Posted by: Lovergal | 2007/02/21


I'm struggling with a stiffnessat the back of my neck,giving headache sometimes.Not on daily basis.Was in accident 2001,by then nothing was wrong.this is my story: 2005 april got married,think of standing for quite a long time on heelies got dizzy &nearly fainted in church.Went for a scan nothing was wrong ,diagnosed with muscle spasm.Went for physioterapy but still have this tightness specially when in a crowded area .Sometimes it doing a cracking noise when it's stiff,when I'm loosing it by turning my neck.

Please help
What coul it be.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Lovergal,

Muscle spasm and muscle tension is the commonest cause of headaches. The cracking noise is usually caused by the muscles contracting too strongly and pulling the neck vertebrae against one another. Having said this, one cannot be certain without having a proper examination.

To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: RugbyChick | 2007/03/13

I've been diagnosed with an abnormality of C4 and C5 and is to go for a neck manipulation on 19/03/07. Really stressed and would like to know what the procedure entails... As i'm suffering from stiffness of the neck and shoulders and have a constant pounding headache...

Reply to RugbyChick

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