There are a number of reasons for a stiff neck, some of which are not considered to be dangerous and others that could potentially be. A stiff neck is not typically a symptom that you would consider to be dangerous, but still it is possible of indicating some severe conditions including meningococcal disease and meningitis for example. Although stiffness of the neck is capable of arising from physical neck complaints such as whiplash, it can also be a common symptom for infection illnesses as well.
It is tough to know when your symptoms are enough to require medical attention or not. Generally, the rule of thumb with pain and stiffness in the neck is to see a physician regardless of whether the stiffness feels like it could be serious. If you are experiencing any degree of neck stiffness, you need to receive professional medical advice simply because there are so many reasons for a stiff neck to consider.
Possible Reasons for a Stiff Neck
The following is a look at some of the medical conditions that could be to blame for a stiff neck. There are likely to be a number of other causes as well, so it is important that you speak with your doctor about all of the symptoms that you are experiencing to get to the bottom of what is bothering you.
- - Some reasons for a stiff neck fall into the infections category. There are a number of different infections that are capable of causing a stiff neck, typically in conjunction with fever or headache. These infections include meningitis, meningococcal disease, polio, cervical spine infection and the flu.
- - Some physical neck disorders are also reasons for a stiff neck, including injury to the neck, neck strain or neck sprain, neck muscle disorder, whiplash, arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, cervical spondylosis, disc disorder, spinal disorders and torticollis.
- - There are a number of other physical complaints that could potentially cause a stiff neck, including but not limited to cold draught, using the wrong type of pillow or sleeping in a posture that is not healthy for your body.
- - Other reasons that may contribute to the feeling of a stiff neck include wryneck, cerebral tumor, exposure to the cold, congenital deformities or birth defects, Klippel-Feil, congenital torticollis, intra-cerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Unless you recall sleeping oddly and can trace your stiff neck back to a specific cause, it can be tough to determine exactly what caused your neck stiffness to occur. If your neck is feeling stiff and you are feeling any other symptoms, such as fever or headache for example, it would be wise to consult a physician as soon as you possibly can. This will ensure that you and your physician can get to the bottom of the health issues that you are facing, just in case you are dealing with something a little more serious than a simple crick in your neck.