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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes severe stiffness in the neck worsening during the night?

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Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 11533 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 8 Mar 2019 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: I have a stiff neck. It's been coming on over the last few days but got much worse last night
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Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 19 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Can be due to spondylosis.

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

Stiff neck at your age is suggestive of degenerative disc changes or cervical spondylosis. It happens primarily due to degenerative changes secondary to age in the cervical spine. Past neck injury may also contribute to the degeneration.

X-ray of the neck in lateral view or MRI will help in the diagnosis.

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. Methylcobalamin supplements are also recommended for nerve compression symptoms.
4. 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.
5. Hot fomentation helps in relieving acute symptoms.
6. You can avoid using a pillow.

As you try these measures, I also encourage you to consult an orthopedician for both evaluations and to avail stronger prescription medications (if over the counter medications are not helpful).

I hope this answers your query.

Wishing you good health.

Regards,
Dr. Praveen Tayal, Orthopaedic Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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