More serious but rare causes of neck pain or stiffness include:
- tick bites
- rheumatoid arthritis
If neck pain or stiffness occurs with other symptoms of meningitis, such as fever, irritability, headache, sensitivity to light, poor feeding, nausea or vomiting, or rash, it’s important to seek help immediately. According to a 2006 article in The Lancet
, meningococcal disease can quickly progress from initial symptoms to severe symptoms or death. Early diagnosis by a medical professional is crucial. Another cause of neck pain is Lyme disease. This is often contracted and spread through tick bites. Always inspect the neck area for signs of a bug bite. You will often see a red area or rash around the bite mark. Children may also have symptoms that include:
- swollen lymph nodes
- muscle and joint pains
If your child has a traumatic neck injury such as a car accident or fall, seek immediate medical help.