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Neck pain or stiffness


Ouch! It hurts to turn your head, roll over in bed, and even move your neck evvvver so slightly. Neck pain and stiffness is a common complaint, and may be due to strains, overuse (don’t hunch over your devices all day!), arthritis, or injury (whiplash is a common one). Still, even though a stiff neck is common, it’s also one of the first Lyme symptoms that many people notice, especially if they didn’t get any flu-like symptoms at onset. Neck pain can also occur with fibromyalgia and acute/serious conditions like meningitis, so it doesn’t necessarily signal Lyme. Either way, this symptom is quite literally a pain in the neck! If you have a sudden high fever along with neck pain, head for an ER or urgent care right away to rule out something serious like meningitis, especially if you also have other symptoms like headache, nausea, and vomiting. Or, if your neck pain is linked to a chronic condition, try acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, and infrared sauna for relief. Simple lifestyle changes may also help—use good posture; make sure your work desk, keyboard, and monitor are properly aligned and at the right height for you; don’t carry a heavy bag with a strap on one shoulder; and try sleeping on your back with a small rounded pillow under your neck and a flatter one supporting your head. Also, keep in mind that neck pain, like everything else, is worse when you’re stressed. We know it’s easier said than done, but if you can take steps to minimize the stress you’re feeling, your neck pain may ease up too.

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