Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Stiffness in the neck can arise as a result of disorders and diseases of any structure in the neck. The neck contains seven cervical vertebrae that are the bony building blocks of the spine in the neck; these vertebrae surround the spinal cord and canal. Between these vertebrae are discs, and nearby pass the nerves of the neck. Within the neck, other structures and organs include the neck muscles, arteries, veins, lymph glands, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, esophagus, larynx, and trachea. Neck stiffness can be associated with symptoms such as
Stiff neck is most commonly due to damage to the bones, nerves, and/or muscles of the neck. However, stiff neck is also a symptom of meningitis (along with headache and fever). Neck stiffness may also develop as a reaction and result of muscle spasm in various conditions that cause neck pain, including traumatic injuries.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
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Examples of Medications for Stiff Neck
- acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain)
- aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, Bayer, Ecotrin, and others)
- celecoxib, Celebrex
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
- naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- Over-the-Counter Products
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