having a stiff neck. The neck, shoulders and back are very susceptible to becoming stiff, tense and sore from stress. The condition can easily be resolved by relax, massage and exercise.
- Whiplash. Individuals who have been in a car accident or have been rear ended may suffer from a type of stiff neck called whiplash. Whiplash is not a very severe injury, but it may require the treatment from a medical doctor. The effects from the stiffness can be felt anywhere from weeks to months.
- Flu symptoms. The flu can cause a person to experience a stiffness in the neck area. Sick individuals may hold their body a little differently than they would when they are feeling well resulting in a stiff neck.
- Meningitis. Meningitis is a very serious condition. It is a very rare condition, but can affect both the young and the old. A stiff neck, fever and a bad headache that starts around the same time should be addressed with a medical professional to rule out meningitis.
- Poor posture. Sitting slumped over a computer or holding your head over on a cell phone can contribute to a stiff neck. Many individuals also like to read in bed. Depending upon the way you position yourself in bed while reading may also cause your neck to become stiff.
- Oral problems. Individuals who wear poor fitting dentures and have problems with their gums may also experience a stiff neck. Many times infections of the mouth and gums can lead to an infection which can cause problems of the neck.
- Vomiting. Individuals who experience periods of throwing up for a long period may have some stiffness in their neck. This type of stiffness is not a life threatening situation, but a doctor may want to be seen if the condition worsens.
- Sport injuries. Different types of sport activities can put a lot of stress on the neck muscles. This type of stress to the neck can cause it to become stiff and sore. Depending on the severity of the injury a person may require treatment from a physical therapist or other medical therapist.
- Swimming. Many types of physical activities such as swimming can also cause stiffness in the neck. The stiffness is cause by the neck being turned from side to side while swimming. The stiffness will usually disappear within a few days.
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