How is the neck structured?
Your neck and back are made up of a column of bones (vertebrae) stacked one on top of the other. This is called the spinal column. The top seven vertebrae are called the cervical vertebrae, and these form your neck. Read more
What are the symptoms of neck problems?
Pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms of neck problems, but you may also experience other symptoms, including numbness or tingling, and clicking or grating noises. Read more
What causes neck pain?
Neck pain is often caused by a simple muscle strain or tension, although the neck can sometimes be affected by particular conditions. Read more
Should I see a doctor about my neck pain?
You should see your doctor if your neck pain doesn’t improve within a few days or if you have pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in your arms, or you suddenly develop stiffness in your neck and shoulders. Read more
How can I help myself when I have neck pain?
Taking painkillers, gently massaging your neck muscles and exercising will all help ease the symptoms of neck pain. Read more
Why does neck pain become persistent?
Persistent neck pain may have a specific cause, but can often develop when the neck muscles become weak and stiff as a result of reduced levels of activity. Keeping active will help reduce the risk of neck pain becoming persistent. Read more
How are neck problems diagnosed?
Your doctor will usually examine your neck and may sometimes request x-rays or blood tests. More rarely, your doctor may suggest you have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Read more
Specific neck conditions
Neck pain can sometimes be caused by cervical spondylosis, whiplash, tension, or sometimes slipped discs. Read more
What treatments are there for neck problems?
Neck pain often improves with simple medicines and self-help measures, but if not your doctor may recommend physical therapies, injections, collars or (rarely) surgery. Read more
What other help is available for neck pain?
Your doctor may be able to refer you to a pain management programme if they think it'd be useful for your neck pain. Read more
Research and new developments for neck pain
Research has helped us to understand more about the causes of neck pain and about the importance of keeping active. Read more
Exercises to manage neck pain
Exercises designed to strengthen and stabilise the structures that support the neck. Read more