How To Fix Stiff Neck?
Can a stiff neck lead to a brain injury? Yes. The varied spine contains the spinal canal that protects the nerves and other parts of the nervous system. A stiff neck can leave one vulnerable to a stroke, nerve damage, or disc herniation.
What is a Stiff Neck?
A stiff neck occurs when your neck muscles become tight and cannot move as usual. People may complain of stiffness in their necks due to various reasons such as injuries, trauma, arthritis, diseases like meningitis and whiplash, or even usually as you wake up in the morning or after sitting somewhere for a long time without moving your head correctly if at all. It might be accompanied by pain and limited range of motion (ROM) of the neck. A stiff neck can also be accompanied by fever, nausea, and vomiting.
Can a Stiff Neck lead to a brain injury?
Yes. The varied spine contains the spinal canal that protects the nerves and other parts of the nervous system. A stiff neck can leave one vulnerable for a stroke, nerve damage, or a disc herniation which might lead to more problems such as dizziness, pain in different parts of your body, visual disturbances, etc., if not taken care of promptly.
With its seven vertebrae, your cervical spine is responsible for protecting your brainstem and cerebellum from trauma and sudden jolts with their natural shock absorbers – intervertebral discs between each vertebra – comprising the spinal canal. Suppose your neck is stiff for any reason. In that case, you are putting yourself at risk of severe damage if the head is suddenly brought into motion without being adequately supported by the neck muscles that have gone into spasm or cramp.
Signs and Symptoms of Stiff Neck:
People with stiff necks may complain of pain in the neck region and limited cervical spine range of motion (ROM). Other signs and symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, etc., depending on what might have caused this condition in them.
If left untreated or not taken care of over time, a stiff neck can lead to more problems such as dizziness with possible nausea and vomiting, pain in different parts of your body, visual disturbances, etc. if the cervical spine is damaged because of a stiff neck.
A stiff neck can lead to severe damage to your brainstem and cerebellum from trauma or sudden jolts with their shock absorbers – intervertebral discs between each vertebra – comprising the spinal canal. If it’s not treated, it might turn fatal for you because even a sneeze or cough can be dangerous for an individual with a stiff neck. A head injury due to any reason without proper support of your neck muscles that have gone into spasm can lead to dire consequences.
Can a Stiff Neck cause stroke?
Yes. A stroke occurs when either the blood supply going to the brain is reduced, leading to a stroke, or a blood vessel in your brain bursts due to a blockage, both of which might occur if your neck muscles that hold up and protect your head from sudden jerks and jolts go into a spasm because of a stiff neck.
Therefore, medical care should be taken immediately for this condition if it has happened out of nowhere, making you feel like something hit you very hard on the side of your head, you lost consciousness for a few seconds or even longer, or you felt nauseated or experience vomiting.
The vertebral arteries that originate at the backside of the cervical spine hold about 25% of all cerebral circulation (blood flow). The vertebral arteries get damaged if there is a sudden disturbance to the cervical spine, such as whiplash, and create enough pressure on them that damages the street leading to an aneurysm (ballooning of one side), which can result in a stroke. This condition is known as ‘Vertebral Artery Dissection’ or ‘Internal Carotid Artery Dissection.’
A stiff neck should be taken care of immediately because it might lead to severe vision loss, numbness, and other complications. A brain injury due to lack of support for your head can block or burst any blood vessel in your brain, causing fatal consequences. Thus, medical help should be taken immediately, even for cases where you think that mild stiffness has turned into total-blown neck stiffness and it’s causing problems with your typical day-to-day activities.
Stiff neck exercises:
A stiff neck might have occurred either due to some minor injury, or it might be an indication of something serious like a stroke. However, stiffness in your neck can be treated at home using simple stretching exercises.
Here is a few easy and simple but very effective exercise which you can practice on your own:
1. Yoga is one of the best ways to cure your stiff neck; even people who have severe problems with their stiff necks could improve their condition by practicing yoga poses that help stretch muscles and increase flexibility in the body.
2. Look up about 10 inches above while trying to touch your chin with your chest (cervical extension exercise). Hold this position for around 15 seconds and repeat three times. This will provide extended support to your head and neck.
3. While standing or seated, look backward as far back as possible for around 15 seconds without straining yourself too much. Hold this position for an additional 5 seconds before looking forward again (cervical rotation exercise).
Repeat it three times in both directions. If done correctly, these exercises can help improve the flexibility of neck muscles reducing stiffness in your neck.
4. Try to press your elbow against a wall with all your strength; hold that position for around 30 seconds twice daily (shoulder shrug stretch). It will provide relief by helping you relax shoulder and neck muscles that might be causing stiffness in the neck area.
5. Practice ‘chin tuck’ regularly; take deep breaths and breathe out during this exercise. You should feel a little bit of stretch in your neck and upper back muscles (neck extension exercise). Hold the position for 5 seconds and come back to normal breathing. Repeat it ten times before taking a break of 30 seconds, and then continue practicing this exercise again.