ZocdocAnswersHow can I cure my stiff neck?

Question

How can I cure my stiff neck?

I am a 43 year old female and have had stiffness in my neck for around 3 days or so. Is there a way to cure it without seeing a doctor? How can I make my neck loosen back up?

Answer

Neck stiffness is usually a symptom of associated with a headache, or an irritated muscle. However, a stiff neck can be due to more serious illnesses. Thus, you should always see a doctor when you develop a symptom such as this. A stiff neck is a common symptom of a type of headache known as a tension headache. This type of headache begins in the back of the head and moves over to the front. A stiff neck is an accompanying symptom. Sleeping in an awkward fashion can also cause a stiff neck. Both of these causes of a stiff neck usually go away on their own, or are helped by mild pain killers such as acetaminophen or an anti-inflammatory drug. However, a stiff neck can also be a sign of a more serious condition such as meningitis. This is an infection within the brain. This type of infection is usually accompanied by a fever, chills and a change in mental function. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can examine your neck and make sure that the symptoms that are not due to something serious. From there, you can get the treatment you need for relief.

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

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.