Stiff Neck: What Causes It and How Is It Treated?


A stiff neck is characterized by soreness and difficulty in moving the neck. This may be accompanied by a headache, as well as pain in the shoulder, and/or arm. It usually appears upon waking up in the morning or can develop later in the day due to strenuous activity.

As a provider of physical therapy in Brooklyn, New York, we have treated various causes of a stiff neck. It is usually caused by the following:

  • Having the neck at an awkward position in your sleep
  • Sudden impact that pushes the head or falling
  • Having poor posture and slouching especially while in front of a computer monitor or looking at a phone for long periods of time
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Engaging in activity that turns the head side to side repeatedly such as swimming

Indeed, a stiff neck often resolves on its own. However, if it does not show improvement after a week, you should go and get it checked. If it’s accompanied by symptoms, such as fever, headache, vomiting, or unexplained sleepiness, you should seek medical help immediately.

Our physical therapy in Far Rockaway includes rest, cold and/or heat therapy, gentle stretching, and low-impact aerobic exercises as a treatment for stiff neck.

Contact us at Road to Recovery Physical and Occupational Therapy. We provide various therapeutic services including geriatric rehab, neuromuscular rehab, physical therapy, and occupational therapy in New York.

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