How Long Does A Stiff Neck Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 5 Days To 4 Weeks

Everyday activities can be challenging when you have a stiff neck due to discomfort and limited range of motion. Symptoms can persist anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and they may be followed by a headache, shoulder pain, and/or pain radiating down your arm.

Symptoms might linger for weeks, months, or even years when the underlying reason is more severe. Pain and rigidity usually go away on their own after a week.

The way a person manages and resolves stiff neck signs, on the other hand, might affect pain levels, healing duration, and whether or not it reappears.

How Long Does A Stiff Neck Last? 

Type of Neck StrainDuration
Minor Muscle Strain1 Day To 1 Week
Whiplash2 Weeks To 3 Months

A stiff neck can be affected by a multitude of things, ranging from muscle strains to spine problems, all of which can affect how long it lasts. Neck stiffness can be relieved in as little as a few days with modest treatment.

When a more severe injury or ailment is at the root, though, it can become a chronic problem that lasts for weeks and even months.

Neck stiffness can also be caused by the facet joints at the back of the cervical or neck vertebrae. The length of time your neck stiffness lasts is usually determined by a number of things.

Whiplash is a type of neck muscular strain that is on the more serious end of the spectrum. When a vehicle is rear-ended in an automobile collision, this type of injury is prevalent.

It occurs when the blow makes the head jerk back and forth violently as if it were a whip. The violent action is a perfect storm for neck muscle injuries. Whiplash neck stiffness might take several hours to manifest, but once it does, it can be very severe.

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Whiplash neck stiffness can last anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks. This and other signs may last a few days or weeks for some people, while others may take up to three months to make a full recovery.

Why Does A Stiff Neck Last That Long? 

Muscles, tissues, ligaments, and bones make up the neck. These stabilize the head and enable it to rotate in a variety of directions. When the neck is overworked or injured, it can become stiff and uncomfortable.

When one of the muscles in the neck is strained or tense, it can cause a stiff neck. If one or more vertebrae are damaged, stiffness might develop. Some people with neck pain avoid physical activities out of concern of aggravating their condition or harming themselves.

However, there is no need to be concerned as long as there are no indicators of more serious concerns. Even though you’re in pain, it’s a good idea to keep active and carry on as usual. Neck-targeting exercises can help avoid neck pain.

When a person attempts to move their neck or head, they may experience pain. A stiff neck is usually caused by a small injury or trauma. The stiffness can typically be relieved at home. It can, however, be a sign of a serious illness that necessitates medical attention in rare cases.

Neck stiffness can be a sign of a variety of problems. The majority of the time, this symptom is minor and goes away fast, but some concerns might cause neck stiffness to persist. Neck stiffness can also be caused by problems with various neck structures.

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Conclusion

Tense muscles are frequently to blame, such as after a lengthy period of computer use, exposure to a cold draught, or sleeping in a difficult position.

However, in many cases, there is no obvious cause. Neck stiffness normally subsides after one to two weeks. In some people, it resurfaces in specific situations, such as after a long day at work or after engaging in strenuous sports.

Chronic neck stiffness is defined as symptoms that continue longer than three months. If the pain becomes chronic, emotional stress is often a factor.

References

  1. https://www.emedihealth.com/bones-joints/pain/manage-stiff-neck
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1603110/
  3. https://thejns.org/view/journals/j-neurosurg/45/2/article-p148.xml
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