Get E-Book on COVID-19

Q. Why do I have neck and shoulder stiffness and pain only while lying?

Answered by
Dr. Ankush Gupta
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 28, 2019 and last reviewed on: Dec 31, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am a 30-year-old female. I do not have any medical issues that could associate with my problem. About a month ago I woke up to pain and stiffness in my neck and shoulders. I figured I just slept wrong or something little like that. But every single night since then, I have been woken up by the pain during nights. I cannot lay in any position where I put pressure on them and it only happens at night or while resting or laying down for more than an hour. It started with just my neck and shoulders. But gradually it has turned into pain and stiffness in my neck, shoulders, elbows, hands (which includes swelling in my fingers), hips and now my knees. It only happens when I lay down for long periods and gradually disappears during the day with movement and activities. It is also disrupting my sleep every night in which I barely get for three to four hours altogether. I have tried taking Naproxen before laying down for the night and using a heating pad at night to avoid these issues, but it is not helping. My question is, what is wrong with me and how can I reduce or stop the pain and stiffness?



Welcome to

The symptoms you have explained points towards arthritis. It can be osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis depending on the joints involved and the duration of morning stiffness. Usually, in rheumatoid arthritis, morning stiffness remains for more than 45 minutes and joints of the hands involved are middle joint and the joint which connects your finger with hand. Osteoarthritis morning stiffness relieves in less than 30 minutes in the morning and the joint involved are the distal joints of your fingers.

The tests which you can go for to confirm are a rheumatoid factor, CRP (C-reactive protein), x-ray of the joints. The medications which can be used to relieve the symptoms are NSAIDs (non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs), steroids to relieve the inflammation and DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) like Methotrexate, Sulphasalazine, etc. Surgery is another option here which you can talk to your doctor after confirmation of the diagnosis.

I hope this helps.

Investigations to be done:

X-ray of the joints, CRP, Rheumatoid factor.

Differential diagnosis:

Osteoarthritis, gout.

Was this answer helpful?


Related Questions:
What is the cause for constant neck and back pain associated with neck stiffness?

Hello doctor, I do not have any dental issues. I have been getting regular dental checks. How do I keep my breath fresh all day?   Read full

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

Hello doctor, I do not have any dental issues. I have been getting regular dental checks. How do I keep my breath fresh all day?   Read full

Osteoarthritis of Knee

.. information article on wear and tear in knee joint. It gives information regarding understanding of osteoarthritis of knee its causes, prevention and methods of treatment available .. ...   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

Also Read

COVID-19 Vaccines in India
Two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, have been granted emergency use authorization in India. Read about these vaccines'...  Read more»
Sinusitis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Sinusitis is the infection of the air cavities within the nasal passages. Normally, the healthy sinuses are filled with ...  Read more»
Asthma and Its Rising Incidence
This article explains about asthma and its causes. It also focuses on the benefits of starting early treatment to lead a...  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask an Internal Medicine Physician Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.