Causes of Stiff Neck

Have you woken up one day to find that you are unable to turn your head sideways? Along with the lack of movement of your neck, the exuberating headache, neck pain and shoulder pain takes a toll on your health where you can turn sideways, only if you turn your whole body. If you are going through these symptoms, then you are really suffering from a stiff neck.

Stiff Neck – Why You Need To Be Careful?

It might seem and sound like a small physical discomfort, but a stiff neck can be quite painful and cause a huge amount of discomfort. Stiff neck mainly occurs due to bad sitting posture, performing straining activities like holding heavy objects, etc. Most people never suffer from this physical discomfort once in their lifetime, and if you are among the people who haven’t got, then you are quite lucky.

Unlike other body problems, stiff neck goes away all by itself within a week or two. It is important that individuals must take proper care of their stiff neck so that they can manage the pain and be able to reduce the recovery time. By taking proper care of the stiff neck, there are fewer chances of it coming back.

What Causes Stiff Neck

The following are the factors that lead to stiff neck among most people –

Muscle Strain And Tension

This is caused due to behaviors and activities like

  1. Falling or injuring your neck while doing sporting activities, especially when the neck is pushed to the side.
  2. Sleeping in a bad position
  3. Lack of proper knowledge of the sitting position while you are working at your desk or surfing on the net.
  4. Experiencing anxiety or stress.
  5. Staying in an awkward position for a long time. For example, staring on the smartphone for a long time.


Do you know the stiff neck is vulnerable to injuries especially ones like car accidents, falls, sports, etc? It is common among injuries where the ligaments and muscles of the neck are forced to move from their normal range.

Heart Attack

Do you know that stiff neck pains can be symptoms of a heart attack? Of course, besides stiff neck, there are other symptoms like sweating, shortness of breath, nausea, jaw or arm pain, vomiting, etc. If your neck is hurting along with the other symptoms of heart attack, immediately call an ambulance or go to the nearby emergency room.

Other Causes

In rare cases, stiff neck or neck pain can happen due to infections, congenital abnormalities,abscesses, spine cancer, and tumor.

Wrapping Up

Most doctors recommend that you take it easy for one or two days while you are suffering from a stiff neck so that it can easily heal. If the pain is quite extreme, you could use some ice or painkillers. Also avoid wearing a cervical collar which can reduce the neck’s movement. Never avoid or stop the daily activities that you do. Neck stiffness and pain can be quite irritating and the best thing is that it goes away within three to four days. However, if the pain preserves for week or two, visit the doctor for further diagnosis.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.