What are the Most Common Causes of Neck Pain and Nausea?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2016
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The most common causes of neck pain and nausea include migraine, meningitis, neck stiffness, and even a heart attack. People who suffer from migraines often experience these symptoms shortly before or during an attack, though these are not the only symptoms. Meningitis, which is an inflammation of the lining that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord, can also be a cause, particularly in children age five and younger. This illness can also occur in the elderly, as well as in people who live in close quarters, such as dormitories or some apartment buildings.

Simple neck strains and stiffness can often lead to pain and nausea. As the muscles in the neck tire, they tend to tighten up, which can lead to pressure in other parts of the body, such as the head and shoulders. As the pain radiates, the sufferer might develop nausea. Such issues can usually be resolved by taking over-the-counter painkillers combined with rest, stretching, and exercise. If the pain persists, it might be a sign of a muscle tear in the neck, and more rest or a visit to a healthcare professional may be necessary.


Migraines can be debilitating, and treatment often requires rest in a quiet, dark room. The symptoms vary from person to person, but in many people, neck pain and nausea go hand in hand with a migraine. This pain may occur well before the migraine occurs, or it may happen during the attack. Sufferers often take medications that could make the nausea worse but relieve the headache and neck pain. Resting in a quiet, dark room also often helps alleviate the discomfort.

Meningitis is one of the more serious conditions that can lead to neck pain and nausea, among other symptoms. This condition is usually caused by a bacteria or virus, and it is more common in young children. Meningitis always requires treatment from a medical professional, since normal brain function may be affected. Viral meningitis is less severe than bacterial forms, and cases are rarely fatal. It is generally treated by reducing the patient's fever and ensuring proper hydration. Bacterial meningitis requires more professional attention and antibiotics are usually prescribed to help battle the bacteria. While bacterial meningitis can be fatal, death is less common now than in the past.


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Post 1

What’s rate of success for alternative treatment methods in regard to neck pain? I’ve heard people talk about gaining relief from treatments like chiropractors and acupuncture, but I must say I am quite skeptical myself.

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