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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Neck Stiffness: Treatment & Monitoring

Neck Stiffness

Alternate Names : Stiff Neck

Neck Stiffness | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatment for stiff neck depends on the underlying cause.

  • A person who has a stiff neck from sleeping wrong may need to use a different pillow at night.
  • A person who has a stiff neck from an injury may need physical therapy, pain medication, and hot or cold packs to reduce pain and stiffness.
  • A person with a stiff neck caused by stress may need counseling to learn stress management techniques.
  • Some neck injuries may be treated with a cervical collar to help support the head.
  • Emergency care and hospitalization may be needed for a person with a major injury or a life-threatening infection.
  • Oxygen, intravenous fluids, and antibiotics may be given. Close monitoring of vital signs, such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure may be necessary.
  • Surgery or traction may be necessary to treat injuries or relieve pressure on the neck or brain.
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Side effects to treatment depend on the treatment used. Antibiotics can cause stomach upset, rash, allergic reactions, or other side effects. Surgery poses a risk of bleeding, infection, paralysis, or allergic reaction to the anesthesia.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    A person who feels fine after treatment may not need any further care. A person who underwent surgery may need close monitoring and physical therapy. A person who has meningitis may need intensive care for many weeks.

    How is the condition monitored?

    A person recovering from a stiff neck may need no further monitoring. A person who received intensive treatment and is recovering from a serious illness, such as meningitis, may need close monitoring. A person recovering from a major trauma or injury may need close monitoring to evaluate treatment and physical therapy to aid recovery. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Neck Stiffness: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

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