Stiff Neck Treatment

A stiff neck can be mild to severe and can be a symptom of a spinal injury or condition.

At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we specialise in treatment of stiff neck’s to:

What is a stiff neck?

Within the cervical spine (neck) there are a range of structures, including bones (vertebrae), joints, discs, ligaments, nerves and muscle. These act to support and stabilise the spine. A stiff neck is determined by soreness and a reduced ability to move your neck. Diagnosis can be common for most of us due to poor posture in front of a computer, and it can be a symptom of an underlying spinal condition.

Question mark

What are the causes?

The cause of a stiff neck greatly varies in reason and severity. Any movement or activity which may overstretch, overextend or strain the neck can trigger stiffness;

Common causes of a stiff neck include:

  • Poor posture poor seated posture/slouching (especially for prolonged periods) or awkward sleeping positions
  • Trauma – e.g., motor vehicle accidents.
  • Falls – usually from a significant height, or even a seated position.
  • High Impact Activities – e.g., contact sports, violent activity
  • Repetitive movements – sudden or excessive movement, e.g. rotating, bending, etc.
  • Poor mental health – high levels of stress or anxiety triggering tension
  • Spinal conditions – stiff neck can be a symptom of a differential diagnosis from other spinal conditions, some including herniated discsspondylosis, stenosis, etc.

Though the onset/diagnosis of a stiff neck can be immediately determined after an obvious cause, it may still be difficult to pinpoint in some cases.

What are the symptoms?

  • Neck pain – can be dull/sore to sharp/severe
    • Referred pain felt down hands, neck, back or arms
    • Pain with movement, especially turning the head
  • Stiffness/tenderness in the neck and back of head
  • Muscle spasms
  • Reduced reflexes, control and range of movement
  • Inflammation/swelling in the affected area
  • Dizziness and/or headaches
  • Nerve pain (tingling sensations)
  • Differential/co-morbid diagnosis of other spinal injuries/conditions
Neck Pain

Treatment for a stiff neck

If you have a stiff neck, it is important that a GP or physiotherapist rule out a differential diagnoses as the underlying cause for the stiffness. You may be referred for CT, X-ray or MRI scans to determine the location and extent of the injury.


Physical therapy is highly beneficial in reducing pain and other symptoms of a stiff neck. At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we tailor a unique treatment plan to aid in your recovery through:

  • Soft tissue mobilisations (massage)
  • Stretching, strengthening and/or conditioning exercises
  • Restoring range of movement
  • Postural improvement
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Taping
  • A unique home exercise program
  • Graded Exposure to load program

If the pain and reduced movement is severe, driving and strenuous activity should be avoided. Your physiotherapist may also advise heat or ice application, rest and if necessary, pain medication. Additionally, they might recommend for you to use neck support or a suitable pillow.

How to book an appointment?

If you have a stiff neck, or you’re looking for a ‘physiotherapist near me’, our physios at Vitalis Physiotherapy can assess your condition to tailor a unique rehabilitation plan to aid in your pain relief and recovery.

All you need to do is just give us a call on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.

You can visit our FAQs for more information about appointments at Vitalis Physiotherapy.


Need Help?

Are you in pain caused by a stiff neck? Contact Vitalis Physiotherapy now to book in your treatment.

Call our friendly team on 0410 559 856. We’d love to help.

Contact us for more information on treatment

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Sinnamon Park Village

3/58 Oldfield Road, Sinnamon Park Qld 4073


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