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.


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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    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: 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
  • See my comment @OP: "If the pain is 'acute' – sudden and intense – it's called a crick in the neck," -- Only an acute pain, (& ?only in the neck); still qualified with 'in the neck,' not by itself. Crick does not seem relate to shoulder-pain. Etiology is not covered, it could be caused by anything. It's a very loosely defined term. – Kris May 3 '13 at 11:24
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    @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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