Neck Pain or Stiffness
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Reviewed By:

Kent C Doan, MD

Kent C Doan, MD (Orthopedics)

Dr Doan Graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine and completed residency training in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Colorado. He completed additional fellowship training in Orthopedic Sports Medicine at the prestigious Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado. He is a practicing Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in complex and revision knee and shoulder surgery at the Kansas City Orthopedic Institute. He also holds an assistant professorship at the University of Kansas City.

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedics)

Dr. Hamahata graduated from the Jikei University of Medical Science. After working at Asanokawa General Hospital and Kosei Chuo Hospital, he joined the Department of Orthopedics at Asakusa Hospital in April 2021, specializing in general orthopedics and joint replacement surgery.

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Content updated on Apr 4, 2024

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How Ubie Can Help You

With an easy 3-min questionnaire , Ubie's AI-powered system will generate a free report on possible causes.

Questions are customized to your situation and symptoms, including the following personal information:

  • Biological Sex - helps us provide relevant suggestions for male vs. female conditions.

  • Age - adjusts our guidance based on any age-related health factors.

  • History - considers past illnesses, surgeries, family history, and lifestyle choices.

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✔︎  When to see a doctor

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People with similar symptoms also use Ubie's symptom checker to find possible causes

  • I can't sleep because my neck hurts

  • Unable to turn my head at all even though there is no pain

  • Unable to turn my neck at all even though there is no pain

  • Neck pain gets worse when I stretch my neck downwards

  • Neck pain gets worse when I stretch my neck upwards

  • Pain in the neck when moving head towards shoulders

  • Can't turn around to look because of neck pain

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About the Symptom

Neck pain is discomfort or pain in or around the spine, beneath the head and above the shoulders. It can be aching, sharp, or dull in nature.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Dysphagia

  • Urinary incontinence

  • Chest pain during swallowing

  • Fever

  • Numbness of the body

  • Muscle weakness in the limbs

  • Neck pain / stiffness

  • Back pain

  • Low back pain

  • Numbness / sensory disorder

  • Swelling of the affected area

Possible Causes

Generally, Neck pain or stiffness can be related to:

  • Retropharyngeal Abscess

    A retropharyngeal abscess is rare but potentially life-threatening infection that forms behind the back wall of the throat. Symptoms include sore throat, fevers, inability to completely open jaw (trismus), and limited neck range of motion. Imaging including ultrasounds and CT scans might be used to determine severity.

  • Suppurative Lymphadenitis

    Lymphadenitis suppurativa is the inflammation and suppuration (pus formation) of lymph nodes in the body.

  • Ossification of the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament (OPLL)

    Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) is a condition where a flexible structure called the posterior longitudinal ligament becomes thicker and less flexible.

  • Tension Headache
  • Cervical Spondylosis
  • Depression
  • Adjustment Disorder
  • Peri-/Post-Menopausal Symptoms
  • Migraine
  • Occipital Neuralgia

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Do you have neck pain or stiffness?

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Find Similar Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints

References

  • NHS

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neck-pain-and-stiff-neck/

  • Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 28(17):p 730-736, September 1, 2020. | DOI: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-19-00834

Reviewed By:

Kent C Doan, MD

Kent C Doan, MD (Orthopedics)

Dr Doan Graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine and completed residency training in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Colorado. He completed additional fellowship training in Orthopedic Sports Medicine at the prestigious Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado. He is a practicing Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in complex and revision knee and shoulder surgery at the Kansas City Orthopedic Institute. He also holds an assistant professorship at the University of Kansas City.

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedics)

Dr. Hamahata graduated from the Jikei University of Medical Science. After working at Asanokawa General Hospital and Kosei Chuo Hospital, he joined the Department of Orthopedics at Asakusa Hospital in April 2021, specializing in general orthopedics and joint replacement surgery.

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