Stiff neck | Symptom Checker
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What causes stiff neck? 20 possible conditions

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

1

Neck Pain

The neck (cervical spine) is made up of vertebrae that extend from the skull to the upper torso. Any abnormalities, inflammation, or injury to the neck can cause pain or stiffness. In many cases, neck pain is due t...

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2

Meningitis

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

Meningitis can affect you differently depending on your age. Learn more about the symptoms and risk factors for each age group.

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3

Tetanus

Tetanus, also called Lockjaw, is a serious bacterial infection that affects the nervous system and causes muscles throughout the body to tighten.

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4

Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when a person's head moves backward and then forward very suddenly with great force. This injury is most common following a car collision.

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5

Sprains & Strains

Sprain refers to damage or tearing of ligaments or a joint capsule. Strain refers to damage or tearing of a muscle.

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6

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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7

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

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

Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) refers to bleeding within the subarachnoid space, which is the area between your brain and the tissues that cover it.

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8

Encephalitis

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

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain tissue. It's most often caused by viral infections. In some cases, bacterial infections can cause encephalitis.

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9

Head Injury

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

A head injury is an injury to your brain, skull, or scalp. All head injuries should be treated seriously and assessed by a doctor.

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10

Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is usually an age-related condition that affects the joints in your neck. It develops as a result of the wear and tear of the cartilage and bones are of the cervical spine. While it is largely du...

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11

Infectious Mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis, or mono, refers to a group of symptoms usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

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12

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an infectious condition transmitted via tick bite. A "bull's eye" rash at the site of the bite is an early symptom of this disease.

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13

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs. A severe and long-lasting cough, fever, and night sweats could indicate an active TB infection.

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14

Histoplasmosis

Histoplasmosis is a type of lung infection. It is caused by inhaling fungal spores. Spores are found in soil and in the droppings of bats and birds.

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15

West Nile Virus Infection (West Nile Fever)

A mosquito bite can turn into something much more severe if you are infected with West Nile virus. Mosquitoes transmit this virus after they bite an infected bird and then bite a person. While not all people wit...

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16

Skull Fractures

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

A skull fracture is any break in the cranial bone, or the skull. It can result in bleeding, bruising, pain, and swelling. Less severe symptoms include headache, nausea, confusion, and blurred vision.

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17

Cryptococcal Meningitis

Cryptococcal meningitis is a fungal infection and inflammation of the membranes covering your spinal cord and brain.

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18

Syphilitic Meningitis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can lead to meningitis if it's left untreated.

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19

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. A brain abscess can form when fungi...

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20

Meningeal Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious airborne disease that typically affects the lungs. TB is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. If a TB infection is not treated promptly, the bacterium can trave...

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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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