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There is a simple word in my native tongue for this symptom but it is somehow hard to find a corresponding term in English despite how common this type of pain occurs in our daily life.

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onelook.com/?w=crick&ls=a – MετάEd May 2 '13 at 22:40
If the pain is 'acute' – sudden and intense – it's called a crick in the neck, facet syndrome or muscular rheumatism. netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/neckpains.htm#ixzz2SCzwWDSJ – Kris May 3 '13 at 6:31
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Not every concept has a corresponding word but it turns out that this one does.


is an informal term meaning a persistent joint/muscle pain in the neck or upper back usually due to holding an uncomfortable posture for too long.

I have a crick in my neck from falling asleep in the airplane seat.

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oh I didn't know this one! Thanks! – nye17 May 2 '13 at 22:48
You should have voted to close this for 1. No background effort. 2. GR. 3. Too localized (shoulder + neck + bad-sleep-posture makes it a technically involved term). BTW Crick does not cover the three criteria adequately. – Kris May 3 '13 at 6:36
@Kris Thanks for the potted info on site rules! – Edwin Ashworth May 3 '13 at 9:46
@Kris: I can see a case for all three of your criteria buy still disagree. But I'm curious, how does 'crick' not cover the OP? – Mitch May 3 '13 at 11:14
@Kris: of sure it is loosely defined; it is not formal technical medical vocabulary. But I think it answers directly the OP's question ('simple word', 'common...type of pain'). – Mitch May 3 '13 at 12:19


You can have either a stiff shoulder, a stiff neck or a stiffness that is felt simultaneously in both parts of the body.

2) a. Not moving or operating easily or freely; resistant: a stiff hinge.
b. Lacking ease or comfort of movement; not limber: a stiff neck.

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