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The neck is made up of vertebrae that extend from the skull to the upper torso. Cervical discs absorb shock between the bones.

There are 26 muscles in the neck--10 pairs of 2 and 2 sets of 3. The neck muscles attach to various bones of the skull, spine, thoracic cage, and shoulder girdle. 

Three ligaments, the ligamentum flavum, anterior longitudinal ligament, and posterior longitudinal ligament help to stabilize the cervical spine during motion and protect against excess flexion and extension of the cervical vertebrae.

The bones, ligaments, and muscles of your neck support your head and allow for motion. Any abnormalities, inflammation, or injury can cause neck pain or stiffness.

Many people experience neck pain or stiffness occasionally. In many cases, it’s due to poor posture or overuse. Sometimes, neck pain is caused by injury from a fall, contact sports, or whiplash.

Most of the time, neck pain isn’t a serious condition and can be relieved within a few days. But 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.

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