Nuchal Rigidity

Meningeal Signs

Common Meningeal Signs

The common meningeal signs can be easily understood from the combination of symptoms that arise due to an impact on the meninges. You would find that the meninges can become affected due to a wide variety of reasons and this can extend the impact onto the central nervous system of the body. Generally, there is a triad of symptoms which are observed due to an impact on the meninges. This combination is known as meningism and it comprises of nuchal rigidity, photophobia and headache. In order to understand this condition, you would have to take a look at the major symptoms that arise with this condition. Further, there are some specific cases where the meningeal signs are completely absent from the body.

Nuchal Rigidity Definition

For analyzing the common meningeal signs, it is essential that you understand the nuchal rigidity definition. The condition of nuchal rigidity is seen as a common sign that arises when there is any kind of impact on the meninges. The extent of the condition does not matter here as it has been observed that the case of nuchal rigidity arises every time there is an impact on meninges. Meningism is the name given to a triad of symptoms that arise when there is any impact on the meninges. The first symptom is known as nuchal rigidity, rigidity in the neck that arises due to the impact on meninges. The condition of nuchal rigidity leads to an impact on the neck muscles and prevent the complete extension of the head in the forward direction. In case there is stiffness and pain in the neck, but a full range of motion is present, it is not classified as nuchal rigidity. Apart from nuchal rigidity, the other common symptoms are photophobia and headache.


Apart from the usual condition of meningism, the case of meningismus is considered to be specific. Problems of meningitis, meningism etc. are related to an impact on the meninges, in the form of an infection or irritation. In the case of meningismus, there is no impact on the meninges but the symptoms of nuchal rigidity and headache are present. In order to take care of this condition, it is essential that the underlying causes are evaluated and the meningeal signs are seen closely.