All About Health And Wellness Journal

How Long Does a Stiff Neck Last?

Dec 25

According to chiropractors near you, neck stiffness is a frequent sign of various conditions. The majority of the time, this symptom is minimal and goes away fast, but there are specific conditions that might make neck stiffness persist or last longer than usual. 


Other causes of neck stiffness include problems with various neck structures. For example, the neck muscles are one component frequently involved with neck stiffness. Another location for neck stiffness is the facet joints at the base of the cervical or neck vertebrae.


Minor Muscle Strain


When a muscle is overextended, it results in muscle strain. In severe circumstances, the strength may be overextended to the point where a small amount of tearing occurs. Mild neck muscle strains are very typical. They can happen if you sleep incorrectly and are also a specific kind of sports injury.


The length of time for a slight strain to heal will depend on how bad the strain was. It can occasionally take up to a week for your stiffness to go away if your strain is in the moderate range, but most small strains feel substantially better after resting the neck for 24 hours.


A small amount of stretching and gentle neck exercises can help reduce stiffness and anti-inflammatory medications. However, if the pain does not subside after a day or two of rest and treatment, it is recommended that you seek medical attention from your doctor. They will be able to help diagnose and treat any more serious underlying issues that may be causing your stiffness.




Whiplash is a problem that falls on the more serious end of the neck muscular strain continuum. Accidents involving a vehicle being rear-ended frequently result in this injury. When the impact results in the head moving erratically backward and forward, much like a whip, it occurs. The jarring motion is like the ideal storm for neck muscle injuries.


Whiplash neck stiffness might take hours or even days to manifest, but it can be excruciating once it does. The duration of whiplash-induced neck stiffness varies. Others may take up to three months to fully recover, while some people may experience this and other symptoms for a few days or weeks.


Cervical Osteoarthritis


Specific problems might bring on years-long neck stiffness. Osteoarthritis of the neck is one illustration of such a problem. As the body ages, the facet joints in the rear of the neck vertebrae begin to wear down, resulting in this disorder. These joints become more difficult to move as a result of attrition, giving the neck the appearance of rigidity.


The signs and symptoms of cervical osteoarthritis advance, meaning they worsen with time. The growth of neck stiffness and other osteoarthritis symptoms can be slowed down with treatment alternatives like physical therapy.


In certain situations, surgery to replace a degenerated joint may be prescribed.

It is essential to try and identify the cause of your neck stiffness to find the most effective treatment plan. 


Regular stretching and physical therapy exercises can help reduce any neck stiffness you experience from minor strains or whiplash, but more severe cases might require medical attention. 


If your neck pain persists for more than two weeks, it is best to seek medical advice. A doctor will be able to diagnose the issue and prescribe a course of action that will help relieve your symptoms as soon as possible.


At Peak Potential Family Chiropractic, we can evaluate and diagnose the cause of your neck stiffness and create a personalized treatment plan to help reduce your pain as quickly as possible. Whether it be from muscle strain, whiplash, or osteoarthritis, our dedicated team is here to help you get back to feeling better. Contact us today for a free consultation!