Stiff neck/ headache/ fatigue

February 4, 2019


Approx two weeks ago, I felt my neck is getting stiffer and stiffer daily, and become sensitive to movement sideways. I kept doing training (BJJ) with that for 1-2 days, but I gave up as it was too sensitive to strains. Since then it’s not becoming better, despite self-massage, deep-heat gels, heatpack.

The pain is on the left side, both front above the clavicle, and the opposite side on my back. If I push with a finger I can feel that muscle/tendon/whatever that hurts.

Lately, the pain radiates to my head/ear too (mostly left), I feel warmth in the head (no fever at all), I feel constant fatigue even after sleeping 8-9 hours, difficulty with concentration, and I feel down in general.

Any guess? Are these things related? What can I do?

Thanks in advance,


February 4, 2019

Hi Daniel

Yes – I think they’re all related, and here’s why.

When patients have a stiff neck it of utmost importance to know what’s stiff and why. For example having a stiff knee it’s pretty obvious that’s a joint issue and if you’ve got a stiff thigh is also very likely to be an issue with your quads/muscle.

A neck is different. Are you feeling stiff joints or stiff muscles? They’ll feel pretty similar in how to make your pain worse and where you feel it, as muscles cross over joints.

What you’ve actually got is stiff muscles protecting joint(s) which have been overstretched. Self massage, stretching, heat won’t change anything as you’ve still the issue with overstretched joints.

To take the excessive load off of the overstretched joint(s) you need to take more load elsewhere – through your thoracic spine.

You need to get this bit moving and then stabilise, not stretch, the muscle around your neck.

It’s why you’re feeling pain elsewhere (referred and joint overload) and feeling so tired – you’re having to overwork your muscles as they need to protect your neck.

You need to get on with some of there great exercises – don’t expect overnight change but give it a week or so doing this well a couple or three times a day.





And of course



The more thoracic mobility you get the better you’ll feel…

The Guru

Guru Responded

Have more questions?

If you're struggling with Headaches, Neck issues then we'd love to help. We offer appointments within 24 hours whether face to face at one of our London Physio Clinics, virtually or if you’d prefer we can arrange a home visit.

Request An Appointment

We aim to get back to you within an hour

How should we contact you?