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Stiff Neck vs. Normal Neck Movements

Most neck pain is due to either muscle tension or a minor infections. However, in some cases, neck pain can be a sign of more serious infection and could be a sign of meningitis. Here's what to look for to determine if the pain is serious.

Wed, 22 Aug 2012|

-This infant is showing signs of a serious illness. She is not as active as usual, is very irritable and cries when touched. She cannot easily be consoled. It appears that she has a stiff neck with a rigid back. -[Foreign Language] -She is unable to bend her head down toward her chest and will not follow the pacifier with her eyes. These are signs of meningitis. If your child has these symptoms, contact a doctor immediately. -[Foreign Language] -3 days later, the infant is feeling much better. She is alert and clearly more interested in everything around her. When a light is shined on her stomach, she is now able to bend her head towards her chest so she can see the light. This shows that the stiffness in her neck has improved. This child is also showing signs of a serious illness. What do you see? He looks worried, very tired and has no energy. Like the first child we saw, he also cannot bend his chin down to touch his chest. This is a sign of a stiff neck and it may mean meningitis. Learn this test so that you can check your child for neck stiffness at home. The next day after treatment with antibiotics, he is feeling better and is much more alert. At this examination, he still shows some stiffness in the neck because he is not able to get his chin all the way down to his chest. Two days after antibiotic treatment, he is feeling much better. He is no longer in bed and the neck stiffness is totally gone.