Neck Stiffness

Stiffness of the neck is usually caused by spasm of the cervical muscles and is commonly the cause of tension headache. The sudden occurrence of stiff neck, fever, and headache should raise suspicion of possible meningeal irritation. Neck pain may be associated with

*A thyroglossal cyst may arise anywhere along the route of the thyroid gland's descent from the foramen cecum of the tongue to its adult location in the neck. See Figure 24-41. The thyroid gland is a painless, mobile structure that moves on swallowing or with movement of the tongue.

referred pain from the chest. Patients with angina or a myocardial infarction may complain of neck pain.

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