Health Tips for Seniors

Diseases of the neck – Sore Stiff Neck, Enlarged glands

Sore-Stiff Neck. Stiffness in the neck is the usual result of irritation in the muscles, bones and ligaments that make up the spine in the neck region. Sudden soreness or stiffness, of a temporary nature, is often due to the strain of unusual neck-bending activities, such as gardening work and ordinarily a day of rest relieves painful situations as these. Stiffness, or pain in the neck of a recurrent nature, is usually caused by continuing difficulties from sprains, fractures and arthritis or possibly an infection elsewhere in the body, such as, teeth.

The treatment of neck stiffness and soreness depends upon its cause. X-rays may reveal local difficulties in the neck, while examination of the entire body may reveal an infection causing general arthritis or other systemic disease. The only treatment a person should attempt for himself in such matters, is regulation of elimination, diet, proper rest and avoidance of exceptional exercise in the neck region. Continuing soreness and pain in the neck should be investigated by the physician for possible serious underlying disease.

Enlarged Glands in the Neck. Enlarged neck glands commonly follow an infection in the mouth, possibly of the teeth,

Fig. 31. Neck growths and enlargements, present since childhood, often are the result of abnormal development. Fast-growing enlargement at any age is most likely due to infectious processes, but may mean cancerous disease. Goiter moves up and down with the swallowing act and is most often close to the midline.

tongue or pharynx. These enlarged glands, can be felt just below the angle of the jaw, extending straight downward. They are frequently tender to the touch, and if infected, can be painful without being touched at all.

In addition to infection, enlarged neck glands can result from tumor growths in the oral cavity, of the lip, tongue, gum, jaw or tonsil. They may also indicate a cyst within the neck, enlargement of the thyroid gland or systemic lymphoid diseases, such as Hodgkin’s Disease. Any neck enlargement lasting more than a week, may represent serious disease, and the physician should be consulted without delay.

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