A stiff neck when occurring suddenly without warning could cause a panic. According to an article on webmd.com, most neck injuries or problems occur while participating in sports, recreation, work, or projects around the home . The author defines stiff neck as stiffness or sever pain from the base of the skull into the shoulders and continues to list common activities that could cause stiff neck symptoms. Some root causes referenced include holding your head in unnatural position for an extended length of time (Think laptop usage, improper computer set up at work, reading in unusual position, or posture for example), sleeping with your head tilted at an unusual angle (No pillow, wrong sized pillow, etc.), stress, or exercise or work that strains your upper body.
A stiff neck can also be something more serious and longer-term. According to the Webmd article, arthritis, meningitis, heart attacks, torticollis also can cause a stiff neck and headache. Even the common flue can cause a stiff neck. Additional causes according to an article on everydayhealth.com include Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and post-traumatic headache (From car accident for example).
The author of the Webmd article writes that treatment for the non-serious causes of stiff neck includes “basic first aid measures, physical therapy, manipulative therapy (Such as chiropractic or osteopathic), medicine, and in some cases surgery.” The Author of this article is not a physician. As such this does not in any way replace a doctor’s council.
For someone seeking more on stiff neck symptoms and how to address a stiff neck and headache, here are a few online resources in addition to seeing a licensed physician. Webmd.com, everydayhealth.com, www.spine-health.com, mayoclinic.com, www.nlm.nih.gov.