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Suggest treatment for stiff neck and headaches

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Posted on Thu, 28 May 2015
Question: I have a stiff neck and headache. It started on Tuesday. I got off an 8 day cruise to the Bahamas on Saturday. Not sure if it is related but I never have headaches. Thoughts?
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Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal (11 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Can be due to cervical spondylosis.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
Stiff neck with headache is suggestive of a nerve root compression at the cervical vertebral level due to degenerative disc changes or cervical spondylosis or a muscle stiffness due to traveling and abnormal neck positions. It happens primarily due to degenerative changes secondary to age in the cervical spine.
Treatment includes
1. Use of cervical collar helps in immobilisation and brings relief.
2. Medical drugs like pain killers - acetaminophen/ibuprofen and muscle relaxants might be helpful.
3. Cervical isometric exercises are beneficial to maintain the strength of the neck muscles. Neck and upper back stretching exercises, as well as light aerobic activities, also are recommended under the guidance of a physical therapist.
4. Hot fomentation helps in relieving acute symptoms.
5. You can avoid using a pillow.

As you try these measures, I also encourage you to consult an orthopedician for both evaluation and to avail stronger prescription medications (if over the counter medications are not helpful).
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.
Regards.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Praveen-Tayal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Answered by
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Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 12255 Questions

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Suggest treatment for stiff neck and headaches

Brief Answer: Can be due to cervical spondylosis. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query. Stiff neck with headache is suggestive of a nerve root compression at the cervical vertebral level due to degenerative disc changes or cervical spondylosis or a muscle stiffness due to traveling and abnormal neck positions. It happens primarily due to degenerative changes secondary to age in the cervical spine. Treatment includes 1. Use of cervical collar helps in immobilisation and brings relief. 2. Medical drugs like pain killers - acetaminophen/ibuprofen and muscle relaxants might be helpful. 3. Cervical isometric exercises are beneficial to maintain the strength of the neck muscles. Neck and upper back stretching exercises, as well as light aerobic activities, also are recommended under the guidance of a physical therapist. 4. Hot fomentation helps in relieving acute symptoms. 5. You can avoid using a pillow. As you try these measures, I also encourage you to consult an orthopedician for both evaluation and to avail stronger prescription medications (if over the counter medications are not helpful). 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. Regards. Dr. Praveen Tayal. For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Praveen-Tayal