Stiff neck – what it is, causes, symptoms, treatment

Stiff neck – increased tone of the cervical muscles, which man cannot lead his head to his chest. To determine the state simply: should you place the hand on the back of the head of a man and make an attempt to bring your chin to your chest. The patient needs to relax and not to resist the move. If the procedure remains the distance between the sternum and the chin – a positive test for neck rigidity. The amount of space varies in centimeters and recorded in history.

The Final diagnosis is: "neck Stiffness + 10 cm". Its presence indicates the presence in humans of neurological diseases.

detection of stiff muscles

causes of pathology

The Pathology occurs when the following neurological diseases:

  1. Stroke
  2. Encephalitis
  3. Meningitis
  4. Parkinson's disease
  5. Traumatic injury to the neck;
  6. the Wryneck.

If the neck stiffness appears in the background of headaches and dizziness, it can be assumed brain abscess. This diagnosis has been confirmed by other clinical tests:

  • the Presence of vomiting, nausea, fever and headache;
  • Pain when bending the head;
  • there are No obvious signs of traumatic injuries.

Clinically the most often is the rigidity of the neck muscles with encephalitis, which is caused by meningococcal infection. The disease can lead to the defeat of large amounts of brain tissue and is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Obscheintoksikatsionnogo;
  • Cerebral
  • Meningeal.

Obscheintoksikatsionnogo syndrome occurs due to the ingress of toxins in the blood of the pathogen, which is accompanied by considerable fever, weakness of the skeletal muscles, melkotochechnye.

Meningococcal encephalitis in children often causes a stiff neck. The infection is accompanied by purulent lesions of the meninges and can pass on the brain tissue, which causes the lesion of the motor pathways nerve transmission.

The Disease is transmitted by airborne droplets. Its causative agent Neisseriameningitis enough highly contagious, so patients at the time of the incubation period, isolated from the people around them.

If your child has such symptoms as headaches, temperature up to 40 degrees stiff neck should be excluded meningococcal infection. For these purposes, designate the examination of biological materials for the presence of infection. When the detection should begin combined antibiotic therapy.

Symptoms of a stroke, miningits

the symptoms of muscle rigidity of the neck after a stroke

There are criteria by which doctors differentiate stiff neck due to stroke from meningitis.

In both diseases, the rigidity test will be positive. Symptoms of tension of the neck muscles in stroke may be in children and adults with the same degree of probability. Bleeding in the brain is getting younger with the years.

A Criterion to distinguish between rigidity in stroke is the rapid emergence of the symptom. In meningitis the tension of the skeletal muscles of the neck is formed gradually.

According to the clinical picture of both diseases are similar. Differences are observed only when performing lumbar puncture. Stroke in the spinal fluid will reveal large number of red blood cells. In meningitis it there is an increase in the number of leukocytes.

For meningeal infection is characterized by the development of rigidity after the disappearance of symptoms of diseases of the upper respiratory tract: colds, bronchitis, sinusitis.

brain Hemorrhage is common in people with high blood pressure.

other diseases with the tension of the occipital muscles

Stiffness of the neck develops in the following diseases:

  • Torticollis in infancy. The cause of the disease – lesion of the sternocleidomastoid muscle on one side. Most often the condition is congenital. Clinically it is revealed by turning the baby's head to one side;
  • degenerative disc disease neck – pathology caused by lesions of the intervertebral discs. Its background decreases the height between the vertebrae, which reduces the height of the intervertebral gaps. In this area are nerve roots that are compressed. As a result of impaired innervation of skeletal muscle of neck
  • diseases of the peripheral nerves. A classic example is cervical radiculitis (inflammation of nerve root). Increased impulsation from the nerve fibres muscles "resides" in a state of hypertonicity.

The Rigidity of the nape of the neck on the background of these diseases is established only after the exclusion of meningococcal disease and stroke.

Sometimes the pathology observed in the absence of the above mentioned diseases. This situation occurs when increased intracranial pressure. In children it is observed on the background of colds, andadults can testify to the growth of tumors in brain tissue.

How the disease is treated

The Rigidity of the muscles of the neck is treated by eliminating the primary causes of disease, use of muscle relaxants, massage and medical gymnastics.

If the symptoms of the pathology caused meningitis, are appointed Antibacterials.

Against the background of stroke, the disease can be treated by means of inpatient drug prescriptions to enhance blood coagulation, transfusion krovezamenauschie drugs with copious blood loss.

The Patient may need a craniotomy to eliminate the high intracranial pressure. Be applied detoxication therapy and oxygen therapy. Without these procedures, the symptoms will progress rapidly.

It is Obvious that the rigidity of the nape of the neck is a concomitant symptom of serious diseases. They are very difficult to treat in the active stage. It is easier to reveal pathology at early stages than to fight with her when there is a lesion of cerebral tissue.