How Do I Treat a Stiff Neck and Nausea?

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  • Written By: Emily Pate
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2019
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Treating a stiff neck and nausea depends on the underlying issue, but each can also be dealt with individually, depending on the cause. When a stiff neck is caused by muscle strain, using cold or heat can be effective, and a variety of homeopathic remedies exist for treating nausea. If the concurring issues occur as a result of a cervical spasm, neck support and exercises can help. If they persist for several days and accompany other ailments like vomiting or fever, among others, professional medical help should be obtained, as this could be an indication of a severe condition known as meningitis.

In cases where neck stiffness is caused by muscle strain, a variety of treatment options exist. An ice pack or cold compress can be placed on the stiff area to reduce inflammation so that the muscles can heal from strain. The affected individual should apply the compress for 20 minutes on and off for about 24 hours for thorough healing.

Heat can also encourage healing, since it increases blood flow. A shower or hot bath may help, as may a warm towel or store-bought heat wrap. Careful massage of the affected area can also stimulate blood flow. A stiff neck and nausea accompanying numbness, tingling, or arm pain signal the need for immediate professional medical attention.


Holistic remedies can be effective in treating queasiness associated with stiff neck accompanied by nausea. Remaining still, closing your eyes, and resting can work for motion sickness. Drinking fluids like water, lemon balm, and ginger ale, as well as teas can help to settle the stomach and prevent dehydration.

Strong odors and food should be avoided if you experience a stiff neck and nausea, as they can exacerbate the condition. Toast and crackers help to absorb stomach acid, while fatty foods can worsen the upset. If nausea persists for several days or accompanies other symptoms of meningitis or infection, a doctor should be consulted.

Occasionally, stiff neck and nausea may be caused by a cervical spasm, also known as a crick in the neck. A pinched nerve or strained muscle as such can sometimes trigger headaches or nausea, especially in people prone to migraines. A cervical collar or rolled up bath towel can provide additional neck support to prevent soreness and strain, and, hence, the nausea. Isometric exercises, like gentle neck stretches, may also be effective.

On rare occasions, persistent stiff neck and nausea are signs of meningitis. This disease involves inflammation of brain and spinal cord membranes and is considered to be a medical emergency. Treatment must begin immediately to prevent serious injury. When the stiffness and nausea accompanies symptoms like vomiting, fever, and a sore or rigid back, a doctor should be notified immediately.


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Post 3

I woke up with a stiff neck this morning and I also have nausea but I don't think they're related. I have an upset stomach because I was out in the cold yesterday and my stiff neck is probably because I slept in a bad position. I'm drinking ginger tea for my nausea. For my neck, I applied a pain relieving cream and wrapped it with a thin cloth to keep it warm. I already feel much better. I think that over the counter treatments are enough to treat most mild conditions like these.

Post 2

@fBoyle-- I think meningitis develops as a complication of an infection like an upper respiratory infection. And it always causes other symptoms like fever and coughing. If you have fever and an unexplained stiff neck, you need to go to a hospital immediately. Meningitis can be very dangerous. It can cause death or retardation.

If you don't have fever and if you know that your stiff neck is due to a strain or injury, then the cause is definitely not meningitis.

Post 1

How can I tell if my stiff neck and nausea is caused by an infection like meningitis, rather than something else?

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