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Dr.  RK
Dr. RK, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 2885
Experience:  M.B.B.S. , over 7 years of experience in the field of Medical practice
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My 26 year old son jut called from out of town reporting his

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My 26 year old son jut called from out of town reporting his neck has become so stiff he cannot move it in any direction. He said earlier he had chills but believes he does not currently have a fever (also does not have a thermometer). He was with his girlfriend the last few days who was sick with fever and headache.
He thinks it is muscle stiffness and can wait until 9AM to go to urgent care. I worry it could be meningitis and he should go to ER immediately.
What do you think?

Dear barb,


Greetings and welcome to justanswer,


How long is he having fever, headache, stiff neck?

is he conscious and alert?

what are the drugs he is taking?

any history of injury?

did he consult a doctor yet?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He says he has no fever, no other symptoms. He is conscjous and alert. He took 4 advil and is on no other drugs. No history of injury. He has not consulted a dr.

Dear barb,


Thank you for the information,


There are some common causes of such neck stiffness.The common ones are arthritis, injury, meninfitis, subarachnoid haemorrhage, tetanus, cerebral haemorrhage, viral illness etc.


The symptoms of fever ,chill, headache and neck stiffness is commonly associated with viral illness and may cause the neck stiffness in him.It should be ruled out first since he also had fever, chills, and headache.


As per the symptoms the cervical strain may also cause such neck stiffness though the chances are less.


The chances of viral meningitis may be there and should be ruled out by having the CSF examination done after lumbar puncture. The arthritis is also commonly associated with such neck stiffness and should be ruled out.


You should have the relevant investigations for him like ct scan neck and brain , blood counts, lumbar puncture etc. after consulting your doctor.


The treatment of viral meningitis is symptomatic and may require hospitalisation if the symptoms are severe.The other causes should also be ruled out.


Here is the link for more information


causes of neck stiffness


symptoms of meningitis


Let me know if you have any doubt.


Thank you!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for the info. Is it safe for him to wait a few more hours before seeing a doctor?

Dear barb,


Since he is alert and conscious so he may wait a few hours if his symptoms are not severe.He may take the drug like tylenol for the control of fever, if any and should drink sufficient fluid and water.


The sympytoms of meningitis if present is treated symptomatically and in mild cases even at home, the treatment may be done.


The symptoms may worsen within 24 hrs in some cases and thus need urgent medical attention.


He may wait a few hours if his symptoms are not severe.


Let me know if you have any doubt.


thank you!

Dr. RK and 5 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your help!

Dear barb,


You are welcome,


Best wishes!


thank you!