The link between neck pain and meningitis

Spinal meningitis is a life-threatening condition that often causes neck stiffness or pain.  A fever and headache are other common symptoms.  Because of the neck stiffness and headaches, those infected with meningitis may find their way to a chiropractic office.

A chiropractic office is the wrong place for someone with spinal meningitis.  If you, or a loved one has neck stiffness accompanied by a fever, headache, confusion, or vomiting seek immediate medical care.  (for a complete list of symptoms look at the CDC website)  If a patient does show up at a chiropractic office a thorough exam should reveal that the cause is not musculoskeletal and the chiropractor would be able to refer you to the correct treatment.

Spinal meningitis is not within the scope of chiropractic; it is not something we can legally diagnose or treat.  The good news is that if you mistakenly make your way to our office and have neck stiffness caused by meningitis is that chiropractors have been trained specifically to recognize the red flags indicating that neck pain or stiffness is coming from disease and they would refer you somewhere else.

If there is fever, confusion, or vomiting in association with your neck pain/stiffness seek medical care.  If you have neck pain or stiffness without those symptoms and would like to know what is causing it, seek care with a chiropractor.