What causes the stiff neck?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1120
   Posted 10/28/2008 1:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Guys: I know that Lyme affects the whole body and causes arthritis and inflammation but what causes the severe stiff neck that so many of us have? Is it because of the central nervous system involvement? Does it ever show up on cat scan or MRI? Thanks- D

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 670
   Posted 10/28/2008 6:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I am doing physical therapy for neck pain. My MRI, EMG, X-ray show neck bone spurs, minor disc bulging and radiculopathy. the doctors say these things shouldn't be causing as much pain as I am experiencing.

The physical therapy is causing me to have swallowing problems which was one of my early issues when my symptoms started 3 years ago.

Not a great answer to your questions but that's my neck pain situation.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 10/29/2008 11:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I was wondering the same thing. A stiff neck is one of my symptoms that never seems to completely go away. Even when I feel my best, I still have a tight sensation in the back of my neck. I have had a neck MRI as well and there was nothing found on the MRI to be causing my pain. I have tried an alternative therapy similar to accupuncture which does ease the pain but again the pain/stiffness never seems to totally go away!
When I have a herx/flare up my neck pain comes out with a vengenance.

Dx History: Lyme and Possibly Bartonella (Did not test positive for Bartonella yet)

Rx History: 400 mg Doxycycline daily (2 months),  2,000 mg Amoxicillin daily (1month), Currently taking 2,000 mg Amoxicillin and 500 mg Zithromax daily. I will be adding Rifampin soon.

Supplements: Vitamin D3/Ca supplement and a Probiotic

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 10/29/2008 1:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Probably encephalopathy and/or some neuronal damage from past encephalopathy. Remember the back of the head near the neck is the only part of the brain not fully enclosed by the skull so that's the direction in which it will push when there's infection in the head. This is why one of hallmarks of encephalitis is stiff neck.
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