Causes and Treatment Options for Neck Stiffness and Pain

Causes and Treatment Options for Neck Stiffness and Pain

Do you wake up with a stiff neck every morning? Is it so bad that sometimes it hurts to turn your head in either direction? You are not alone. Neck pain is a common problem that affects many people at some point in their lives. There are many reasons for neck stiffness or pain; one of the most common is poor posture while sitting or standing. Other reasons include age-related degeneration of joints caused by osteoarthritis, trauma such as whiplash injury from a car accident, pressure on nerves due to tumors, or herniated disks. Dev Sen, MD, applies different interventions for pain management in Fredericksburg, VA, to help improve patients’ quality of life. Here are the causes of neck stiffness and pain, how to get quick relief, and what steps to take if the pain persists.

Causes of neck stiffness and pain

Most people describe neck stiffness as sudden jerking where the pressure makes it impossible to move your head. A muscle strain on your spinal cord’s supporting structures can cause difficulty moving the neck, leading to stiffness and sharp pain in the muscles. These symptoms can last for several days, and if the pain does not subside with massage and pain medication, you can seek medical help.

Bad posture

A sprain on your neck can occur due to bad posture or the lack of an ideal pillow to support your neck as you sleep. Likewise, turning your head vigorously during certain activities such as swimming can lead to stiffness. Also, if you stay in front of a computer without a break, it can lead to headaches and pressure on your neck muscles.

Cervical spine problems

 Another cause of neck stiffness and pain is a defect on the cervical spine, which may interfere with the mobility or flexibility that exists on each vertebra. A specialist may diagnose this condition through a series of tests or examinations and recommend various treatment options such as surgery.


Infections such as meningitis can cause an inflammation of the neck alongside other symptoms such as headache and fever. Therefore, you should seek medical help if you experience a stiff neck as it can be an early sign of meningitis. In addition, injuries from a car accident or a mishap during sports or training can lead to injuries and strains on your neck ligaments.


Osteoarthritis can lead to stiffness and the inability to move the neck. Treating the symptoms may not be sufficient as the pain may temporarily disappear before recurring. You can book an appointment with the physician who conducts several tests, including an X-ray, before recommending the best treatment.

Getting treatment

Before seeking treatment, you can try home-based therapies such as massage, simple neck exercises, and over-the-counter pain medication. However, if the pain does not go away within 2 to 3 days, it is essential to seek medical intervention. After diagnosis, your doctor treats underlying causes, and hence there is no single universal treatment.

Individuals can benefit from a wide range of interventions by seeking treatment early. Book an appointment with a specialist at Prime Regenerative and Pain Management for diagnosis and treatment.

Ishat Narain