Your neck is made up of vertebrae that extend from the head to the upper back. Cervical discs act as shock absorbers between each vertebrae. The muscles, bones, and ligaments of your neck allow for motion and support your head. Poor posture, abnormalities and injury can cause stiffness, inflammation and pain in the neck. Occasional neck pain and stiffness can be acute and last only a few days. Sometimes neck pain as a result of a fall, contact sports or whiplash can become a chronic debilitating problem.
Most of the time, neck pain isn’t a serious condition and can be relieved within a few days. In some cases, neck pain can indicate serious injury or illness and require a doctor’s care. If you have neck pain that continues for more than a week, is severe, or is accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.