What causes neck pain and stiff neck? 7 possible conditions

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See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when a person's neck is forced backward and then forward very suddenly. Whiplash results when the soft tissues–the muscles and ligaments–of your neck are extended beyond their typical range of motion.

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2

Sprains & Strains

Sprains and strains are injuries to the body, often resulting from physical activity. These injuries are common and can range from minor to severe, depending on the incident. Most don't require medical attention.

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3

Wry Neck (Torticollis)

Wry neck (Torticollis) is a tilted and twisted neck that can be congenital or result from muscle injury, swollen lymph nodes, ear infection, or other causes.

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4

Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is a condition that results from the wear and tear of the cartilage and bones of the cervical spine. One sign is tingling in the shoulders and arms, and sometimes the legs.

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5

Meningitis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord. It may cause headache and fever in teens and adults, irritability in babies, and trouble breathing in young children.

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6

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

This life-threatening hemorrhage involves bleeding between the brain and the tissues that cover it. If you experience an extreme headache, a popping sound in your head, seizures, and other symptoms, seek immediate help.

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7

Brain Abscess

An abscess of the brain is usually the result of a bacterial or fungal infection. The infection will cause your brain to swell from the collection of pus and dead cells that form, causing severe symptoms.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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