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What are the underlying causes for stiffness in neck and jaw after being diagnosed with strep throat?

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Infectious Diseases Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 877 Questions
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I cut myself between my thumb and index finger on Tuesday. Yesterday I had a sore throat and difficulty swallowing. I went to urgent care and they did a test and said I have strep throat. I've been on meds for about 18 hours and not feeling much better. Today I woke up with stiffness in neck and jaw. Should I got back to urgent care or ER for this or wait and see how I feel tomorrow?
Posted Wed, 18 Dec 2013 in Infections
 
 
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 2 days later
Brief Answer: Wound care, tetanus shot, Strep throat Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for choosing health care magic for your query. It is not clear in your query whether your wound was properly cleaned and attended to. I would also like to know if your tetanus vaccination is up to date. If the wound has been cleaned properly then there is less likely chances of that wound getting infected and causing complications. Coming to sore throat, this condition is most commonly caused by bacteria called streptococci which cause pharyngitis and tonsillitis. Some patients I have seen in my practice do complain of pain in the jaw and throat due to strep throat but that pain is relieved by pain killers and rest. Please continue your medications for strep throat. Stiffness of neck can also be due wrong posture while sleeping, using uncomfortable pillows or sudden movements of the neck. I suggest you apply over the counter muscle relaxant/painkiller gel over the stiff neck and relax your neck muscles as much as possible. If you are having difficulty in opening your mouth, difficulty in chewing and swallowing and teeth gnashing then you have to go the ER as soon as possible. I hope I have cleared all your doubts. Please get back if any more clarifications. Thanks.
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Follow-up: What are the underlying causes for stiffness in neck and jaw after being diagnosed with strep throat? 7 minutes later
What do you mean by gnashing of teeth?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Lock jaw Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome back. This condition is called lock jaw or trismus where there is severe pain while trying to open the jaw and while trying to chew and swallow. The patient tries to open his mouth but due to severe pain ends up gnashing his teeth. The literal meaning would be grinding your teeth. This is the first indication of tetanus infection. I hope I have cleared your doubts. Please let me know if I can assist you further. Thanks.
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Follow-up: What are the underlying causes for stiffness in neck and jaw after being diagnosed with strep throat? 3 hours later
the wound was cleaned with hydrogen peroxide not sure on my last tetanus shot. wounds came from a clean kitchen knife
 
 
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 3 hours later
Brief Answer: Less likely chance of wound infection Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome back. As the wound was from a clean kitchen knife and was treated with hydrogen peroxide immediately, less likely chance of any wound infection. Tetanus shots (boosters) are given every ten years. If you have not had your booster for the past ten years, I suggest you get one. I also suggest you complete the full course of medications prescribed for the strep throat. Try some stretching exercises for your stiff neck. Avoid wrong posture and hard pillows while sleeping. I hope I have answered your query satisfactorily. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Thanks.
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Follow-up: What are the underlying causes for stiffness in neck and jaw after being diagnosed with strep throat? 15 minutes later
Thanks woke up this morning worth stiffness in calls muscles and tingling all night in fingers and toes is this related?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 25 minutes later
Brief Answer: Bodyache & stiffness common in bacterial infection Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome back. Generalized stiffness and body ache is commonly seen in patients suffering from infection caused by streptococci and is relieved by over the counter analgesics and rest. I suggest you take complete rest for 3-5 days till the fever and body ache subsides. If the tingling and numbness of fingers persists then it needs to be examined by a GP nearby you to rule out vascular and neurological causes. I hope I have cleared your doubts. Thanks.
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Follow-up: What are the underlying causes for stiffness in neck and jaw after being diagnosed with strep throat? 11 hours later
today I have stiffness in my abdomen shoukd I be concerned?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 41 minutes later
Brief Answer: Continue medications, Rest is cure Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome back. Abdominal stiffness or rigidity is stiffness of muscles in the abdomen which can be felt when touched or pressed. When there is abdominal pain, the pain gets worse when a hand presses against the belly area. To prevent this, the patient guards the abdomen by stiffening his muscles to prevent occurrence of pain when touched. This can be caused due to many reasons, most common being the following: 1. Abdominal pain 2. Nausea 3. Vomiting 4. Abdominal swelling I suggest you continue your medications for strep throat and in addition take Tab Buscopan twice daily after food for 2 days to relieve the abdominal pain. Have fluid diet for the next 2 days. Rest is must. This will help regain your energy lost during illness. If the stiffness increases even after medication then you need to get in touch with your treating doctor for a detailed examination. Thanks.
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Follow-up: What are the underlying causes for stiffness in neck and jaw after being diagnosed with strep throat? 30 minutes later
jaw stiffness is worse today can't get in touch with pcp until monday due to holiday should I be conscerned? do I need to go to er?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 35 minutes later
Brief Answer: If jaw stiffness is worse, go to ER Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome back. I have mentioned in my previous answer that if the jaw stiffness gets worse you need to get it examined. If the jaw stiffness is getting worse, and you cannot get in touch with your treating doctor, please go to ER for a detailed examination. Thanks.
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Follow-up: What are the underlying causes for stiffness in neck and jaw after being diagnosed with strep throat? 24 minutes later
Thanks I'm going to go to urgent care in the morning as soon as they open
 
 
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 1 hour later
Brief Answer: You are free to get back to me after the visit... Detailed Answer: Hi, I hope I have answered your queries satisfactorily. Should you have any other concerns after the visit to the doctor, you can remember me. Thanks.
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Follow-up: What are the underlying causes for stiffness in neck and jaw after being diagnosed with strep throat? 8 hours later
Went to doctor with intense muscle spams today even worse should I go back?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 13 minutes later
Brief Answer: Need details of the visit Detailed Answer: Hi, Please get back with what the doctor has diagnosed and what medications are being given to you now after the visit. If the muscle spasms are getting very intense then you need to visit your doctor as soon as possible. Thanks.
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Follow-up: What are the underlying causes for stiffness in neck and jaw after being diagnosed with strep throat? 4 minutes later
I went to ER and told them this. Due to holiday I can't reach my prinary dr until Monday any point to retuning to ER?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 5 minutes later
Brief Answer: ER visit details Detailed Answer: Hi, Have they prescribed any new medications at the ER? If yes, what are they? Have you been given any treatment for the muscle spasms? Please get back with details. Thanks.
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