Stiff neck can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'critical'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose stiff neck, we could:
|Possible Urgent Medical Need||95%||Confirm|
|Ankylosing Spondylitis||4%||Ruled out|
|Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis||2%||Ruled out|
|Cervical Arthritis||1%||Ruled out|
|A Subarachnoid Hemorrhage||0%||Ruled out|
If you have a stiff (hard-to-turn) neck, how far can you turn your neck until the pain or resistance becomes too much?
Possible responses:→ Don't know
→ My neck is not stiff
→ I can move my neck quite well, but not all the way
→ I can move my neck a little, with difficulty
→ I can not move my neck
A very stiff neck can indicate a potentially life-threatening condition, such as meningitis, encephalitis or a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Stress can cause the neck muscles to tighten and become stiff.