The neck, or cervical spine, is made up of seven vertebrae called C1 to C7. The vertebrae, the bones felt in your neck and back, are the bony building blocks for your spinal column and protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord, a thick bundle of nerve cells, carries messages for movement and feeling to all parts of the body. Muscles and ligaments attach to the vertebrae and help stabilize the spine.
Though the neck is very flexible, the structures of the neck are at risk for injury due to strong sudden movements or force that may happen in accidents, such as falls or car accidents. This may cause fractures of the vertebrae, tears or stretching of the ligaments or strain of the muscles.
It is important to evaluate and treat these injuries due to the risk of damage to the spinal cord.