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Rubbed back of neck. Having slight neck pain and feeling stiff. Anything serious?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10356 Questions
Hi I was sitting in my car and rubbed the back of my neck and it felt like a small ball not too small but regular sized popped. Almost like it was popping into place . I have been having slight neck pain but not severe it just has been feeling stiff. I have been having muscle tension especially in my shoulder area up my traps to my neck. Is what happened in my neck something serious??? I'm not having any pain from whatever that was that popped and there is no lump on back of my neck. This happened on my back left side of my neck next to where my spinal cord is and right above my trap muscle...
Posted Tue, 5 Nov 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Likely to be a muscle spasm.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for posting your query.
The popping sensation in the neck without any palpable lump in the area could be due to a muscle sprain or a joint popping due to a sudden neck movement.
The mild pain in the neck that you are having is likely to be due to a muscle spasm. This usually subsides with hot fomentation, mild pain killer and avoiding abnormal neck positions. Avoid using a pillow for a few weeks.
You can also get a muscle relaxant prescribed from your physician in case the pain is persistent.
Doing regular neck isometric exercises after the pain subsides will also help.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Rubbed back of neck. Having slight neck pain and feeling stiff. Anything serious? 11 hours later
Thanks for answering me!! The pain in my neck comes and goes I feel it depends how tense I have been or sleeping wrong. Sometime I get pain due to my sinus pressure and sinus issues but not everyday. It was just the weirdest feeling when I rubbed my neck and all of a sudden it felt as if something popped back into place like a ball but it was small... I haven't had pain since that happened yesterday so hopefully that is a good sign.. Oh and there is no lump there or anything out of the ordinary I feel. Thanks again
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 11 hours later
Brief Answer:
No need to worry.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing again.
Since there is no pain or lump now, there is no need to worry. It was most likely a minor muscle twitch. Please do not worry and avoid any abnormal neck positions.
Hope my answer is helpful.
If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer. Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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