Q. I am having heaviness of head and neck stiffness. What is causing it?

Answered by Dr. Sumit Srivastava and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.


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Image: I am having heaviness of head and neck stiffness.  What is causing it?

Hi doctor,

I am a 31 year old female and yet to conceive. Since 9 months I have been facing heaviness of head and stiffness of neck. Sometimes the heaviness of head becomes extreme and I feel it is spinning even at the slightest movement of neck and it is accompanied with bowel movements. I feel that I may faint and the feeling subsides only after passing normal stool. Since 9 months these incidents used to happen on a daily basis especially during the office hours but now it is happening at the rate of one to two times per week. I did MRI brain, cervical spine and ECG of heart. Everything turned out to be normal except detection of mild scoliosis of neck. In the morning when I wake up I do not feel so bad but as the day progresses my stiffness of neck and heavy headedness increases.

Orthopedist told me that I am having cervical vertigo, neurologist told me that I am having posture problems, GP told me that I am suffering from phobic disorder (assured). Now I have a few questions. Am I suffering from any gastrointestinal disorder? (sometimes lower abdomen pains but there is no loss of appetite). Do I have cervical arthritis and can it cause gas problems? Is it possible for intestinal gas to hit the brain? In such cases when bowel is not passed at right time can a patient die? Am I suffering from any cervical spondylosis?

Cracking sound is heard when I move my head too much and head spins too. And sometimes it seems as though I am losing balance from ground. When I get up after sound sleep of 6 hours, I do not feel bad but as the day progresses my tightness of head, stiffness of neck, spinning motion and losing of balance starts. Cervical spine MRI shows a convexity to the right where a small central posterior disc bulge at C5-C6 indenting the thecal sac is seen. There is no cord compression or central canal stenosis. While at home I do not feel so bad but in confined space of office my head starts to spin, back of head feels tight, I feel my motion is restricted and the balance from ground seems to get lost. Am I suffering from any life-threatening disease?

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Dr. Sumit Srivastava
General Medicine, Internal Medicine


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Thanks for your query on this platform.

Relax! You are not suffering from any life-threatening disease.

  • Neither are you suffering from any gastrointestinal problems except occasionally which is normal and could be due to mild gastritis. Cervical arthritis cannot cause gas problems.
  • Intestinal gas cannot hit the brain because that is impossible as gas is confined to intestines and stomach and there is no connection or pathway between brain, stomach and intestine. Brain is altogether present in different body cavity called as skull.
  • Your MRI (attachment removed to protect patient identity) clearly states that you have posterior intervertebral disc protrusion at fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae combined with your mild neck scoliosis.
  • I would agree with your neurologist who states that you have postural problems because your symptoms are aggravated when there is stress on your neck due to wrong postures.
  • Cracking sounds could be due to vertebrae sliding over each other due to disc abnormality and causing muscle spasm and leading to pain and stiffness.
  • Treatment is to take rest, physiotherapy and medication. You can wear a cervical collar. I would suggest you to consult a neurologist for further treatment, management and physical evaluation. Avoid straining your neck in office.

For further information consult a neurologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist

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