Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: neck | pain | stiff | neck | muscle | sprain

What Causes My Stiff Neck?

Thursday, 17 May 2012 09:30 AM


Question: Every few months I wake up with an extremely stiff and painful neck. It gradually goes away, but it is painful to the point where I can barely turn my head, which makes driving difficult. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
A stiff neck may also be accompanied by a headache, shoulder pain and/or arm pain, and cause the individual to turn the entire body as opposed to the neck when trying to look sideways or backwards. Most neck pain lasts just a short time — a few hours or days.
Neck pain that continues longer than several weeks is considered chronic. But even persistent neck pain can usually be helped by exercise, stretching, physical therapy and massage. By far the most common cause of a stiff neck is a muscle sprain or muscle strain, particularly to the levator scapula muscle located at the back and side of the neck. The levator scapula muscle connects the cervical spine (the neck) with the shoulder.
There could be other several causes for your stiff neck, and you have to work with your healthcare provider to see what could be the cause. Some of the common causes include: poor posture while sleeping, or with too many or too few pillows, emotional stress, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, cervical spondylosis, herniated disc, cervical dystonia, tension headache, fibromyalgia, or even any old injury.



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Neck pain can result from a variety of causes.
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Thursday, 17 May 2012 09:30 AM
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