Stiff neck in an otherwise healthy child? - Mothering Forums
Women's Health > Stiff neck in an otherwise healthy child?
Rainbowbird's Avatar Rainbowbird 11:12 PM 12-18-2007
DS is almost 5. He and his sister have had colds for the past week, but nothing major. No fever, eating well, etc. DS' cold has been even milder than his sister's, he's had just a sniffle, really.

So today we are running around doing errands and he is happy as a clam. We have a big snack at our food co-op and then we go to the grocery store. He's skipping about and dashes over to look at a holiday food display. As he came back to me he suddenly started saying, "Ow, ow, my neck " and started to cry. He cried throughout the store as I hurried to grab our stuff and we made a fast exit. In fact he asked me to put him IN the cart and push him out of the store. Mind you he weighs nearly 50 lbs. and has not ridden in a shopping cart since he was 2.5 years old.

So all afternoon he just wanted to lay on the recliner and watch t.v. I gave him a warm buckwheat sack that seemed to help. He couldn't turn his head at all and would cry when it was time to get up to go to the bathroom, etc. But, he was not lethargic, or feverish. He just didn't want to move because of the neck soreness. He ate very well and by tonight seemed better, but it was not totally gone. He still would complain if he moved around too much or too quickly.

I had him take a warm shower before bed and gave him a banana for potassium.

This isn't likely to be serious, right? I know I've had this happen to me and it will drive me crazy for a day and then my neck goes back to normal, usually overnight.

I read up on things like meningitis and it seems like you really would see other symptoms like high fever, flu-like symptoms, and photophobia.

Has anyone else's child had a stiff neck like this? I'm going to call the dr. in the morning if he is still complaining.

Periwinkle's Avatar Periwinkle 11:42 PM 12-18-2007
Sudden onset stuff like this freaks me out. The only thing I would've also done was to give him a dose of Motrin to see if it did anything and if not, taken him to a doctor. It sounds like you did ALL the right things though if it's just a strain. I hope he feels a lot better tomorrow morning,
tinuviel_k's Avatar tinuviel_k 12:30 AM 12-19-2007
How are his lymph nodes? I know when mine get really swollen they make my neck feel uncomfortable.

You may want to call your doctor and ask about his neck, just in case.
Rainbowbird's Avatar Rainbowbird 12:51 AM 12-19-2007
I don't think his lymph nodes are swollen.

I did call the on-call doctor--worrywart me--and she said without other symptoms like fever, vomiting, photophobia, etc. she would not be concerned about meningitis. She feels it is indeed torticollis (stiff neck) brought on by any variety of factors. However, she did recommend an exam with our pediatrician tomorrow if he doesn't improve.

He is sleeping peacefully now and still has no fever--I just checked.
Rainbowbird's Avatar Rainbowbird 12:55 AM 12-19-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
Sudden onset stuff like this freaks me out. The only thing I would've also done was to give him a dose of Motrin to see if it did anything and if not, taken him to a doctor. It sounds like you did ALL the right things though if it's just a strain. I hope he feels a lot better tomorrow morning,
Actually, I forgot to mention that I did give him Tylenol and it seemed to help a little--he would at least walk around a bit but still couldn't do his usual zany antics.

Tonight he sang in the shower and also hid on the bathmat under his towel ( a game we play) so I think it must be a bit better than it was.

It's so hard to tell with kids. He screams like no tomorrow over a hangnail, so trying to gauge what is wrong by the severity of his reaction is difficult.

I hope it will be better tomorrow. I will def. be bringing him in if not.

Thanks for responding, mamas.
KMK_Mama's Avatar KMK_Mama 04:26 AM 12-19-2007
Sounds to me like he pinched a nerve, but you can never be too careful.
chaoticzenmom's Avatar chaoticzenmom 06:09 AM 12-19-2007
Has he been playing on the computer? That can cause neck issues.
Rainbowbird's Avatar Rainbowbird 06:45 PM 12-19-2007
Well, he's almost 100% today. A little sore this morning, but by 10 am he was running wild as usual. No crying or complaining. I can tell by his range of movement it is a little off still, but it's not slowing him down and he's not complaining. Phew!

I don't know what caused it--he didn't use the computer yesterday. Maybe he just slept wrong and then twisted the wrong way and pulled a muscle..I know it always happens to me at the most unexpected times.
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