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Health Information Library Topics Stiff neck

Stiff neck


Over-the-counter medications include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Stretching exercises and applying heat or ice may help.

When to seek immediate medical care

See a doctor immediately if:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Confusion or changes in thinking
  • Unable to touch chin to chest
  • Symptoms of a heart attack, such as shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, vomiting, or arm or jaw pain

When to make a doctor's appointment

Make an appointment to see a doctor if:

  • Persistent
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness in an arm or hand
  • Caused by an injury
  • Swollen glands or a lump in the neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
Last Updated: May 24th, 2018