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Lawrence asked...

I have a stiff neck after travelling.

I have a stiff neck after travelling back from abroad. Would you recommend seeing someone and if so what course of treatment would say was the most appropriate?

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The answer

It is not uncommon to develop a stiff neck after a long trip sitting in one position. The carrying of heavy suitcases and loading of luggage is also a common mechanism for neck strain although you may not actually feel neck pain at that time. It is often a day or two after that you will feel pain and stiffness in the neck, sometimes with tingling down the arm if a nerve root has been irritated.  

It is important to gently mobilise the neck and work on your back/neck posture as soon as possible to avoid this becoming a more chronic problem. The key is to work on maintaining the normal curvatures of the back and neck through gentle mobilisation and core stability exercises.

If the symptoms are more severe or if you have had neck problems previously and if there has been an injury, I would strongly advise seeing a physical therapist (physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor) for an assessment.

Answered by Dr A Wright.


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