ZocdocAnswersWhat does it mean if your neck is always stiff?

Question

What does it mean if your neck is always stiff?

I always have a stiff neck. Can't get it to go away. Is this sign of a disease? I take aspirin for the pain but it is getting to be a real problem.

Answer

I would recommend that you go to see your primary care doctor about the issue. Although stiffness in the neck is very common, it can sometimes require medical treatment, and your doctor can help you figure this out. Most of the time, neck stiffness is caused by straining and poor posture (for example, stooping over a computer screen all day). This can often be rectified by paying better attention to posture at work, using an ergonomic desk set up, etc. Also, if you have any trouble with vision, it can be helpful to go see your eye doctor to make sure that you do not need glasses or contacts, as nearsightedness often contributes to neck stiffness. In more severe cases of neck stiffness, the muscles can actually spasm. This can require medications to help relieve the spasm, which your doctor can prescribe for you, or physical therapy or specific stretching exercises. Also, it is important to make sure that there are no signs of a pinched nerve. Make sure to mention to your doctor if you have any weakness in the hands, any numbness or tingling running down the arms, or any other strange sensations.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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