Stiffness of the neck or rigidity is a consequence caused due to aggravated Vata Dosha when lodged in cervical region (neck). Though this is observed as a complication in many neurological and orthopedic disorders, it is usually found in mumps, cerebral haemorrhage, cervical dislocation, osteoarthritis of the neck joint, acute otitis media (ear infections) etc. Stiff neck is broadly explained as Manyastambha in Ayurveda.
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Stiff neck causes:

  • Use of hard or a thick pillow
  • Keeping the arm beneath the head while sleeping
  • Keeping the arm beneath the pillow while sleeping
  • Activities involving prolonged raised arms such as flying a kite for a hour
  • Direct neck injury
  • Regular day sleep
  • Improper lying or sitting postures
  • Lifting heavy objects in shoulder or head
  • Heavy exercise to the neck and shoulder
  • Constant pressure over the cervical region
  • Constantly watching a far object for a long period of time

Origin of the disease:

Due to the above said factors the joints, veins and nerves get fatigued or lose their tension. Meanwhile if Vata causing food and habits are followed, the vitiated Vata gets blocked in the neck location and the stiffness is caused. As the back or nape of neck (Manya) is commonly involved, it is called as Manyasthambha. Often the disease Manyasthambha is also correlated with Torticollis (wry neck).

Clinical features of stiff neck:

  • Severe and persistent pain in the neck
  • Inability to rotate the neck
  • Difficulty to see the upper object
  • Inability to bend down the neck
  • Heaviness of the neck
  • Rarely radiating pain to the shoulder or back
  • Sleeplessness due to pain
  • Morning stiffness


  • Dhanyamladhara or pouring of fermented medicatedkshayam
  • Abhyangam
  • Elakizhi
  • PodiKizhi
  • Nasyam